I want you to write your book. Not the vague generic “you” of the unnamed faces of possible readers of my blog.
I mean you, the specific person reading this right now.
I want you to be a hero.
Have you ever seen a little kid stand up to a bully? Everyone else meekly stands by, angry, but too scared to speak up.
There are bullies who want to frighten you into submission. To prevent you from writing your book. They don’t want to hear what you have to say because they don’t care what you have to say.
Stand up to the bullies. Speak out.
Write your book.
What if you fail? What’s the worst thing that can happen? You won’t die. Your loved ones won’t die.
Trust me, the worst thing that can happen is that your book will writhe in anguished silence on a lonely shelf.
But you won’t die.
Consider the opposite: what if you succeed? What if even one solitary stranger buys your book, trusts your description of it and the cover and the excerpts and all that, and shells out their hard-earned money for your book?
There are few greater glories.
But that’s not the opposite of failing. Whether your book dies on a shelf or gloriously enlivens another human being, there’s something far worse.
What happens if you don’t write your book?
Not “what happens to your book?” because there is no book.
What happens to you?
What happens if you let the bullies out there, or the toughest bully, the one inside your head, intimidate you out of your art?
What happens if you go to your grave with this book unborn?
A miscarriage is a tragic event in part because it’s invisible. We have endured such things, my Best Beloved and I, and it’s not possible to convey the level of hurt to someone who hasn’t experienced it.
If your book is never written, we might never miss the book.
But we’ll see it in your eyes. We’ll hear it in your voice. That dead, flat spot in your soul, where you’d have contentment and peace and a certain amount of joy, if only you’d write that book.
Every time you hear about a new book, every time a friend or distant acquaintance says hey, I wrote a book, every time you look in the mirror, you’ll know:
I have a book dead inside me.
Resurrection. Birth. These are eternal themes in literature for a reason: the acts of creation are Divine gifts that make us human, make us more than animal, only slightly less than gods.
Every single person who has ever written a book has dared greatly, no matter what the proportion of perceived success accrued to them.
Authors dare greatly.
Every author dares greatly.