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Sunday, 27 September 2015

So, you could write a book, could you? Better stock up on noodles...

I had another one the other day.  All writers have had them, sometimes you get a lot of them and sometimes you are lucky and get away with only the odd one or two, but writers with a few books published tend to attract them in a similar way to the way that a horse attracts flies...

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
Someone will pay you for the completed jigsaw, which needs to be finished to a deadline, and the telephone rings every fifteen minutes - when you answer it, a very angry man wants to talk to 'Roger'. Who doesn't live there.

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...

In your own time...

9 comments:

shlriley said...

Great post Jane and so true. I had a friend (use the term loosely) who said, 'I've got a plot you can use, I'd do it myself but I haven't got the patience...'

angela britnell said...

Brilliant!

Chris Stovell said...

Well said!

Karen said...

I can relate so much to this brilliant post - just substitute noodles for jacket spuds!

Jane Lovering said...

Thank you for the approval, chaps! I should point out here, that I don't even like noodles, and neither do most of my family, but anything that doesn't burn when left unattended, is good food in this house.

Just Another Bloke said...

Brilliant - and so, so accurate!!


John

Lucy King said...

Brilliant! I'd like to add that in my case at the beginning most of my jigsaw pieces are blank.

Natalie Kleinman said...

What a brilliant post, Jane. My jigsaw puzzle is one of those double-sided ones so half the pieces are the right way up and the other half are also the right way up. They're just not matching halves!

Flora Fornica said...

Well I knew I'm more of a reader than a writer before I read this witty post. I am in awe of anyone who can do it.