Have you ever tried writing a book?
Stephen W. Ayers
Nearly everyone I have spoken to and suggested writing laughed, some out loud. As a matter of fact I remember my own reaction when my wife suggested that I write a book when I was between jobs and restless. Being an hotelier and rather busy during most of the day running the hotel, my first book took me almost sixteen years to complete! Yet once I had started writing I was addicted and never gave up on my first project. Admittedly, it is not for everyone, but given a little creativity and some basic writing skills, there is a story in each and every one of us. My stories are thrillers.
I am not suggesting that you start off with lofty ambitions of completing a book, not at all. I am not even suggesting that you call yourself a writer. What I am suggesting is taking up a new hobby that will reward you with fun and a new way to relax and unwind.
Here is how it all started. In between jobs a long time ago my wife noticed me ‘pacing’. You have probably seen tigers pacing in their cages at the zoo, going back and forth along the cage netting. That is what they do when restless, and that is what I started doing instead of the cruising I would always do around the hotel.
My wife stopped me in my tracks. “Why don’t you write a book?” she suggested. I initially brushed it off as ridiculous. But the more I thought about it the more I liked the idea. So I started to think of a plot and characters…..and this is where it got interesting. Sitting at my desk my mind began wandering and sending me off into my innermost memories to source my characters. Being in the hospitality industry presented me with a mountain of background material from my career experiences and the people I have met along the way. Since I had so much experience in hotels, creating a protagonist was easy……an ex Mossad agent who was now a hotel general manager. This automatically gives me a lot of the ‘cotton wool’ filler and stories from experience.
Whatever your profession, try to think of a credible protagonist from your experience and build him or her up from that strong foundation. Now you have your ‘hero(ine)’ and lots of stories for background.
Of course everyone knows that a book has a beginning, middle and end, but all you basically need to start is a beginning and some idea of the end. Still no idea? Ask friends for some creative help for a plot, or better still, take a look at the world politics and intrigues that are always on the news. Take one angle, twist it a little and you have a plot.
I am not going to lecture you on how to actually write but rather want to describe the great ‘side effects’ of writing, however good or bad you are at this noble pastime.
Having decided on a protagonist and the main characters and the beginnings of a plot, I sat down to write. I let my mind ‘wander away’ from my body sitting there at the desk. I travelled to places abroad to check them for suitability for my action scenes, for the romantic events and for relevance in the book.
I literally travelled abroad and revisited all the wonderful places I have been to, and the best thing is that it did not cost me a cent! I started writing and writing, the ideas flowed and I did not stop until my wanderings brought me back to my desk. I did not stop to look at the sentences, at the grammar or even at the language flow. All that comes after you have ‘returned’ from your mind travels.
If you can get into this state you will find that the writing comes naturally and the story flows along with your creativity. Not every day is a creative day, and not every day is a good one for writing, especially during a busy career.
There is a story to be told in every single one of us, you just have to find yours and start it. Even if you do not succeed, and even if you do not reach your target of completing a book, you will be rewarded richly. You will also find out more about your inner self, how you think and who you really are inside.
So get writing…………………you will not regret it!