Time is short these days, and I don’t get much time for writing, except here on my blog (and it looks like I’ll be cutting back on that for a little while). But for almost as long as I’ve thought of myself as a writer, I’ve been working on, to some degree or another, the same book. While I started the book when I was a kid, it’s grown and evolved with me, becoming more complex, more mature, and to my mind more entertaining.
For the past couple years, due to various circumstances, I haven’t really worked on my book in any significant way. Sure, I’ve made notes here and there about ideas and plot points and characters, and historical background. I’ve got a notebook where I make those notes, and sometimes I type them up into my computer. But I make a new note on average once every two or three weeks, and then its usually only a few short thoughts.
In the meantime, I’ve come up with a few new novel ideas for books that I think I may need to write before returning with full attention to that book that’s been with me since forever, if for no other reason than to test and grow my skill as a writer before trying my hand at rewriting my defining saga.
It’s sometimes a melancholy thought, to be apart from this book for so long, to have made no progress in it. I long to write it. I yearn to write it.
And for this reason, today’s quote caught my eye, by esteemed African American author Toni Morrison:
If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.
You see, that book of mine: it’s like the fantasy novel version of me. It’s not a dramatization of my life’s history, or anything so dull as that. But the book is as though the character of who I am, and of all the little bits of my life, are transformed into this little world, and these characters, and their lives. It’s a reflection of myself. And, all the while, I think it’s just a good old-fashioned adventure tale of the good-versus-evil and coming-of-age and finding-yourself and boy-meets-girl and love-conquers-all variety (it’s not a romance by any means – far too much violence in it for that – but like all good stories, there’s a bit of romance on the side).
You know, I think it’s the kind of book I’d like to read.