I am The Old Fossil. I write. Or so I’ve been told. And I write fairly well, if I do say so myself…at least, for the kind of writing I do. Usually. Take articles and blog posts. Or emails. Or newsletters. Or Facebook. Or books…..no, wait. That’s what I’m here to post about tonight:
…the difference between writing books vs all else.
I was born with a pencil in one tiny fist and a notebook in the other. I believe I was also wearing spectacles that morning, though I can’t be entirely sure. I am quite convinced, however, that it was for this reason that the doctor suggested a cesarean birth, and probably why Mama always liked my sister best. You know…”ouch” and all that.
But that’s another tale. Right now I want to get this off of my chest, as it were.
I was a boring, timid child, although I was in my element among friends, and I could fight like a boy, but put me amongst new people, or those whom I envied their talent, grace or looks (I was also quite…ugly) and I would escape into my books or writing. Just whatever was going through my mind, whether fantasy tales or the problems of youth.
All that practice with words paid off…well, that, along with being immersed in Mama’s love of language all my life. My diaries became short stories (fiction, usually) which I persistently edited until they fit into new notebooks. This went on throughout my life, until I discovered the joys of the internet, creations of websites and finally, The Blog (many thanks to WordPress.com!).
I’ve always had fun, just writing online, and generally get good responses to my web/blog sites. Thoughts race, jokes pop up and the writing just flows. I mostly writing for me, but there’s an added bonus that others have seemed to enjoy what I write also. So I’m thinking, retired, time on my hands, 60+ years of material…BOOK!
Excited to start! Ecstatic over support from fam and friends…and over the moon about moral support from just acquaintences and last boss! Yay me! #AmWriting!
But books vs articles and posts? WHOLE ‘nuther thing.
I’m overwhelmed. Terrified I’m not good enough. So many are so much better than I at this whole, “let’s write a book” thing. I can’t seem to get organized and I’m convinced that there are very real, very evil and very tiny people living in the margin settings of my MS Word program and that they spend all their time sabotaging the .675″ I need for “Whole Document” while attempting to F O R M A T :O
When I started out, I was positive that the dozen or so books I have living in my brain these long decades would be simple enough to convert from the notebooks I’ve kept and edited religously. After all, with a philosophy of “editEditEDIT!”, the hardest part was already done, right?
Wrong. There are other considerations, such as having outside, totally objective, non-family members read through the book and tell me whether or not anyone who not only doesn’t know me, but also does not love me, will find the book interesting, humourous or edifying enough to read more than the cover; there’s learning the deal with correct formatting and making sure that I have the proper program to do all that, plus conversion to PDF…and what the heck IS an ePUB, anyway? And bios, and excerpts, and descriptions…and…and…and…AND GREMLINS!
Years ago, when it was affordable (and before I was interested in actual publishing to the public), I could have typed up my manuscript, bought some nice book stock paper and taken the whole mess to a place like Kinko’s or Staples. They would have printed it all out…front and back…and bound it into a simple book. I could distribute to my heart’s content, to family, friends, my local library and a couple of pediatric waiting rooms. Of course, back then, I also had the artistic capabilities to illustrate my own books as well!
No more; publishing to the public is a huge deal. Sometimes I feel great about it. On top of the world, even! But then I read all those great books by other first-timers and newbies that take my breath away…and I fall into a deep depression. I even doubt whether or not I’m any good with the writing at which I think I’m talented.
I’ve spent a lot of time in that place lately.
Then today, I noticed my Notifications have something to tell me. I clicked on it and discovered that a bunch of people liked, shared and followed Old Fossil Writes, just in the past 2 days!
Books vs articles and posts? Who cares. I’ll write for them all! Some people will “Like”, others won’t. But I’m not in it to make a fortune. I’m in it because I have to write! It has to all be set down before I reach the end of my life’s journey.
Thanks to all of you for your Likes, Comments and Follows, on here, Facebook and on Twitter.
Whew! Glad I vented.
Now… …back to those pesky Margin Gremlins…
“Peskypixiepesternome!” (hp, year 2, jkr)