Father’s Day is this coming Sunday, and I will be thinking about my own father, who passed away at age ninety-four nearly a year ago. In his later years I heard him talk about a few regrets, which we all-too-human humans tend to have. But I have wondered lately if he ever regretted not following through on his stated desire to write a book. After all, I believe that my brother, David, who is a talented lyricist and composer, and I are at least in part “word-inclined” because of Dad’s verbal gifts.
Yes, I know a gazillion people say they would like to write a book, especially those who love fiction. And unless they are as successful as J. K. Rowling or John Grisham or Stephen King, novelists are never going to become ridiculously wealthy, assuming that is their motivation. But the only way to write a book, whether or not your intent is publication, is to write it. This advice is on every “for writers” Internet site, because no one can expect to write without this concept sinking in.
Some of the published authors I work with and some of my writer friends don’t “have the time” to write, but they somehow make the time alongside meeting the demands of non-writing jobs and the needs of their families, as well as taking time to experience the many joys of family and other worthwhile expenditures of their time. Why go to all that effort? Because somewhere along the way they were inspired to write (for me, it goes all the way back to reading Anne of Green Gables when I was ten), and that desire never went away.
I enjoy writing for others in my freelance business, which I took to full time a few years ago. And freelance writing and editing keep me busy. I even wrote two books for children. But freelancing has also given me more flexibility to include personal writing time in my schedule, and I am making some progress on a novel.
No one would ever look at me and think “Ah, now there’s a spring chicken,” but I am not anywhere near ninety-four either. I am still breathing, and I hope to be for a long, long time. So write I will. It might take me years to write this or any novel, but progress is progress, and regret is nowhere in sight.
For readers who think about writing, what book or types of books have inspired you to consider it?
For writers, what book or types of books inspired you to actually begin writing?