I’m working on a book.
Yes, I did publish a book, but I decided not to stop there. However, I wasn’t sure I would ever get to this point. I had mentioned time and money being problems, but really, there was a moment when there was no desire to do so.
I know that is not necessarily a thing most writers want to share about writing. The idea that you don’t want to actually write. Even now, I’m writing this blog, and thinking, man, I could be sitting here staring at the ceiling in a daze, instead of writing this blog!
However, I don’t feel that way because I have nothing to share. It’s because Introversion derives joy from solitude. So, I write this blog for me, and I just happen to hit publish at the end and accidentally share it with everyone else in the Sol system.
Sorry for the overshare.
But this blog is not about me. This blog is about my efforts to finish my book. The biggest obstacle to finishing my book… was finishing. I realize I mentioned seeking an agent, losing the book, or even the trappings of self-publication as obstacles. But the real barrier was the finality of completion.
Once it was done, I had to decide if this was just for me, or if I would share. The unusual thing was sharing wasn’t going to be hard, lots of ‘people’ had already read it, and many ‘spoke’ to me, in ‘conversation,’ and gave their ‘approval.’ Maybe that last one didn’t need air quotes. I’m getting carried away with that.
And this would actually be the hardest part. Deciding to do a final edit for publication, deciding on the cover, and really deciding how far this would go. I’m fortunate to have time to ruminate some of these details before the first book was released. But unlike some, I’m also the sort of person who could dwell on all of this another 20 years and come to a completely different conclusion, and be satisfied with that.
A friend I had spoken to years back–they were also writing a book–shared a unique (to me) viewpoint. This friend had written a modest-length book, full of action and adventure, but very fast-paced. They shared it with their family, but it didn’t go any further. I haven’t even read their book, though this friend had read and helped me with mine. They didn’t need to have everyone on earth approve of their novel. They didn’t even require the approval of people outside their family, and they were satisfied with just having that. It could seem like a lot of work to write a book that very few (if any) read, but what I learned from this is that writing isn’t always about saying something to everyone else. It doesn’t need to be.
Sometimes you just need to say it to yourself. When you write a story, you are formulating how to convey a concept that could start out in such abstraction, you don’t know how to begin. And as you write, you are reading what you’ve written to see if this is sufficiently plausible to be comprehended. Obviously, if you don’t understand what you’re trying to say, how will anyone else?
It also helps you see the order in events. You may want a character to jump out of an airplane over the Indian ocean, but you have to consider: Why is he there? How did he get there? What prompted him to jump into the ocean there? What is his motivation for doing all of this? It may be important to share all of this; it could be more interesting to share little or nothing regarding this. It could be that when you share is as important (if not more) than what you share.
I realized after talking to this friend, I shouldn’t finish the book ‘because I had to.’ I should finish because I wanted to. And beyond that, it should still be up to me to decide if (and when) I would share. That decision was a recent one, and I’m glad I did.
Next week, we’ll touch on what I’m planning next.
Thanks for reading! Please like and share! You can follow on Facebook, Tumblr, and read excerpts from The Silent Invader @RB_Thurman (and follow!), in addition to the chapters I add here. If you prefer, you can also read my posts on Goodreads. Next month (November 2018) I will be making an appearance in physical form. It will be on the North American continent, in the United States, in the state of Missouri. I am attending the 2018 St. Louis Indie Book Fair, along with a number of other authors, and I invite you to join us there. In the coming weeks, I’ll be providing more info through my blog, but you can learn more about it here.
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