Today I was chatting with Brandi, a very groovy person who could best be described as my step-niece-in-law. Not a particularly smooth categorization, but it's accurate. Anyway, she and I got on the topic of wanting to write. I'm not talking about rants and raves and pithy observations on life in a blog; I mean really writing. Books. You've probably heard the old saw that everyone has at least one good book inside. If that's actually the case, I think how that book got there is between the individual and his or her surgeon. But I digress. My step-niece-in-law Brandi feels that sharing her experiences may help make a difference in the life of someone who is going through the same trials and tribulations that she survived, and I tend to agree. There is something about common experience that brings people together and promotes healing. I hope that she writes that book, and I hope it does, indeed, make a difference for someone.
To me, writing anything more than a few paragraphs is pretty much the same as taking down the Great Wall of China with a soup spoon. Even though I know it's a matter of (in very simple terms) getting an idea for a plot, framing out the story and just getting down to it, the thought is still quite daunting. One of my favorite writers, Dean Koontz, says that he usually writes 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. He also mentions that he sometimes writes on the seventh day too, but only for a few hours so as to give himself a break. I'm sorry, but it just never occurred to me that the creative spirit of an artist could ever coexist with such Spartan discipline. How does he do it?! He just... does. Having that kind of focus is, for me, the brass ring. I aspire to it, as we all should aspire to something. How am I going to get there?I guess the same way anyone learns anything; crawl, walk, run. Maybe by the time I’m in the Happydale Retirement Home for Aging Hipsters and Out-Of-Work Interpreters, I’ll have a manuscript.
If I were to write a book, I think I’d like it to have cool stuff like vampires and zombies. No, wait! Maybe it could be about a nefarious international plot to topple the world’s leading chocolate makers, the resulting chaos of which would be far worse than any zombie apocalypse. That would be truly terrifying. Dang, I should copyright this immediately.
So take a moment to think about what you might like to write a book about. Got it? Okay... why aren’t you writing about it?