I’m Going to Change the Nature of My Writing
I have cultivated a habit of writing every day, often over a thousand words, on multiple topics. It’s very satisfying and has become an even more important part of my life than ever.
I’ve been writing professionally for forty years.
That’s a crazy statement when I see it in black and white. Probably over a million words.
And nearly all of them disappeared into the vast sea of information.
Lately, my writing has reflected the world around us, the world of confusion, anger, disaster, uncertainty.
But, this morning, I drank my coffee and typed a title into a Google Doc, my writing platform of choice. And I looked at it and paused. Did I want to write that or was it just an idea or observation that momentarily intrigued me?
Last night I was contacted by a wealthy acquaintance who is looking for a ghostwriter to write his memoir. He actually has a story that is very unusual. Normally I am not interested in memoirs. I seldom read them and definitely believe they should not be a writer’s first book.
We are self-indulgent enough as it is.
I woke up, made my morning expresso, and thought about his story, and more importantly, could I deal with him?
Writing is, at its essence, a solitary activity. We need to go to a place where companionship is not required.
Our companions on that journey are the unseen readers. But we can’t think about that too much.
I don’t think his story is a book, I don’t know why he wants to tell it, and I don’t want to write it. I’d only be doing it for the money and I’ve been there. My first two book length projects were ghostwriting and I’m forever grateful for them.
But they never saw the light of day. They were the whims of moneyed people. But they were both, in their own ways, decent books.
And I got paid, but that was not the value. I found I had the ability to write longform. I could tell a story.
For a would-be writer that is a great revelation and a great relief. Ultimately if you call yourself a writer, you have…