Out, Damned Book!

Do you want to write a book? Have you dreamt of it since you were little? Are you waiting to be struck by lightning so that a full book just comes pouring divinely out of you, complete with Prologue and Acknowledgments? No? Oh well, I guess it's just me then. My whole life I've felt like I will write a book. Maybe even a couple. A memoir for sure. Maybe a little enlightened smut for girls who've got a head on their shoulders.

And that's about all I got. I'm waiting for the day when my inner voice says, "Ok Rose, today is the day. Here's what needs to be written."

Since that hasn't happened yet, I thought I'd read a few books about writing books to prime the pump. A little Bird by Bird action, a little Writing Down the Bones.  I loved those books.  Felt my brain crawling with ideas.  Did I do anything with them?  No.  I sat back, drunk with inspired thoughts, and then forgot all about it.

Was this a fail?  I don't think so.  It was a big clue is all.  One day I will commit to writing a book, I have no doubt, and when that time comes I will remember all the things that inspired me.  I will go back to those books,  I will go back to listen to podcasts that had me howling out the car window, and then I will sit and write.

When is the right time to start writing?  Always.  Now.  Even when there is nothing at the front of the conscious mind, it's simply a thin membrane of blankness that is easily punctured.  Sit down and puncture it.  Write your name.  Write the details of what's happening in your body in this moment, from the pulsing ache in your calf muscle from a strenuous session of exercise to the gurgle of your coffee-filled stomach, not-so-silently asking for something more substantial.

One of my favourite membrane-puncturing tools is Sarah Selecky's daily writing prompt.  I have yet to actually do one of them, but seeing that in my inbox every morning reminds me that I am a writer.  It's there when I need it.

I know that I will write a book one day.  If someone reads it, I will be thrilled.  If it gets published, I may need medication to bring me back to earth.  If I go on a book tour, speaking about it, you can go ahead and stick a fork in me, because I will be done.  Until I start writing the next one, that is.

Write on!