Dudley Moore: I'm writing a book.
Peter Cook: Really? Neither am I.
I don't know what to tell people when they ask me what I'm doing now. The truth is I'm writing a book, but this sounds so much like a delusional fantasy or like a pretentious lie that I hesitate to answer honestly. So I say I'm handling our startup business, which is currently on-hold until we find suppliers who won't cheat us. Or I tell them "pa-raket-raket," which is also true in the same way that it's true that I've taken up photography; I don't call myself a photographer. What I'm really doing -- and I tell this truth to anyone willing to listen to the answer to their question -- is writing a book.
Really? Neither am I.
A more common response is: "So you're writing a book! That's nice…" Something you tell a child who just told you that she's started finger-painting. Or the cynical sort will just zone out and change the subject. "So how about that new iPhone?"
What most people don't know is that, coming from me, the words "I'm writing a book," isn't surprising, or even noteworthy. After all, I've talked about nothing else since I could put pen to paper.
Also, I've written four books since the year 2000. That’s hardly Stephen King levels of prolific awesomeness, but not bad. (Three of these books were written under a pseudonym, which explains why some people are surprised at all to find out that I'm writing another book.) I’ve been down this road before, and I know what I’m doing. Writing books has always been the dream as well as the actual fact.
And I'm blogging about it.
So I'm writing a book…and blogging about the experience of writing a book. While we're being honest here, I sometimes worry about what I’ll write about in this blog. I can see it now: "Day 267: Wrote five words today..."
Anyway, I'm doing the blog for a number of reasons:
Reason # 1: Writers will dig it.
There are a lot of writers out there. I hope reading about my efforts on book number five will help/inspire/serve as a warning to other writers. Pick one.
Reason #2: Yes, I’m a writer!
This is also the blog where I can talk about writerly stuff, rant, and chew the cud about writing. If you want to read about cooler stuff, you can read my other blog, also known as the tech journalist hangover one.
Reason # 3: Outing the book helps.
Okay, now that it's on the Internet, there's no turning back now. I have to do this.
Reason # 4: Someone told me this is the future.
Or was it that blogging is so last decade? I forget. Anyway, this blog thing is supposed to be a great way to promote whatever it is I’m trying to peddle here, namely me, myself, my book.
Reason #5: This is my work.
I’ve worked in a number of related industries. I’ve written for advertising. I’ve made magazines. I’ve written books. I have a blog (now two). Over the years, I’ve discovered that everything except the books falls away. Don’t get me wrong. I wildly loved each at one point in my life. I believe each has its value in society, but these values are radically different as well as hopelessly unequal. (More on that some other day.) To me it is simple. Ads are rarely remembered, magazines end up in the trash, blog posts get buried, but books -- the stories and the ideas in them -- those stay. This is what I do. I’m writing a book.