Monday, July 6, 2009

Simple joys of writing

Something to smile about every day, I said. And there is. Every day more than one blog post pops into my head... but not on to the screen. Busy busy busy I am, just like you.

And yet the pleasures of writing are many and various and immediate and long-lasting.

Instant thrill as you jot down some special insight or memory -- and the instant-ness is intense when blogging, because you write, publish and distribute all at once. No waiting, not even for the printer to spit it out. And any time thereafter you can change what you wrote, fix all the errors, smarten up the style.

You're never too old to write. But if you have spent your life saying, "I could write a book," stop thinking about a book. That's too daunting! Just start writing bits and pieces. (And by the way, bits and pieces can often be assembled into something that bears a remarkable resemblance to a book.)

Many of my friends (including two of my sisters) have started writing down stories about their lives, and it's such a buzz. Some are great writers, some aren't: who cares? The thrill lies in getting important memories into words. Doing it, as opposed to not doing it. Sharing stories. Saving stories. Gifting stories to the next generation or two.

It is generous, because you know, after we die, the kids will say, "I wish I'd recorded all those stories Granny (or Dad or Uncle Fred) used to tell."

That's not what I'm doing here but I strongly recommend it. Personally I've got a lot of other stuff to write, just at the moment. And it all gives me pleasure.

Yesterday, for instance, I was struggling with cover art: I'm converting a manuscript into an ebook. That's surprisingly complicated, but a wonderful challenge. The book is called Rude Stories for Mrs Palin. It makes me jump up and down with glee. More later!

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