I have a couple of old co-worker friends who have taken to writing books. I’ll call them Wayne and Joe. I have recently read their new books. These are people into their 60’s. Younger than I, now pushing past seven decades. None of them are trained English writing majors. Neither am I. It has me wondering if there is anything I am missing here…
I can’t say they are on the top ten best sellers list. I am sure they are not. But I think the reasons for publishing are similar to why I post on so many blogs. I can see the hits and tell what is being viewed but I have little idea what the reader thinks of what I have written. I write mostly for myself and a desire to put my thoughts in writing. Thoughts are fleeting, but writing is so… um… permanent. “They say”, everything on the Internet lives forever.
That’s one of the features of writing a book. It’s an age old non electronic storage system of human experience put into words. It’s still the best storage system of an individual’s expression of what they know or can imagine. Except for one-on-one physical on-the-job experience, books have long been the root of storing educational information.
I have written parts of teaching books. I and two other people (within a large corporation) wrote a complete how-to training manual on how to set up and operate a successful heating and air conditioning residential contracting business. Then the three of us spent the next few years on the road teaching the contents of the book to a few hundred dealers across the USA. The training material was then passed on to our educational department who continued the training. I and the others moved on to new challenges.
This was my first experience with heavy duty writing and publishing. Our boss was an English language major and English teacher, so the text was whittled and poked into HIGH QUALITY perfection before publication. It had to be, coming from a major player in the HVAC industry. It was quite the experience having my writing highly critiqued and making modifications for clarity and structure after coming back from the professional proof readers. I know a lot about proofing and the system of cryptic markings. What a great learning experience.
Video training is a strong alternative for information and training. However, the printed book or manual provides a far simpler, easier and portable record than any system requiring electronic hardware. Books are printed and read through the eyes. A method of information sharing that is far from obsolete. Book writing provides unlimited text editing opportunity before going public.
Books are also stored digitally in electronic form, for the new generation of readers.
I intend to explore book writing further. I have an upcoming chance to converse during a lunch with my friend Wayne. Perhaps I can get a little inspiration into the process and the reasons he has retired into a new career of book writing. I don’t think his motivation is “for profit,” but I will ask how much that plays into his process. I think it is mostly because he wants to record and preserve what he knows or has learned from his life.
Wayne is a Texas history buff. It is writing that forms the best record of all that has happened in the past.
Joe, my other writer friend, is A C3-C4 quadriplegic. A bicycle accident changed his life in 2008. Writing for him is a mental exercise ability, used to expand his mind and thoughts far beyond the limitations of his body. I was unaware until very recently what happened to Joe. I re-connected and had lunch with him last week. What he is doing for himself through writing, is a life altering experience for me. Nine years after his accident, nothing is apparently wrong inside his head or mind about his situation. The modern computer writing tools (dictation) let him explore and write with purpose. He is good at writing and not limited by his physical condition.
Life changing for me as it has motivated me to consider what power there is using just the mind and writing with a purpose. More than blogging, Should I consider book writing? Oh, yeah… Joe writes a blog column too.
I am putting my toe in the water. I need to acquire a little more information and motivation. Shall I dive in?
Writing is an unlimited expressive opportunity. I can go in any direction, on any topic, for any reason. I feel my thoughts exploding with the possibilities. I feel a little like that happening here with my blogs. What could I feel if I write a real book? Book writing is far more focused than random blog rantings.
One adage is to write what I know. I understand and agree. But it is also possible to write about what I don’t know. Just because it is written doesn’t make anything true. I think there is as much and probably more deceit and fantasy written than factual truth.
I need to have a purpose. A reason, not necessarily as good as Joe’s, for spending the effort in book writing. The reason must be so strong that I willingly spend the time to write. Is it just for the fun? Is it instructional? Is it a record of knowledge? Does it need to be a book? What other forms of writing should be explored?
I am already actively engaged in Blog writings as this post provides the evidence. Is book length writing a better opportunity for me to express and record my thoughts. Books are “Old School” for sure but it will probably keep me on one topic for a while. Ha! Can I survive that?
Book writing is a thought I will explore in my own good time. When it is right for me, I will know.