Thanks to Martyn Clark for the topic
The book I want to write is a long way off. In my head it’s “yet to arrive”.. and of course, it’s not going to arrive, fully ready and publishable, it’s going to take work. It will, in stages, be awful and off-beam. It will be heart-made and contain delicious words – words like unctuous and sizzle, discombobulate and scrumptious; words like agony and ecstasy, like magic, spell-bound and love.
It will be expressive, full-throated and not everyone’s cup of earl grey.
And as I write all of that.. part of me thinks: Book? Me? Really? the way I use my words? And this way? That’s not proper.
Oh. To be improper.
And of course, such a thing won’t actually “arrive” at all – I’ll have to go find it. The creation of any book, be it fiction or fact, business or sci-fi, cookery or computing, is an act of exertion. Passive speculation doesn’t create pages. Imagination alone does not forge a narrative. Anyone who has published something out in the world has worked that thing to the bone (from fiction to PhD to the “Bloody Annual Report”). It takes care. Commitment. It takes, I suspect, research, practice and editing. For me, I also suspect it takes cups of tea and long walks…. Patient friends & family and many pairs of warm socks.
Such a thing takes self-management, discipline and focus… oh..and a topic.
The #21DaysofWriting challenge I’ve set myself really isn’t about writing a book – it’s about practicing in the foothills before having a hack at a mountain – and perhaps a book or some semblance of something book-y or bookish might tumble from all of this. Or perhaps not. Perhaps my path is to write often. Perhaps mine is a voice of vignettes. Maybe I’m a columnist. Maybe I’m a blogger, not a “Proper Author”. Maybe I’m afraid & I just need to get off my arse and start… oh hold on… maybe I have…
None of that really matters, at this point. What matters at this point is I write. And I write about different things and different thoughts. That I accept the words and topics put before me and I turn those into readable nuggets. This challenge is about that only, for now. For now I’ll be patient and focus on what is in front of me. In 14 or 16 or 21 days from now I might be asking: What next? But for now it is simply: What now?
I set myself a thing. Let me find the joy & the beauty in the thing for now.
The book I want to write? Has something about power in it – not formal, forced power.. not the power of being able to beat another down – literally or intellectually… but the power of connecting, of yielding…relational, convening power. The power of encouragement. The power in seeing a situation as it is – not as it ought to be – and bearing that enough to see through it without outrage. The emotion that the act of bearing can generate on the other side of outrage.
And something about the feminine – curves and sensuality, gorgeousness and intimacy. Quietly owning a space utterly, in the face of being silenced. The power of creation, the ability to speak out with heart about injustice, stupidity, lack-of-connection…watching the puff and the jostling and the small daily offences that add up to wanting to numb-out and run away.. finding the heart and the wisdom, the patience and the energy to stick with and stay.
Such a book has no clear narrative, I suspect – no neat arc. Chapters might kill it… or they may contain the content enough to hold it all together….I guess the job of a writer is to find that stuff.
But in the coming days – when you look at a book – any book ( and maybe the annual report) think about the sheer will and commitment that has gone in to the bringing of that book into being.
Blimey. That was a bit more of a Start than I intended.
Biggest fear is my clients will now think I’m slightly unhinged, refuse to work with me etc. High expression. Loaded words. I’m colouring outside the lines more than I intended.
It wasn’t easy to write, in some respects…mostly because I was worried what folk would think.
I also think I might want to lighten up…
It’s going to be more of a challenge to publish it – might hit the button and run…