People who say 'I could write a book.'
Well, of course they could. Anyone with a working knowledge of words, and the ability to put them together one after the other into sentences could.
But let me tell you something about writing a book. In fact, I shan't tell you, for, in the spirit of 'show don't tell' (one of the first Principles of Writing), I shall illustrate it for you. Only I'll illustrate it in words, if that's all right with you, because my drawing skills are whatever a lack of skill is called.
Writing a book is like this:
Doing a jigsaw puzzle, in the dark, with only a tiny little torch that you got in a Christmas cracker. A cat is sitting on the box lid, you very much suspect that the dog has eaten one of the corner pieces, and, very often, you are wearing boxing gloves.
|The inside of a writer's brain|
And all the time you are doing this, your well meaning friends and relatives will tell you how lucky you are to be living the life of a writer, how relaxing it must be to be at home all day and how they are sure they could never write a book, except that they've had a really interesting life and one day they will write it down and get it published.
In the meantime, you get letters about unpaid bills, your family complains about the number of meals you cook that consist entirely of noodles and the cat that isn't sitting on the puzzle lid has left home and only comes back occasionally to stare through the window at you in an accusatory manner.
Still want to write a book? I'll lend you a dog that's already eaten several of my pieces...