About that book…

Reminds me of a vaguely amusing anecdote. An author was being all a bit luvvie and woe-is-me on writing her new book so announcing ‘well I’ve had to move to Cannes to try and get this book finished, it’s been three months now‘ which was superbly riposted by ‘Yes, it takes me a while to read a book as well

I’ve been talking about writing a book for multiple decades now. Ideas are not short but actual chapters are. On earlier efforts, the only comment is to congratulate my pretentious younger self on password protecting the terribly self indulgent pap, so thereby saving innocent browsers from extended therapy. Even as a man with dignity long stripped by endless pratfalls, there’s nothing here I’m prepared to share other than the THIRD sentence which included the ohgod-please-remove-my-spleen-with-a-blunt-spoon phrase ‘my world was ill tuned to the discordant harmony of others‘.

And I’ve never touched hard drugs. Really, there’s no excuse.

Then there was a rather slick plot device which I felt very clever about right up until the point of someone far more capable actually turning into a proper book, and making a shitload of cash. Pass the matches, might as well create a bit of warmth in the funeral pyre of that idea.

Clearly actually creating something other than a few lines and a vague direction of travel was not going to make a book make. So instead I looked at a million* words on this blog chronologically sequenced from 2006 and honestly believed there might be 100,000 which’d make people laugh. And more to the point, pay. This was not so much an idea more of a total rip off from my mate Dave Barter who had successfully e-published something similar albeit it with proper grammar and better jokes.

Desultory would be the honest way to describe my efforts to mirror Dave’s success. I wrote a great intro, chopped a million words by a thousand and sweated over linking paragraphs. But while the stuff made me smile, it wasn’t a book about cycling. It wasn’t a book at all if we’re being honest. I do think a few people would have bought it** but it failed to actually answer a rather more simple question.

Not is it going to make me any money, but is it the book I wanted to write? Ah well. Here’s the thing. It’s easy to take stuff you know that makes the odd person laugh and throw it out there apologetically. Live off a few favourable reviews and worry not the elephant is still in the room. And sat squatting over fading manuscripts all terribly worthy and failing to answer the question that does really quite matter to me. Can I write something for an audience other than a bunch of bike geeks who will buy MBUK so clearly are right in the slot for the shit I produce. Courage of convictions and all that.

Comfort zone is now a bed of nails. Stop being narrow and try being wide. if it’s not about making money – which it absolutely isn’t, however self obsessed I am even I can see this isn’t a career change, it’s an indulgencey – so don’t bloody well die wondering. I have these conversations with myself all the time. Mainly because – quite rightly – no one else gives even the tiniest micro-gramme of a shit. But suddenly it’s important because a spark lit some paper talk and I lost hours writing stuff that made me laugh and made me realise there’s a whole book there desperate to get out.

For the first time in many, many months I started writing stuff because I wanted to, not because the blog felt lonely. It could still be total shit of course. But it’s going to get done. And done in less than twenty years. Mainly because each spare minute is spent desperately tapping to capture the giggling insanity of what passes for real life. I am blessed by intersections of awesome comedic merit almost every single day. Once you tap into into the reach narrative seam, this stuff writes itself. In my head anyway.

I’ll be asking for a few kind souls to gently remind me that not everyone sees the world as I do. Especially when it comes to apostrophe’s. But before anyone assumes proofreading duties, I can at least share the title: “Shooting Horses“. Which is at least the one laugh out loud idea in the book. I stole it from somewhat at work. Some things never change.

*really. there is. Thank God for the Internet. Not a single tree died in the making of this production. I may have lost a liver tho.

** because i have pictures of them doing stuff with goats that really isn’t appropriate for polite society.

5 thoughts on “About that book…

  1. Actually, does anybody see the world as you do? 🙂 Good luck, I suppose as I have read Dave Barters book I had better read yours too. ( I’m assuming the above ramblings conclude that you are writing the book, sorry but I couldn’t be arsed to read it properly……sorry, I will buy you a beer.)

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