Thursday, May 07, 2015

Why I Am Not Writing a Book

"Are you going to write a book? You should write a book!”

I think a lot of people like me who do some writing are asked this question by friends and supporters, but at some point I had to ask myself,  Am I going to write a book or not?

I was living in what felt like The Land of Excuses—waffling, agonizing, feeling like a failure as I compared myself to everyone from personal friends who have written entire, valid drafts while holding down full-time jobs and caring for families, to J. K. Rowling, who wrote her first Harry Potter book in poverty as a single mother in, I think, coffee shops! 

I have certainly given the idea much thought—especially in the last few years as I have made my living editing other people’s books as a freelance editor. I even have 10,000 words of a novel down. But I finally realized my excuses were not without validity:

·         Some people can, but I can’t do similar work (editing and writing) all day long and then write extensively for me. I burn out. 

·         Some people are good at lots of irons in the fire, but I am not. I am wired for this kind of project to be the main—and pretty much only—game in town, with most other decks “cleared.” And for me, that probably looks like retirement (whatever that is!).

·         Some people cannot not write, but I can not write—at least not a book. I want to write a book, but I don’t feel a need to, at least not now. My need for creativity is satisfied to a great extent when authors allow me to assist them with their writing and when clients ask me to write for them.

Now I have come to the place where, though others may still think “she’s making excuses,” or “she’s not really a writer then,” I know these are the reasons I am deciding not to try to write a book . . . now. Assuming I live long enough, when I am in whatever “retirement” is, I can see myself writing a book or books—probably fiction and nonfiction. Why? Because I know my need for a creative life will raise its hand and say, “Now?” And my answer will most likely be, “Yes!”

Of course, if I still have excuses then . . . somebody help me!


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