As a writer, I am at 138 1000+ word articles, I’ve been intending to write a book for a long time, and declutter the house and get a six pack… the cleaning and exercise has actually happened maybe because of the plague (or maybe not, who knows?) so that it’s starting to come to my attention that I could probably be starting to write a book by now.
I really put it on a pedestal as a child, authors were really big deals, from the moment they mentioned the author and the illustrator, to teach me what they were, I was fixated on the author.
I want to be that guy, the authour, the one who calls the story line shots, not the crumy illustrator (joking, I actually want to do that someday too).
I started being afraid and moving one step away from everything I wanted to do, maybe I’ll illustrate a book, maybe I’ll make illustrations for a book, maybe I’ll eat a cheesecake and read a book with illustrations, maybe I’ll listen to a book on Audibles in the car on the way to a dead end job until I retire? Each step created an inner anger and felt bad, but each step away was easy to take and not scary.
I built up walls of excuses that I believed that allowed me to have my beautiful dream, without approaching it. I could mentally circle it, without stepping towards it like watching a tiger behind a fence at the zoo.
The first excuse, I “couldn’t” write everyday:
To kill that I wrote morning pages for about two years and that dashed the idea that I can’t write daily, I can definitely write daily, though I prefer to post 30 times a season rather than 30 times a month.
That second excuse, I “couldn’t” write something “good” everyday:
I knew I could pump out some venting everyday, but could I write something worth publishing? It felt like a huge difference between my private thoughts and struggles and writing something I could share with the world that would be worth reading. Actually the space between was tiny, but still scary. Like a crack in a glacier. I just started sharing my private thoughts and struggles, I didn’t give away passwords or write overly about my loved ones (in my opinion) but I think I did a good job. My thinking was, the largest struggles of life are common, they are mundane, yet we don’t often speak about them, by speaking about them I open that possibility for others, to be able to write or speak of common things and to know they are not the only one struggling, we all struggle. Kind of like an anti-Facebook glamorizing, a WordPress unmasking of truth. Not everyone will like my writing, but I actually like it and more than enough readers have thanked me that I feel like I gave a small bit of good into the world while I was here, my own metric of good has been fulfilled and that one is the most significant one to meet (I feel).
The third excuse, I can write articles, but not “books”, “books are a higher level of writing and tricky and beyond my capacities”.
I haven’t overcome this one, yet. But today I’m thinking about it. I was cleaning up pages on WordPress, gathering words from the “Inner Citadel” the old home page before “World of Bubble Gum Monkey” became the home page and was renamed “My Day” (a tribute to Eleanor Roosevelt) and “My Day: I woke up (a tribute to Lovie Price), alive (a tribute to Bear Grylls).” I noticed I had about 8,000 words and though my normal post run from 1,000-2,000 I didn’t know really what that was and how long a book was. Books can be any length for sure, the shortest novel I know:
For sale, baby shoes, never used.– Ernest Hemingway
It’s a six word story, now known as flash fiction.
It really works to me, and no offense, but this is my blog… so that the thing defining a book is the essence, structurally there is a beginning, middle, end, but there is an invisible essence like a m&m shell coating a chocolate center. My writing has been all chocolate and no m&m shell thus far.
It’s not that I’m uneducated in how normal writing or literature works, I’m just unconcerned with it. I’ve always been more interested in what could be that what is. I don’t mind all tradition, but I’m more creative and inventive than backwards glancing.
I went to school, learned what should be done, threw that out upon leaving and stood at the door step to another school of thought. I’m standing there still a bit afraid to go inside, but I’m standing at the door of the right building for me.
Thinking of writing a book again… I don’t know what’s holding me back at this point.
I write daily or almost daily, I have the stamina, I have the skills I would need to form a rough draft at an average level, I have ideas non-stop against my will as a inborn character trait… perhaps it’s the over abundance of ideas?
I’ve been telling myself it’s the lack of having a clear winner between ideas. but I wonder if I’m hiding the truth from myself?
I told myself I would probably be able to finish a book this year, and I still think I could, but I can’t if I never get started.
It’s not the most important thing to me, but the other important things are not holding me back, I have the time, I already spend the time writing, but why then don’t I?
I don’t know.
Those shoes are not for sale, though they were never used, they will stay in our home always.– Bubble Gum Monkey
I like it. It’s a follow up to Ernest Hemingway, as if the husband tried to sell the shoes of a miscarried baby and when a buyer came the wife declined the sale proposition.
Perhaps there is no real difference between a book and an article and a story?
What makes the Calvin and Hobs comic collection book a book? It’s a series of ideas, joined together.
A normal book is also a series of ideas, joined together, perhaps sifted by a filter that requires a common theme, a certain prose, “acceptable” language.
I guess I don’t fundamentally understand the idea of a book. I understand that it is a series of ideas, with a common underlying thread, but if feels like I’m missing some point.
I don’t like the ideas of having conventional 1 = introduction, 2 = middle, 3 = copy of introduction reversed as an ending. What if I had two introductions? What if I went right to the middle like Dean Koontz? I wouldn’t go to the end first, I didn’t like that Pulp Fiction…
What if I changed perspectives (the Crystal Shard does that) like moving a talking stick around to various characters? What if I switched protagonists like Dark Sun Rising?
What if I wrote with my sister and gave her the chapters I didn’t want to write and the voice of the author was shifted, would people even notice (many Scifi books are group or partner written)?
I suppose it’s the possibility for invention within a theme that attracts me at all to writing, so to eliminate it would remove all or most of the excitement for me.
For me it’s not about income, fame, accolades, it’s about experimentation, freedom, creativity.
It’s not about pushing the limits, maybe I won’t push them at all, but it is about being able to push them.
It’s about being free somewhere in life, in a life that is so very limiting in so many domains. It’s about total freedom of thought, of process, of prose. But that total freedom is a bit mentally taxing compared to having a “set format”.
I guess I’m not copy pasting a format, american, Japanese or otherwise, I’m not copy pasting an author, a favorite book, a story, I’m not scraping a block of marble to release something inside, but gluing together twigs into a tree house castle, there is nothing to start with, except the first two twigs and some glue.
I guess I’ll start here:
The tree house was on fire, she didn’t want it to be, but yet it was.– Bubble Gum Monkey
And I’ll leave myself an unfinished sentence to start with tomorrow:
“It burned blue…”