Pharmacist,

This conversation is closed.

When to write a book?

"You should write a book about that"...a common in response to an experience shared with another...but should I? What makes a story so compelling that it needs to be authored and published?

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      Apr 24 2013: Conratulations, Don.

      I'm not sure I fully agree with "no tension and worry" in the process of writing, or any artistic process, especially visual, musical or a combination. If you think about Edvard Much, Frida, Kafka, Vonnegut - what led to the process itself was not worry-free. In some cases, it was suffering that brought about creation of masterpieces. It's individual, I guess.
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    Apr 18 2013: Your mind and memories are a book, constantly adding more and more chapters. Putting it on paper or into words is the tricky part. Even if you write for just a little bit each day, when you wake up, before going to bed, maybe on your lunch break, you will end up compilling your book. You can write about anything, your own experiences, your own thoughts, might even make up your own stories. Who knows you may even end up coming to enjoy it and find it relaxing. When should you write a book, whenever you want!
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      Apr 21 2013: Or write:

      - a book of poems
      - a diary
      - a blog
      - a script
      - a whatever that gives you the feeling that you're creating :)
      • Apr 23 2013: Anna, The feeling is the reward.

        Many times I have spent 3 or 4 hours writing,
        concentrating, searching for data to include,
        and then, ... a knock upon my door.

        I am dead in the water. I hit delete.
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    Apr 23 2013: To Frank Barry, the Living Book

    Thanks for your reply -

    "Anna, The feeling is the reward.

    Many times I have spent 3 or 4 hours writing,
    concentrating, searching for data to include,
    and then, ... a knock upon my door.

    I am dead in the water. I hit delete. "

    Think that you did not hit delete, that the text evaporated because you changed the platform and you didn't care to learn the new Ctrl-Z, or that you spilled ink on the sheet of paper you've been working on for hours and there is no known technology to get it all back... In such a case a knock on your door may be a blessing... But you may just want to bang your head against it, may also work, who knows...

    But since you used the word delete, here's one I still have, with the word in it. I got a thought on how inaccurate the distinction between a Cat Person and a Dog Person is, so I wrote the following:

    Cat People
    They pur, they palliate, the pursue
    They pun, they poke, they presume
    They play with their prey as they preach

    Dog People
    They dive, they dig, they delete
    The drown as they save. No deceit.
    Trained by the demons they meet.

    On a weird reversal
    I'm a bunny person.

    I blow and break bubbles
    When their bloated pig muzzles
    Tell me
    That all they need are cuddles.

    --

    I know you should probably revise the first draft of the craft, that this made only me feel jolly by a veiled foolish folly and that this is, well, useless in its contemporary cuteness...

    But whenever you hear of a wrongdoer near say - "Feed him to the bunnies."

    Thanks Frank, Emily Dickinson bless you :)
    • Apr 23 2013: Anna, very nicely done.

      a few minutes ago...
      My son's cat, an ugly orange male, walked past me at the mail box.
      He continued to the sidewalk bordering the street.
      He sat and howled a few times, was quiet and howled again.

      About a week ago his brother cat was run over while playing in the same street at about the same place.

      My neighbor remarked, "I think he is mourning his sibling."

      From this penetrating remark, a poem, a story, a masterpiece, all
      could be accomplished. One has but to start.
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    Apr 22 2013: Once we erase the need to take any thing that could be done and we do it not for the need to support ourselves via some silly currency that is needed to buy things that every other being needs to live, then maybe we can focus on doing things because we actually feel it is needed or we just wanted to because we love it.

    Then when you want to write a book, you'll actually want to write the book, and you'll be more passionate to that very question...
    • Apr 23 2013: Michael, you are so right.
      Professional writers are a work-ethic bunch.
      They are trying to leave their mark on society,
      all while using their talents to make a buck

      There is nothing wrong with that.
      We all enjoy reading both fiction and non-fiction.

      I read a book "every day", and have since childhood.
      With my "Kindle" within reach, I have a 1,000 books
      to read 24/7/365. This current batch, stands at 678 read.
      More than half-way through my latest, Wicked Prey #19
      by John Sanford. One of those Lucus Davenport novels.

      I may be wasting my time. But it is my time.
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    Apr 20 2013: I am just finishing my first book. You should write a book because you have something to say and because of who you will become in the process.
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    Apr 19 2013: You should write a book when the book would come exploding out of your brain and shatter your thinking if you kept it all bottled up. You write a book when you just can't help it.

    Or, you can get yourself "in the flow" and let the muses of inspiration work their magic through you as you record your book.

    But if you have to sit down in front of a keyboard, paper, or recorder and create something, that is probably the worst time to write a book.
    • Apr 23 2013: Danger, I agree.
      I never liked to create a project I couldn't control
      before I started.
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    Apr 17 2013: Jodie, I have a interest in the local history. I have conducted the research and have set the frame work and even started the manuscript.

    The question now is why. Certainly not for money as it really only involves the local area and a few miles in any direction. No market there. It is certainly a lot of work ... I have listened to stories ... read articles ... and beat the bushes.

    In the end ... it is something I had on what is now called my "bucket list". I have published articles and technical research but this is different. Being very honest ... it is a ego trip. Something to prove to those in my family I was here and did something worthwhile.

    So far this has been fun ... it is a labor of love. But no doubt about it .... its work.

    In the end we do it because we want to do it ... and hope that others like it.

    I wish you well. Bob.
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      Apr 17 2013: I like many others am looking onto my ancestry, and finding stories and not just names and dates is what makes it interest. So on behalf of us current and future ancestry finders, I think you and your fellow local historians.

      I was thinking that there needs to be a web site for finding books on local history, and did a search and came across this group. http://www.alhn.org/ some states have links local history books, I thought you may be interested.
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    Apr 24 2013: When one knows that one has something substantial to tell others and the capacity to do it.
  • Apr 21 2013: Only stories that the gov and multinational corporations don't want to hear are the ones worth telling. The problem is, they won't allow it to be published and neither will the fully corrupt Courts.
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    Apr 20 2013: Good afternoon all,

    Many wish to have written, few possess the stamina to write.

    Expanding even a 1,000-word tale into a 100,000 book is difficult, grueling work.

    Do all you can to make today a good day,

    Jeff
    • Apr 21 2013: Jeff, thank you for your understanding.

      Writing need not be difficult. Just write what you feel.
      The spelling is not important as you write. Just write.
      Words will come, just think and type. Unless you have
      a voice machine to aid you.

      I tell stories when I write. I take small experiences and
      tell it like it is. It brings me a satisfaction.

      But, remember, like everything else, you must first start.
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        Apr 22 2013: Good morning Frank,

        That's true, you're absolutely right.

        Years ago I adapted the following from a piece written by one of my favorite writers, Walter Mosley, and made it my daily, morning liturgy:

        "I am a writer. I write every day. The consistency, the monotony, the certainty, all vagaries and passions are covered by this daily reoccurrence.

        A writer does not go to a well once but daily. I don't skip a child's breakfast or forget to wake up in the morning. Sleep comes to me each day, and so does my muse.

        Kaliope comes softly and quietly, behind my left ear or in a corner of the next room. Her words are whispers, her ideas shifting renditions of possibilities that have not been resolved, though they have occurred and reoccurred a thousand times in my mind. She is a collection of memories not exactly my own.

        These reminiscences surface in dreams or out of abstract notions brought on by tastes and excitations, failures and hopes that I experience continually. These ideas have no physical form. They are smoky concepts liable to disappear at the slightest disturbance. An alarm clock or a ringing telephone will dispel a new character; answering the call will erase a chapter from the world. My most precious ability, the knack of creation, is also my most fleeting resource. What might be fades in the world of necessity.

        How can I create when I have to go to work, cook my dinner, remember what I did wrong to the people who have stopped calling? And even if I do find a moment here and there – a weekend away in the mountains, say – how can I say everything I need to say before the world comes crashing back with all of its sirens and shouts and television shows?

        ''I know I have a novel in me,'' I often hear people say. ''But how can I get it out?''

        The answer is, always is, every day.

        The dream of the writer, of any artist, is a fickle and amorphous thing. One evening I’m remembering a homeless (continued on next comment)...
        • Apr 23 2013: Jeff, imagination is everything.
          You've got it all.

          Myself, I tell stories.
          Truths that may be embellished a bit.
          Stilted somewhat.
          No time at this moment to share.
          Later perhaps.

          Stick with your imagination.

          I will add this query...
          Have you noticed when sleeping;
          on one side, analytical,
          the other side emotional?
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        Apr 22 2013: (continued from previous comment)... "man, dressed in clothes that smelled like cheese rinds, whom I once stood next to on a street corner in New York. My memory becomes a reverie, and in this daydream I ask him where he's from. With a thick accent he tells me that he was born in Hungary, that he was a freedom fighter, but that now, here in America, his freedom has deteriorated into the poverty of the streets. I write down a few sentences in my journal and sigh. This exhalation is not exhaustion but anticipation at the prospect of a wonderful tale exposing a notion that I still only partly understand.

        A day goes by. Another passes. At the end of the next week I find myself in the same chair, at the same hour when I wrote about the homeless man previously. I open the journal to see what I'd written. I remember everything perfectly, but the life has somehow drained out of it. The words have no art to them; I no longer remember the smell. The idea seems weak, it has dissipated, like smoke.

        This is the first important lesson that the writer must learn. Writing a novel is gathering smoke.

        Writing is an excursion into the ether of ideas. There's no time to waste. I must work with that idea as well as I can, jotting down notes and dialogue. The first day the dream I gathered will linger, but it won't last long. The next day I have to return to tend to my flimsy vapors. I have to brush them, reshape them, breathe into them and gather more.

        I have to begin each day with my work because creation, like life, is always slipping away from me. I must write every day. One day I might read over what I've done and think about it. I pick up the pencil or turn on the computer, but no new words come. That's fine. Sometimes I can't go further. Correct a misspelling, reread a perplexing paragraph, and then let it go. I have re-entered the dream of the work, and that's enough to keep the story alive for another twenty-four hours. The next day I might write for hours; (continued)...
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        Apr 22 2013: : (continued) "there's no way to tell. All I need to do is to keep my heart and mind open to the work.

        Nothing I create is art at first. It's simply a collection of notions that may never be understood. Returning every day thickens the atmosphere. Images appear. Connections are made. But even these clearer notions will fade if I stay away more than a day.

        Reality fights against my dreams, it tries to deny creation and change. The world wants me to be someone known, someone with solid ideas, not blowing smoke. Given a day, reality will begin to scatter my notions; given two days, it will drive them off.

        The act of writing is a kind of guerrilla warfare; there is no vacation, no leave, no relief. In actuality there is very little chance of victory.

        I am, I fear, like that homeless man, likely to be defeated by my fondest dreams.

        Then the next day comes, and the words, and Kaliope, are waiting. I pick up where I left off, in the cool and shifting mists of morning."

        Adapted from "For Authors, Fragile Ideas Need Loving Every Day"
        by Walter Mosley, 3 July 2000.
  • Apr 18 2013: A compelling story is when you write about your own experiences and you know it will resonate with the readers and they can identify themselves or others within it.
    • Apr 23 2013: nikki, You are right as rain.

      I handicap horse races at the local "watch and wager".
      Eventually someone will pass by me, say, "Hello Frank",.
      and the equations I am working with inside my head
      seem to fall to the floor like a house of cards destroyed.
  • Apr 18 2013: Every book has it's reader. The main thing is the quantity of readers who choose to read this or that book. The same experiences, interests, problems of people may determine the popularization of particular book or author in particular period of life.
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    Apr 18 2013: When you are bubbling with ideas and no one seems to listen? Its a good way to test your ideas first hand.
  • Apr 18 2013: When the words of a story express an emotion that the reader can feel,then the reader becomes part of that experience.A great writer can paint a very vivid mental picture of people places and things and bring life even to the most mundane subjects.
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    Apr 17 2013: When you feel the urge to...
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    Apr 16 2013: If you are interested in writing a book, you might be interested in Amy Tan's TED talk to understand her process. The best blogger, in my opinion, who advises aspiring writers is Steven Pressfield, author of War of Art, Do the Work, Turning Pro, and lots of historical novels.

    Ann Lammott and Ann Dillard are novelists with good books on the subject as well that convey their experience..
    • Apr 16 2013: I thank you for your responses and In following youe suggestion I came upon a quote from Anne Lamott: "books help us understand who we are and how we behave...they show us how to live and die."
      I suppose if a story told can do this, it may be time to start to write.
  • Apr 23 2013: High gang --
    I've had numerous "thumbs up" responses from some really good writers.
    and I was thinking before I cranked up my computer.

    Why is there no "Department of Prevention" in our Governments ???

    If anyone out there thinks this would be a great topic to expand upon,
    please, please, take the time to answer me, or give me a "thumbs up".

    If you feel we are all without hope in this area. Speak up.
    Show your writing skills.
    Thank you all.
    • Apr 24 2013: I think that would be a great topic to expand on indeed. In altruistic theory, that seems that it would be a needed department. But, how would it fit into the economic scheme of things? Money wise, politically wise, etc.
      • Apr 24 2013: Sarah, thank you.
        The precondition of a civilized society is the barring of physical force from social relationships—thus establishing the principle that if men wish to deal with one another, they may do so only by means of reason: by discussion, persuasion and voluntary, uncoerced agreement. -- Ayn Rand
        ===
        Ayn Rand is usually not the spokesperson one would use in this instance, but she has a point here.

        After watching most of the 20th century and now 13% of the 21st, I am sickened of War, and the continuous nuclear threatening.

        A more sound action by Governments would take away any threat of War as the means of reaching agreement.
        ===
        On a more basic level -- Women do not enjoy getting beat by their husbands and have taken actions to change laws that help to stop the violence. Seems appropriate to this discussion.
        ===
        Economic scheme? Money wise? Politically wise?
        Losing economically, money wise, and politically wise is not something to fight a War about, or to be used as excuses for killing and maiming men, women, and wee children.

        I pray dear lady that you can agree.
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      Apr 24 2013: Many governments do have "Department of Prevention" they just go by other names.
      Many countries have freedom of the press, but those you don’t do have a "Department of free speech Prevention". And the same goes for all other freedoms, education, travel, religion, etc. and of course freedom from slavery and imprisonment.

      The question should be how can we convince all governments freedom is better for them, then prevention.
      • Apr 24 2013: Don, thank you.
        I strongly believe
        ALL Governments should give up War.

        Perhaps we should consider Restricting Government Actions.
        I we can. And today that is doubtful. As long as they have control of 100% of the media 24/7/365 from election to election.

        We stopped the "Draft".
        But Washington DC just keeps on "Making Wars".
        They always have a new excuse.
        "They Blame Someone for Doing Something Really Bad."
        They calling another Government head Bad Names.
        Then Make War on poor Nations who cannot fight effectively.

        We citizens buy this perfumed garbage and cheer our sons and daughters as they go forth to kill and maim and to be killed and maimed.
        ===
        The word "hero" is today a label added to a casket.
        But has anyone noted -- That the media, no longer show the returned "Hero's" or their caskets, on the nightly news.
        We have all become callused.
        ===
        The United Nations was created to stop this kind of thing.
        But it quickly became controlled by the Bully Boys, with the Biggest Bombs.

        I have to stop now. I quickly get out of control.


        .
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      Apr 25 2013: But there are departments of prevention in all governments, they're just preventing different phenomena. Sometimes sickness, sometimes health of threatening nations, sometimes war, sometimes peace among potentially strong, rich and influential nations. Depending on the situation. But in general what they are trying to prevent is what they, for different reasons, perceive as threatening to their own power, power of their allies or the power of those who got them where they are. It may be for the greater good but... is it? Time will show. Or not. Luckily, there are U.N. Charters.

      Why not starting a new debate about this here on TED, Frank?

      Peace.

      http://www.ted.com/talks/jonas_gahr_store_in_defense_of_dialogue.html
      • Apr 25 2013: Anna, thank you dear..
        I just did start a new debate with a query.
        It is my first one, and I probably made a mistake or two
        getting started. Oh, well, we can only try.

        Government Officials unfortunately are peopled by men and women who think they have been given a right to subject lesser peoples to their will. In America, we citizens regard this as folly, on the part of the Government "employee". But it actually isn't folly at all. It exists. And as such deprives all of us of freedoms.

        Not all government employees think this way. And most all of them are honest and forthright and helpful and considerate.
        Just as long as we let them take their coffee break on time and don't mind standing there and being ignored while they do so.

        But when we look upon the Elected Officials, things change.
        We're suddenly aware that we've created a monster. Arrrugh!!
        .
        I had better stop here. I am getting out of control.
  • Apr 23 2013: Jeff, a bit more...
    I was schooled in Vermont, St. Albans...
    and became the Poet Laureate of our student body.
    Upon graduation day, I was given the task of writing,
    and telling my poem. It happened like this...

    We foolish boys got a bit drunk the night before.
    "Dime Beers" and Dago Red Wine.

    Next morning, Graduation day, and still tipsy...
    At 5 minutes to show time,
    I slipped into the Janitor's mop-closet,
    and wrote my poem.

    Reading from the lectern
    to the graduates assembled below,
    I read -- "Green Grows the Ivy"
    The girls all cried, every one of them.

    Must have been the Beer...
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    Apr 22 2013: The other day I heard an ad for audiobooks and it has me wondering; with day’s voice-to-text technology if it would be better to start with verbally telling the story instead of writing/typing/printing it.

    Is there any reason we should not revert back to using the oral story/history telling?
    • Apr 23 2013: Don,
      you've easily won the HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD award.
      Be proud, you deserve it.
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      Apr 24 2013: Don,

      I'm waiting for thought-to-text technology ;-)

      But oral storytelling never disappeared, just changed gear and place.
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    Apr 22 2013: When u feel it, just do it :) then just keep doing it, and one day you will have your own book :)
  • Apr 21 2013: Write daily. Every day. No matter the time.
    Going back to edit after 3 or 4 days, or a couple of weeks.
    Re-write to say it all a different way.

    Criticize - Our government for it's folly. I enjoy doing so.
    Publish on the internet. Daily.

    If you must have an audience, research where you can get one.
    Otherwise, forget your ego and just tell it like it is.
    • Apr 24 2013: What of Ted and its censorship? What of all the websites and their censorship? Why does Ted censor what it cannot refute and why does it take it from view?

      Gravity

      Original work
      Jim Ryan

      Look to the space junk that NASA wants to possibly incinerate in space. It must be tin a high orbit not to fall back to earth. That suggests that gravity is keeping it there. There are two forces in gravity, one is attraction and one is repulsion. I will explain. The planets must sit in the suns high orbits, considering their mass, keeping them from falling into the sun, just as the space junk does not fall back to earth from its high orbit around the earth.

      Ted keeps taking it off the board. Can any of you refute the above? Ted can't.
      • Apr 24 2013: Jim, I am going to make a guess here.
        It is only my opinion. Thank you for bringing this up.
        The Moderator has nailed me a few times too.
        I get out of control. I love to be too involved. haha

        In my opinion TED has an obligation of sorts to keep responses kind of "on point".
        While your reply is important, It might not be "on point".
        "When to write a book" is the "point".

        The moderator at TED, keeping out the bad language, and other things like spam and such, may just be a bit too critical in your case. Hey!, or not.

        So, write about something to do with "writing about something", and you might not have a problem.
        ===
        In the 1970's I built TVRO systems and captured signals from satellites. Ours were set in place about 23,500 miles above the earth. The USSR's sputnik, was in a completely different type of orbit. Eventually most of those fell to earth and some burned up before landing. SAT-COM1 may still be up there, I don't know.
        We sure got a lot of TV entertainment off it. It was one of the satellites that helped start the Cable TV businesses.

        We all enjoyed the beginning of Cable TV, because we got it free. Until the night of the Ali-Liston fight. They scrambled the satellite signal as the bell rang for the first round. We had popcorn and beer, and had just settled into our chairs to watch. I was shocked into action. I thought, how can we get another satellite that would have a clear signal. The answer, economics. The Canadian's satellite didn't have enough money to pay for scrambling. So we cranked the dish and got the signal and ate our popcorn and drank our beer. Oh! I forgot. Ali won the fight.
        • Apr 24 2013: I was responding to what you said about the gov's folly, only I aimed mine at Ted. I'm pretty sure many things are said on each thread that don't perfectly align, especially if someone else shifts the needle first,-- so to speak, but I do understand your point. I liked your story, hope your having a lucky week.


          By the way Frank, everything and everyone are dependent on everything and everyone else. IE; no one can make a pencil or a gallon of gas all by themselves.
  • Apr 21 2013: What makes a story so compelling that it needs to be authored and published?

    When I can share experiences from my life which will help others in understanding themselves as well as this mystery called 'life' better.
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    Apr 21 2013: Use of language and style. Know your audience, and the audience you want.

    I've attended tons of the international writers workshops and they all reach down to the core of what I mentioned above, along with other fluffy stuff.

    Readers can sense your passion in-between the lines. If this is what you love doing then shoot for the stars, second doubting yourself becomes irrelevant so remove the "should I?" and practice your writing techniques.

    Julia R.
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    Apr 20 2013: When the inspiration comes. I think we only have really good ideas to write a book when we have an inspiration. Every person could write a book, if he'll really want to do that.
    • Apr 21 2013: Kamila, Why wait..?

      Just start writing.
      Inspiration may not be recognized for what it is
      at a time when you are not prepared to write..

      And inspiration can fade or morph into something else.
      Just start writing.
      • Comment deleted

        • Apr 23 2013: Don, Inspiration that is growing need to be fed.
          Feed it.
          Write...
          If you cannot decide upon a topic,
          take a page from a newspaper, tear it up,
          toss the pieces into the air, and grab just one.

          Make that your topic to start with.
          You can change later.
          Start. . .
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    Apr 20 2013: My favorite reads are from authors that have a unique perspective that is honed from experiences that are different from my own. What is 'novel' about your potential novel? what is the passion behind it? I'm sure it depends quite a bit on what type of book you want to write but if you can make people think, question, or draw them into a world different from typical experience then you already have a compelling start. Also, many great authors do not know where their story is going or what the primary point of it will be, so don't over concern yourself with that until you have a first, second or 15th draft done. Happy writing.
  • Apr 20 2013: "You should write a book about that"...a common in response to an experience shared with another...but should I?

    Seriously if you have to ask the question then the answer is no.

    If only because it requires dedication, a insane about of belief, and a will of steel to get to that last of 300 pages.

    As to "what makes it compelling", one answer you might find - is the same.
    • Apr 23 2013: Tify, 300 pages Wow.

      That would make 30 to 60 books for me to write.
      The short story is my favorite.
      And it doesn't tire the reader.
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    . .

    • +1
    Apr 17 2013: Now. Jodie. Start today. Write every day.....Its a journey....of unknown duration.....enjoy the long process....you will emerge as a whole new you.....I can't wait to read your book❤I wish you every success.
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    Apr 16 2013: Jodie, I understand your dilemma.

    I never had any interest in writing a book and still don’t, but events in my life have trusted the need upon me or have they?
    With aging parents I took it upon myself to do my ancestry and part time over the past year I have found more info then I thought I would. Currently it has a cast of over 450 characters (not counting currently living relatives) many with stories worth investigating.
    I have concluded that doing a normal family tree will just not do, and my relatives and no interest in helping me do the research. BUT they want it in story format, and with so many stories they a saying "You should write a book about that". So like you I’m also trying to decide if I want to invest a large amount of my time into it or not.

    First question I have is; will you enjoy and/or benefit from the journey, of writing a book?
    Many people benefit from putting their thoughts down on paper, it can be therapeutic.

    Question two; is a book the best format? In today’s world there are many options for telling stories, books, group of short stories, interactive books, comics, games, blogs, web sites, and I’m sure others.

    And part of question two is; are you seeking to entertain or benefit the reader?
    Personally I was DX 10 years ago with an immune disorder and as a result I have been on a grand spiritual journey, but sadly others with it are stuck in Why-Me and can’t benefit from what I have learned. Maybe it’s them; maybe it’s me or just not part of our grand journey of life.

    I hope you find some words of wisdom in my ramblings. ;)
    • Apr 16 2013: It is a true investment in time and I am unsure whether this will be therapeutic for me. It could possibly be helpful to others. I think I would stop if it became too heavy an experience for me. Probably short stories would be the best format although I do like the comics idea.
      I enjoyed your words of wisdom!
      • Apr 23 2013: Jodie,
        Short stories are fun to write.
        The shorter, the better.

        My Grandma used to take an oleander bush branch and
        strip the leafs off. When we kids were bad, she would
        switch us on the backs of our legs, between our knee and
        ankle. It stung, we cried, and it worked wonders.
  • Apr 16 2013: You write the book when YOU need to write the book. When you have something you need to articulate and share. One of my favorite sayings about writing is that you have to be careful not to take the lid off of the pot too soon. Letting a story heat up, mull and start to bubble over can be very rewarding. When it comes to writing about an experience you lived through, I say: take notes as you go along and write the book when you have the most interesting "angle on the experience" (to borrow a phrase from Louise Gluck).
    • Apr 16 2013: I have no real experience in writing for anyone but myself so I do appreciate your advice that an interesting angle on the experience is necessary to both write the book and engage the reader.
    • Apr 16 2013: I especially like the emphasis you placed on writing when YOU need to write the book.
  • Apr 16 2013: NOW.....just start......
  • Comment deleted

    • Apr 16 2013: Thank you for your suggestion to extend the time on this question and your response!
      Please explain why you wrote your books and novellas. Was this a requirement during your time in the University or was this a desire of yours?
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        Apr 17 2013: When I wrote my first shot novel is stimulated by the Internet Writer 's success .The fans they had . How pride they are .And I think this is the commen reason of todays Youth Writers appear .

        But as time go by , the powerful direct stimulation is about a movie or an kind of intense motion which not just satisfy shelved in inner .

        More like a desire to find a goal , a hint from our brain ,the positive character of our own tell our to achieve ourself to break the security we hold to build a new me .

        But most of the time the reality usually " kick our head " , telling me the lack of reason involved available time,
        the professional knowledge we should master , the situation of finance .

        In China the period over the university is the relatively light time comparing with the first off twelve years we undergoed.

        leastly we can verily make our own obtion , choosing to learn what we interested .
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    Apr 16 2013: When u feel it, just do it :) then just keep doing it, and one day you will have your own book :)
    • Apr 16 2013: So far I have tossed out every piece of writing because I was simply therapeutic. As I start again Ill not throw out the previous work!
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    Apr 15 2013: If you feel the story is compelling, you would enjoy writing the book, and you have the time to do so, why not? What do you have to lose?

    Would you find the project worthwhile only if it met a threshold of "needs to be authored and published?"

    Some stories emerge in writing because the author feels a need to tell the story, in part to work out her ideas. Other stories emerge because the author thinks someone should read the story.

    If the story is a memoir, those you love will be more interested than strangers will, unless you have led an extremely unusual life. But those you love may treasure it.
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    Apr 27 2013: love love love love love love for people and god
    creativity
    writing from the heart
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    Apr 26 2013: Written.
    Unpublished.
    Waiting for me to stop focusing on poetry and bring the novels out of the closet.
    Or maybe it's the book I haven't yet written that you are asking about? Ah, the memoir...the one I want so badly to write but fear no one will want to read it.
    Great question.
  • Apr 25 2013: Writing, overcome by strong feelings about a topic can be frustrating.
    Finding the words becomes embarrassingly tough.
    Here is an example of writing to a newspaper when overcome.

    WAR again?
    Has our Government lost it's mind again?
    Does the Media still insist on Backing the Hawks of War?
    Have we as a People, forgotten our compassion for peace?

    Has America become such that
    the prisoners at GITMO
    Riot in Despair?

    Are we LOST?
    ===
    Expressing wonderment seems to work the best when in the moment.
    Looking back when applying an edit, may not show the same intensity.
    Am I making sense?
  • Apr 25 2013: To Don Wesley, Thank you Don.
    You've mentioned looking at my profile twice now, maybe I need refresh it.

    Writing about and studying Plate Tectonics threw me a curve into something else a couple of years ago. I found a poster with a GOCE photograph of the Earth.

    GOCE's prime purpose is to map very subtle differences in the pull of gravity across the surface of the Earth caused by the uneven distribution of mass within the planet.

    GOCE is a subject that hasn't had a lot of "press" yet. They are about 3 years into a 5 or 10 year unique study of the earth through the lens of a very low satellite camera. A lot of money has gone into this study.

    I enlarged the poster photograph 10 times or so for my poor eyes to see. And then, to my ultimate surprise, I found something that just could not be explained. In the area of Chili, on the poster.

    To identify which picture. it was labeled "Poster" and was of the earth in colors of bright red and blue. It was -- Well..., look and find it. You will be happy when you do.
  • Apr 25 2013: For me writing a book has been a challenge for quite some years. I get to develop the stories, their characters are ready made people roaming around and then I can write very well too.

    All that is missing is time and persistence.

    So for writing a book, you must have stamina to sit on it patiently and deliberate your attention to the content.
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    Apr 24 2013: Jodie, write a story whenever you feel like it. If there ain't enough feeling then wait, but you may wait forever. Story telling is a serious endeavor even when it is fiction or comedy, so you need the feeling to keep you going through the writer-block, over friends' critic, under the terrible weight of pure depressing boredom .... Write one story in your life is enough, but more than one ain't a bad thing for any writer.

    If you get published, then someone feels it is a compelling story.

    IMO: To write a "compelling" story? What compels you to write? Your edits, friends comments, and spell-check will help the the compelling story to be professionally polished for publishing.
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    Apr 24 2013: Or feelings were in a hurry to create and hide, hide and create or even hide what you feel you must create.

    Frank. About the mourning cat - that would be a good children's tale.
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    Apr 24 2013: I have every intention of writing a book. I had an overwhelming idea one day and I began to write a plan, idea's and characters. Development is very important. I would have to witness a truly incredible event to have the inspiration and will to write a book or any length.

    As it has been said in Ted Talks, A reason, a purpose, a Why? is an incredibly powerful thing in all aspects or life. If your book explores ideas or perspectives then with proper distribution of the idea people will come to you. If you write a book based on What, a book that is simply a book for the sake of writing with much embellishment and good use of words then you will have to rely on a lot more on other aspects and help.
  • Apr 23 2013: I try to avoid, books that overwhelm with descriptions of attire, etc.,
    merely to expand a short story into a larger one.

    I am reading one of them today. Tiresome.

    Writers should know when they have gone past the line.
    But, I've noticed with the cheaper priced, but popular writers,
    they ignore the reader, just to fill the book.

    Readers have rights. We do not like being taken advantage of
    by such weary tactics. Tiresome to read over and over again
    the same tripe.

    Expansion be dammed. Discount the Price if you use this ploy!!!.
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      Apr 25 2013: I agree with you completely, Frank.
      Relevant to this is something I've heard several times in writing classes: It takes two to make a story - the author and the reader. Of which the reader is perhaps 40 percent. Meaning that the author sketches the story in such a way that the reader's imagination can take over and fill in his own details. The story you read and create will be a different story from the one I read and create, though they are the same story.

      If the reader is denied the opportunity to contribute creatively in reading the story, there's no pleasure in the reading.

      I used to suffer from the malady that I felt a moral obligation to finish a book once I started on it, as if I were indebted to the author. Not any more. If the author hogs the stage and doesn't let me on, the book's history. Like you I experienced most of the past century, and I don't have time for bad authors.
      • Apr 25 2013: Paul, TED has a weekly limit on "Thumbs Up"
        but I can give you yours here... "Thumbs Up"

        I do the same as you.
        Read a bit, (a book a day)
        ... if it's not being written, said or done right I toss it.

        Let me tell you (write you) a story --
        I love to write. I do so every day.
        I have problems with social gatherings and hugs.
        But I have so many friends that visit me, I never have to leave the house. I play pool two hours a day. 3 and 4 cushion bank shots are my specialty. My friends at the Senior Center actually send a car to get me. I walk back, and these days it is getting tough.

        I handicap horse-races on the phone with a friend from 3pm to 8pm every day, and over the last 20 years have built a computer program that gets 60 to 80 percent right. So, now I handicap by hand, pen and paper. It is tougher, but satisfying to be right. I seldom wager. As we get older, like buying real estate, it makes no sense.

        Simple story -- Hope you liked it. My nutshell life.
        Frank
  • Apr 23 2013: Hi Don,

    Yup, It was real. I actually won the Vermont Historical Society's
    3rd place award for poetry during the xxx year anniversary of
    the exploration of Lake Champlain near St. Albans.

    A few years ago, I attempted to find my poem in their publication,
    but was unsuccessful.

    Memories will have to do the job instead.
  • Apr 23 2013: when we are able to formulate a question properly in english, i would say. that's not the interrogative mood and the addition of a question mark doesn't make it so. many people have absolutely fascinating stories, but it's a precious few who can elucidate them well, particularly with any artistic flair. i would suggest practice and gradual steps. maybe take a class, try a few stories and test them on others, and if all goes well then go for it!
    • Comment deleted

      • Apr 23 2013: i think you've misunderstood.
        i'm not writing a book, and i have no illusions that i'd be capable of doing so.
        it's interesting that you bring up the point of sounding like a book, which is my point. a lot of people think they're great authors and all they're doing is regurgitating the same old thing in the same old style as so many others, which has led to the situation we have now with so many books yet few good reads, which i guess is why when a good author does turn up it really gets a lot of attention. having a story and a pen is not enough.
      • Apr 24 2013: you're right on the mark but got there from the opposite direction. when i started out as a teacher i found the textbooks lacking and started writing my own material. at first they were pretty bad (though of course i couldn't see that it at the time, it's only now looking back) but after more than 5 years and lots of experimentation much has improved, though it has taken its toll on my writing, as you quite correctly noted. people tend to start off terribly but become good at the things they do, which is why i suggested that jody practice.
      • Apr 24 2013: Don,
        i was reading your response to Ben, and saw your statement about your brother Vincent. "He was also very doubtful of the Theory of Plate Tectonics."

        I too have been doubtful about the same theory. For years I've railed in my mind against such a thing. And I found on the internet a unique answer. The fellow, (I forget his name or the site he used), was able to show, convincingly, the effects of just expanding the earth like a balloon. As the earth expanded, the continents shifted, from billions of years ago, to the present.
        It worked. The Himalaya's were shown being formed by a compression due to varied movements. It worked. It could just be a hoax, but somehow it re-enforced my belief that the Theory of Plate Tectonics was indeed not the force behind continental drifts.

        Have a nice day, Don.
      • Apr 25 2013: Sorry to intervene Don,
        I just started that other conversation --
        Governments have a Department of War Prevention.
        and I also wrote here a comment to you about a
        GOCE poster I saw recently.
        Frank.
    • Apr 23 2013: Ben, I disagree.
      Correct grammar should be left to "the corrector".
      Tests rely upon enforcement.
      An artist, a writer, needs freedom of expression in all forms.
      • Apr 23 2013: and in the case of a book the corrector will be the publisher, and grammar will make the difference between getting read to the point where it might get published, or being sent back with a form letter before reaching the 3rd line. the reason is that having a standard set of rules for communication allows for a wider audience, which is essential for a book. it's for the same reason that universities agree on rules of style, so that communications maintain their integrity.
      • Apr 24 2013: and without an effective means of communicating the quality of the wine, the reader can't be sure of what you're trying to say about it. it should come as no surprise that so many great authors have studied english, classics, or both. i would say that on the contrary grammar aids creativity, as it allows authors to express exactly what it is they have in their minds to convey to their readers. for exampl consider "the boat came ashore" and "he brought the boat ashore" - the difference is important, and i'd argue that in art it is details and nuances that are the most important of all.
        • Apr 24 2013: Ben, you are right.
          I just find immediate correction is too quick.
          But you are right.
      • Apr 25 2013: likewise don! thank you for the continuing conversation.
        i think we're almost on the same page. i want to be clear though that my support of good grammar doesn't extend to every situation, nor it is for ceremonial purposes. quite the contrary actually, obeying the standards of communication is for function alone and has to ceremonial or artistic quality, but it ensures that the ideas are received as they were conceived by the author.
        i find that misunderstandings are quite common here on ted discussions, which makes sense really because we are such a disparate group of people. here though at least we can continue and clarify, but that's just not possible between an author and their readers, so it has to be right, and so while good grammar isn't necessary in most daily communications, it's absolutely essential to master before writing attempting to write a book.
        interesting to hear about you and your brother. i hope to hear about your experiences in manufacturing some day. i think the yellow lines is an excellent analogy actually. for myself, if i'd found the lot empty in the morning i'd park within the lines, as more are likely to follow and want to park either side, whereas in the evening i'd be more inclined so stop wherever was closest since it would make no difference.
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    Apr 23 2013: David Sedaris.
    One of my favourite authors of all time. He can have me completely glued to the page about something as ridiculous as his partner popping a boil on his butt. Not because it is necessarily a great story (actually, it is) but because he is a gifted author.
    You ask a subjective question. If it is in you to write, then you need to write! If you need some direction and/or motivation then I suggest you pick up a copy of Natalie Goldberg's book "Writing Down the Bones" or taking a creative writing class at your local college. There are some great writing groups out there but you may have to visit a few before you find one that is right for you.
    ...If it isn't in you to write, if it isn't a passion burning through your veins then it may become more work than pleasure to pen your anecdotes.
    Good luck to you Jodie.
  • Apr 23 2013: I have a thousand anecdotes, reflections and stories, relived from life experiences. I usually get a laugh when I tell them to others, so hey Why not share?
    Further, although I'm only 50 my memory seems to falter, so what better way to preserve these insights into history, but record them for posterity.
    Perhaps the best way would be to record them, as and when told, then review edit and wright them down, these stories would soon form the basis of a book!
    • Apr 23 2013: Rock, only 50, add 25 for me...
      My memory gets better every day.
      It's the 15 seconds later that cause the problems.

      Try writing a short story every day. I did.
      I started 2 years ago and have 3 or 4 done.
      Probably had many more, but in clearing my computer
      I deleted anything older than 2012.

      During a family get together, I read one of my stories.
      It was well received. I stopped sending my daughter-in-law
      my daily NY Times rants about the political corruption.
      Two weeks later, she made a special trip to tell me face to face
      that I had to start sending them to her again.

      Seems that when you get it going, everyone you know
      will become a reader.

      Go ahead, get started. Remember Shakespeare did....
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    Apr 17 2013: When it comes to self-help products I like to induce you to outside the box thinking with SupperBetter http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_the_game_that_can_give_you_10_extra_years_of_life.html & https://www.superbetter.com/ not as a suggestion as what to do, but instead to show how far outside the box can be gone.
    In Jane McGonigal’s case she took her own talents/skills and used them to create a self-help product/tool that helped her and many others.

    So play to your strengths and work from the hart, and I’m sure it will be great!
  • Apr 16 2013: I will look at these, thank you. The process of writing isn't so much a problem, rather, is the story worth the telling?
    Everyone has a story and many have been written that I ,frankly, wish I hadnt wasted my time reading.How do we determine whether our personal stories have meaning to anyone but ourselves?
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      Apr 16 2013: It is still valid to think first of what you like to read. Fresh takes or perspectives on a universal theme or story? Stories that capture places that have some meaning to you or that you have always found intriguing but never seen from an inside view? Stories that give you a peek into the mind and heart of someone who has rare imagination or courage?

      I happen to enjoy autobiography. It is one of my favorite genres. I read autobiographies written by people old enough to look back with mature insight and who have led interesting lives or captured life with a fresh eye.

      You might want to share with someone who is not a close friend of yours the equivalent of what you would write on the book jacket. If you are in the United States, you might check whether Meetup has any writers group near you. Writers groups members do this for each other.
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      Apr 16 2013: Of course there is a problem of too many people who 'feel they have a book inside them' but refuse to leave it there.

      The answer to the 'is it worth it' question is to ask some people -- then subtract something for their wish to be enthusiastic for you.

      If you personally are wondering about writing then start and see what happens and get feedback from a writer's group. Until you've written a quarter of a million words you are unlikely to (a) have found your voice, (b) got rid of tropes, bad habits (c) learned the craft of keeping readers engaged. ie. You have to do the mileage to get consistent quality.
      • Apr 16 2013: Exactly right- there are millions of stories but not so many are worth the reading. I think there are people with crazy great stories whose obituaries I have read in the New York Times and I think why tell my story while these stories are untold?
        I totally agree that there is a skill to be learned and feedback will be required.