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