Sunday, March 23, 2014
Life as a Bookworm: Not Write Now
No, that's not a typo up there in the title of this post. My (not so) clever play on words has to do with the fact that I do not want to write a novel. At least, not right now. But why am I sharing this? Well, this is something that comes up more often than you'd think in this book blogger's life. I had a job interview a week or so ago (it had nothing to do with books - it was for a retail position because that's where I'm at in life right now...sigh.). During the interview I explained why, after leaving my full time job to pursue a publicity internship at Random House of Canada, I was not working in publishing. The interviewer thought that perhaps I wasn't working in publishing not because I don't want to live in Toronto (I really don't) or because I don't want a publishing job enough (I'm still not sure) but because I'm meant to work with books in another way. By writing them myself. The interview moved on to other, more relevant, topics but that idea stuck with me for the rest of the day.
Why am I not writing a novel?
The simple answer is that I just don't feel like it. And, really, that's the only answer I need.
This topic came up after BookBuzz Toronto last year as I was the token non-author in our group. The women I was with asked me, and rightly so, if I ever thought about writing a book. Writing novels is, after all, what they love to do.
The truth is that I have thought about it. I have a few half-formed ideas floating around in my head but that's all there is and that's all there will be for awhile.
If I'm remembering correctly, one of the women told me that if I don't feel the desire to get a story idea onto paper (or screen, I suppose), then it's not going to go anywhere. I've talked to, and consider myself friends with, enough authors to know that deciding to write a novel is a big deal. It's not a serious decision or a life or death one, but it's one that you shouldn't enter into lightly. You have to dedicate time and energy into creating the best possible story. And if you don't really have that burning desire to get those thoughts and characters out there, then you're just not going to want to dedicate the time to write the thing, let alone decide what to do with it after you're finished.
I love writing. I always have. I was a diary writer and aspiring poet when I was growing up (oh boy, I do not want to reread some of the angsty stuff I must have written when I was a teen). My high school yearbook has "journalist" listed as my dream job next to my grad picture (though now that I'm dating a journalist I realize that is so not the job for me). I have countless notebooks that are just waiting for ideas to fill their pages. Keeping this blog is a way to continue writing in a way that works for me right now. That's why you see posts like this popping up more and more on here.
And, ok, maybe there's a bit of fear in this decision, too. I can review books and critique what I read with the best of them...but can I really do any better than those authors I'm reviewing? I worry that my writing wouldn't be good enough. That my story wouldn't be interesting enough. That I wouldn't be able to find an audience. And those worries are sort of overpowering any other thought at the moment. I'm sure every single author has those same worries but the difference is that they push past those fears and worries and write anyway. Why? Because that's what they're meant to do. I may not have any freaking idea what I'm meant to do at this point (you'd think at almost 27 that I would, but no) but I realize that I'm not meant to write a book. Yet.
I know that, if I ever decide to take the plunge and write a book, I have a great group of women to advise me. I've been lucky to meet some amazing authors through my blog and I know there's more than one who would be happy to give me a hand, should I need it. But, for now, the only writing you'll see is on this blog. Maybe on other sites if someone wants me to write words for them. "Author" isn't a title I'm looking to add to my name yet but feel free to keep asking. Maybe my answer will change one day. You never know.