Fiddling With the Alphabet
As more people become aware of who I am and what I do, I’ve noticed a few things about them. This is no surprise; I’m an observer of all things human. If you’re picking your nose because you think no one is looking, rest assured I see you. If you’re checking out some chick from the corner of your eye so your wife won’t catch you looking, I see that too. I see it all. It’s not that I’m a stalker or that I find you so friggin’ fascinating. It’s just a part of the job. I can’t exactly write about people, give them unique characteristics if I have no idea how the humans operate, now can I? Before I stray too far from the path here, let me tell you what I’ve noticed as of late.
Anytime the subject of conversation is my books, someone is always there with I’m gonna write a book. Oh are you now? You think you can just slap down some words and boom, awesome book that everyone wants to read? Okay, sunshine. You go ahead and do that. Let me know how it works out for ya.
Don’t get me wrong. If you’re a writer, you can do it. But if you’re the average Joe who doesn’t even know when to say My brother and me and My brother and I, then you can’t. I’m not saying writing a book is rocket science or brain surgery, after all we are just fiddling with the alphabet, but I am saying that not just anyone can do it. Real writers know this. Wanna-be writers do not.
But if you want to give it a shot, by all means do it. Don’t let me stop you. Sit down at your computer one day and start cranking out this masterpiece of yours that the world is waiting for with baited breath. Spend hour after hour trying to get what’s in your head onto the page without losing anything. Then, months or years later when you’ve purged yourself of the story, spend the next thousand hours or so going over it and over it, looking for typos and misspellings, proper word arrangement and grammar. Then when you’re done with the first round of editing, take a deep breath and hit it again, harder this time. Don’t let the fact that you’re getting tired of reading the same story over and over stop you. No, you’re a writer and this is what writers do. Polish that story till it shines, then polish it some more. And when that story is finally done and out there in the world, immediately start your next book, just in case you’re a hit. But don’t be surprised when your book flops. Unless you’re Stephanie Meyer, the chances are good that your first book will fail miserably. Here come the reviews. Oh look at that. Negative reviews with one star and a nasty attitude. Wow. They said some pretty mean things about you and the fruits of your labor. Oh don’t let that discourage you. You’re a writer and that’s part of it. Keep writing. After all, it’s easy and anyone can do it, right?
There are some people out there who really do have the gift of writing and haven’t yet got started. To them I say, GET GOING! Life is too short to wait. Don’t worry about whether it’s going to be good or people will like it. Just write.
To all the people who think writing is easy and anyone can slap down some words and call themselves a writer, I say try it. Instead of telling people you’re going to write a book, just write it. You’ll know within the first few pages if you’re ready to fiddle with the alphabet.