I am in the process of writing another small book. A particular kind of concentration is required to complete this project. There may be people who write from pure inspiration; that’s not me. Inspiration is essential but not enough. Information is equally important, and patience.
The idea for my book took root only a couple of weeks ago. I had been itching to start on a book for a while but needed to hit on something that grabbed my imagination. Once I got the idea it germinated for a few days. Then I started reading. As I read I began to understand what I needed to learn about my subject. At that point my plan was taking clear shape.
However, I never know if a plan has ‘legs’ until I put words down on paper. Usually I just jump in. I find pictures that are interesting, and random bits of fascinating trivia. I’ve grown familiar with my subject by this stage, so there’s context in which to place the material. This is one of the best parts about writing. I know so much more than I did, because I’ve been studying.
I love that.
As I put material on paper the practicality of my plan is either validated or not. Often the words lead me in a path that diverges from the original plan. That’s also something I enjoy. When this happens, I’m not just writing for others; I’m also writing for myself. Often I inflict my excitement on family and start to tell them about my discoveries. This exercise is very helpful and I am grateful to my family for the kindness they extend to me.
The need to frame my thoughts into words that make sense to other people–my family–requires discipline. Not only must I speak logically, but I have to honestly observe the reaction to what I believe to be fascinating information. If people are bored, I’m in trouble.
On the other hand, if my family shows more than polite interest in the material I share, there’s a good chance my intended audience will be engaged.
I’m pretty sure where my current book is going, what my next step has to be. I certainly know where the book finishes (although sometimes I may be surprised by that). The beginning is down; the path is set. The middle will be an adventure as I follow the stepping stones, the highlights of history that will direct the story I would like to tell.
One thing I can’t lose sight of is the audience. If the attention of the audience is lost, so too is my objective.
The way I go about writing a book certainly will not work for everyone. My ambition in my current project is very modest. The intended audience is young people, though I anticipate that the occasional mature reader who stumbles upon the book will not regret the experience.
I love to write. When I’m finished with a book, I pass it on and hope it has a life of its own. For anyone who creates anything, that is a miracle every time it happens.