As I stated not long ago, 2010 is my year of the BOOK.
I will finish the BOOK and try my damndest to get the sucker published. I also mentioned that I want to bring you with me on my journey—today my message is towards that end.
Please get comfortable, slip the metal tab into the buckle and pull comfortably around your waist. While I do not anticipate depressurization of the monitor, during the unlikely event an oxygen mask will drop from the screen. Please place the mask around your nose and mouth first, then assist others.
On occasion, since I’ve set my mind to the BOOK goal, I’ve received the question, “Why a book? Why not just write for your blog?”
Beyond that, I’ve had to research a plethora of questions so I may begin my journey informed and knowing the essentials. My journey has begun.
Why write a book? Why am I doing it? Why not stop at blogging?
Those are fair questions and important ones to answer.
When I became more serious about learning the writing and publishing trade in January of 2009, one of the most interesting books I read early on was Bird by Bird: Some instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamott.
Anne explains a view very close to my own answer to the question above—plus, her writing is some of the best I’ve read:
“Telling these truths is your job. You have nothing else to tell us. But needless to say, you can’t tell them in a sentence or a paragraph; the truth doesn’t come out in bumper stickers. …Your whole piece is truth, not just one shining epigrammatic moment in it. There will need to be some kind of unfolding in order to contain it, and there will need to be layers. We are dealing with the ineffable here—we’re out there somewhere between the known and the unknown, trying to reel in both for a closer look. This is why it may take a whole book.”
“…My friend Carpenter says we no longer need Chicken Little to tell us the sky is falling, because it already has. The issue now is how to take care of one another. For some of us, good books and beautiful writing are the ultimate solace, even more comforting than exquisite food.”
My sky has fallen again recently, and has fallen many times over my life. I’m sure yours has at some point, too. The one thing I can most vividly remember during some of my darkest hours is the comfort I felt from a great book, a compelling story—from reading about how someone managed to reach the other side without succumbing to the raging river that flows through this life.
Stories compel me—not instruction books, not 50 ways to x, y, and z. We’re all different, we all have different tastes, but I need stories. Share a story about how you managed, show me, but don’t lecture me—don’t tell me.
As evidenced by my Front Porch series, I’m interested in peoples’ experiences, how they chose to navigate swift waters, and how they’ve reached the other side.
And why not add a sprinkle of humor, too? Lamott also writes, “Some of us are interested in any light you may be able to shed [about difficult times] and we will pay a great deal extra if you can make us laugh about it.”
As I travel throughout the year, I will be writing to this end: showing, honing my craft, and sharpening my story for you—with laughter infused at all the right moments.
Thanks for taking this ride with me and for being a part of my Nimble community.
My closing thought and request for you today:
Share a story when you received multiple questions from people about something—did the questions help bring you clarity?