Check out this blog post from one of my favorite writers, Esquire’s Chris Jones.
These three grafs pretty much sums up what Jones is talking about when he’s discussing book-writing:
I get a lot of e-mails, and the great majority of them have something to do with writing and how to do it for a living. Strangely — or at least it seems strange to me — a lot of people seem to think they can write a book. Nobody thinks they could start plumbing a house tomorrow; nobody thinks they could sit down first thing in the morning and spay a cat. And yet a lot of people think they can write books. “They’re just words,” someone once said to me.
There’s a story up here, probably more legend than truth. The famed novelist Margaret Atwood was apparently at a party, talking to a brain surgeon. He told her that he was going to write a novel when he retired. “Oh, that’s funny,” Atwood said. “I was thinking of doing brain surgery.”
Book-writing is a mean business. They’re just words, but they’re 100,000 words assembled in some beautiful and logical order to tell a story that keeps a reader plugging along from beginning to end.
I don’t get offended when people say things like that to me – hell, maybe these people can write a book – but to me, it’s not about saying you’re thinking about doing it. It’s about actually putting fingers to keyboard. Bearcats Rising took me about a year to write. I put my soul through the wringer for the final product. I fried my brain so hard on it that I haven’t read the book since it came out in Aug. 2009 (I might never read it at all). But sure, go ahead and write yourself a book. I’d be happy to copy-edit it.
You know, I guess I am offended a little bit.