Sunday, July 5, 2009

goal: one book

I am going to write a book this year. I decided this a couple of months ago.

Oh, and by year, I mean this next school year. So give me one calendar year. By next July, I should have a book.

My expectations for this book are low. I just need to learn the process of starting, muddling, and finishing a book. It might be a loosely connected collection of short stories or a memoirish book about Colombia or a novel whose characters I might have already met in my notebooks.

I really don't know. But it is fun to imagine. I've thought about writing a book for awhile. In college I minored in Creative Writing and considered going to grad school for fiction rather than teach right after graduating. Whenever I regret the route I chose, I remember that teaching has provided me with experiences and people I would have missed knowing. So who knows. Maybe I'll manage a better book because I've taught.

The thing is, I used to salivate over graduate writing programs. I used to think that if I could get accepted here or here then I'd really be able to get that book written. Some of the programs I was most interested in required that you write a book during your time there. Cool. So I figured I'd get into a good program and be guaranteed a good book.

If I want to go through any of these masters programs, I need to move back to the States, not to Kuwait. Hm.

So why wait for writing a book to be a course requirement? I'll do it now. I'll do an okay job. Maybe even a decent job. And if I'm lucky, parts of this first big writing project of mine will be good. The experience, I am sure, will be frustrating and exhilarating and mundane. Like most of my experiences are.

At some point - maybe next week - I'll start another blog about my book writing process. The first entries are guaranteed to be repeats of variations on I don't know what to write about and What if everyone hates this? It'll be great.

I'll still keep this blog for personal posts - Claire, running, friends and family, tearing my hair out over another move abroad. Sometimes the blogs' content will overlap.

But that - writing a book - is what I'll be up to during this next year. That and adjusting to an insanely hot climate, learning how to be a stay at home mama, and teaching myself how to not waste the food in the fridge by actually planning meals before I grocery shop.


DC Running Mama said...

I was actually thinking about you today and thinking that you WOULD some day write a book and I could say "I read her blog before she became an author." I think you have a wonderful way with words and will really enjoy learning about your experience going through the process!

jsmarslender said...

Too funny. Thanks much, DC. I really appreciate your comment. It'll be fun...I think.

Angela and David Kidd said...

Yeah! You are such a wonderful writer. I can say I knew you (virtually) when. And I'm excited to check in on your other blog as well. I am so curious about the entire process. When I was younger I thought I wanted to be a novelist but didn't really equate being a novelist with also needing to have a love and passion for the written word. I just though it would be profession that would allow me to live a romantic live in Europe.

The Adventures of Lobby Girl ! said...

Hey Sarah!! You know I will be actively reading your blog for all of the book updates. Maybe I will finally finish mine.....tee hee!! Keep the blogs coming!!


N.D. said...

That's awesome. I admire that!!

jessica said...

I've been trying all week to comment here -- just couldn't find a chance...

What a great goal! I love that you're thinking mostly about the process, taking the pressure off by treating it as a learning experience. I need to take a lesson from that. I've been struggling with my art motivation for awhile now, and you've reminded me I need to just attack it from a student perspective again.

Clare said...

you certainly seem to have had the experiences to write an interesting book! sounds like a wonderful goal to have.