What happens to a book deferred?

{ Thursday, April 17, 2008 }

If you don't write the book that's growing in your head, what happens to the book as long as you're not writing? Does it spoil like milk or does it age like wine?

I suppose if you never write it you never have to find out, but friends, I'm not going to be that lucky. I'm going to have to take that first sip after all.

How do I know it? Because I remember writing the first book. I remember the months when I didn't know whether I could or would or even wanted to finish. And something happened.

Suddenly I didn't have a choice. As long as I had my faculties about me, that book was coming out. It wasn't because I believed in myself; I didn't, especially. It wasn't because things always work out for people who work hard and have faith; they don't.

It was because my physical response was no longer to think about the book. It was to write the book. I could put it off for a day or so but no more than that or I'd become physically nervous to the point of discomfort. I know how odd it sounds. But anyone who writes knows, whether they talk about it or not, the physical pleasure centers in the brain that start to explode as the formless things in your head turn into words that other people can read while the skin of your hands makes contact with pencil and paper or keyboard.

How do I know I'm really going to write this book that I haven't been writing all that fast? Because I'm there again. I don't have a choice. Try to stop a flower from blooming; try to stop a flu patient from vomiting. I gave you the first metaphor just so you aren't stuck with the second one if it bothers you. But the second one is the right one.


Foodie said...

You have described the exact feeling when a baby comes out. I don't know why doctors say to push. When my daughter was born, I was there somewhere but it was more like something my body was doing - cracking my pelvis open and pushing her out. I remember that feeling and how it made me scream in surprise and not pain.
It is like this with all things. When they are ready to happen, they happen.
This post makes me think that maybe I'm not a writer... I don't know that I've ever experienced writing this way. But I am so excited that you are!!!!

Pen Drive said...

Hello. This post is likeable, and your blog is very interesting, congratulations :-). I will add in my blogroll =). If possible gives a last there on my blog, it is about the Pen Drive, I hope you enjoy. The address is http://pen-drive-brasil.blogspot.com. A hug.

ann pai said...

Hey Foodie - by me, there are different ways to be a writer just like there are different ways to be a mom. (Big wink, smile, and hug.)

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