Monday, July 16, 2012

Anybody Can Write a Book!


"Anybody can write a book."

 Seriously?

"Yeah, anybody can write a book."

Absolutely not.

"Huh, anybody can write a book. I know if such and such wrote one, I know I can."

"Really? Really?"

Writers are a dime a dozen.

Sitting in the small, elegant room surrounded by a roomful of gossiping women preparing for a few hours of pampering and beauty treatment, I strained my ears to make sure I had heard what I thought I had.

 To my chagrin, I had indeed heard correctly.

 I felt it was somewhat of an insult to imply, hell, not even imply, but to blatantly state it as a fact that a craft, an art, one I personally took very seriously, could be done by anyone. Can anybody fly a plane? Can anybody perform surgery? Can anybody move people with their words? My answer is an unequivocal, "NO!"

 I remember the days, not that long ago, when writers were well respected, well regarded leaders in their communities. Writing was a noble profession. Nowadays, with the onslaught of self-publishing and an overly saturated marketplace, it must appear that anyone can write a book because everyone and their mama's first cousin is doing so.

 I have always proclaimed that everyone has at least one good book in them. Unfortunately, that doesn't necessarily mean you can or should write it. Maybe you have a story that needs to be heard, but written by someone else.

 So, Dear Margaret,

 Regardless of what you may think, anybody cannot write a book. Writing is an art. A craft. A talent to be softly caressed, constantly nurtured and carefully honed. And writers, well writers, are in love with words because we realize they are so much more than simple letters and syllables on a page. Words possess power and magic. They evoke emotion, whether good or bad, words declare independence and announce the start of a new nation where you can become anything you want to become with hard work. Words speak of dreams of racial equity where we aren't judged by the color of our skin. Words even speak of the path to salvation. . . and heaven and hell.


Writing a book doesn't consist of throwing fragmented, disjointed and run-on sentences on a page for 200 plus pages and placing a title on the cover page. It's so much more. Sure, it may appear easy enough. Good writers have a knack of making it seem that way. . . effortless.

 In hindsight, maybe she was right. Anybody can write a book. Not everyone can write a good book.

1 Comments:

Blogger M.H.Avery said...

I enjoyed that. I have heard that from people so many times I expressed that it's a craft,talent that was given from God. You may love the language but can you make the language speak? This is what a REAL writer do when that book is written.

Saturday, August 11, 2012  

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