I’ve been spending a lot of time lately considering the possibility of writing a book. As I read that sentence over, I can’t help but laugh at myself because, seriously? Writing a book?! It feels a bit like saying, ‘Ya know, I’ve been considering walking the Great Wall of China. Just an itch I’ve been meaning to scratch!’
But the idea of writing a book has been sitting in my brain for a while, one of those long-term ‘life goals’ that you are instructed to jot down late in high school or at some point in college. You then spend the rest of your life wondering when you’re going to suddenly be reminded that you turned out to be a good-for-nothing layabout when that little postcard shows up in your mailbox, the 5 Things I’ll Do Before I Die list. When you look down at the list, from the confines of a dark private corner, of course—lest any friends or loved ones discover your failed potential—what will stare back at you is a cruel reminder of blind ambition exposed to the harsh light of Every Day Life.
Except the thing is, in my case (if I remember my list correctly) many of the goals I dreamed of achieving have been achieved. Moment of introspection: perhaps I aimed too low. Move to New York City: Check. Pursue a career in media: Check. Run the New York City Marathon: Check. Write a book: Stop being funny!
I think when it comes to writing a book you have to pat yourself on the back for the small progresses along the way. Deciding that you might just have the talent to pull it off is pretty huge, for example. This may be delusion on your part, but no matter. Embrace your egotistical self! Deciding that you’re going to make the dream a reality is another milestone. It’s one thing to think about getting off the couch. It’s quite another to pull your ass up and put one foot in front of the other.
The next phase is where it gets difficult. The plot. I have no idea what my book will be about. I’m still in the ‘brainstorming’ phase. Thankfully, my commute to work is just this side of unbearable, so I have plenty of time to stare off into space and ruminate on a plotline that people might actually care about.
I’ll tell you what I DO have. Characters! I’ve encountered so many people in my life who would make fantastic characters for my book. Names will be changed to protect the innocent, of course, but know this: if you find yourself identifying with a character in my book, you are either extremely interesting, incredibly complicated, or royally fucked up in a fascinatingly delightful way!