For the past thirty years or so I have been writing the epic novel in preparation for assuming my rightful place alongside Aesop, William Shakespeare, Voltaire, Lewis Carroll, Daniel Defoe, Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Mark Twain, Jackie Collins, Pee Wee Herman and other literary giants of the past five centuries.
The shifting focus of my book has closely followed the various directions my life has taken and while I have never written as much as the first word of a book, I have always had great titles in mind so that I would be ready when inspiration struck.
I think the following books would have been “must haves” for many astute collectors:
The Joy of Selling
The Joy of Marriage
The Joy of Being Single
Women! Who needs them?
The Joy of Self Employment
Brilliant Business Ideas that Don’t Work
The Joy of Marriage (revised)
Learning to Speak Only When Spoken To
Celibacy Builds Character
Everyone Needs a Puppy
The Art of Cleaning up Dog Poop
The Da Vinci Code
I’m convinced each of those would have reached the #1 spot on the New Westminster Times bestseller list.
Over the years I have lived with the enormous guilt of knowing I have selfishly deprived the world of the benefit of my literary genius and the world is, indeed, a poorer place for my not having cared enough to document my fascinating life in written form.
So it will come as an enormous sense of relief to all of you to know that I have finally written a book.
Yes, it’s true. I began the same day I posted my first blog in August and finished a few days ago. The book is a parable, which means a short allegory designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson, and is really a pretentious word for story.
We writers like to wax philosophic, pontificate ad nauseum and scribe in grandiloquent terms in the belief that the significance of our message will penetrate the deepest recesses of our reader’s souls and feed their starving minds the knowledge, insights and inspiration they so desperately seek.
We steadfastly adhere to the rules of grammar unlike the prisoner who, immediately upon his release from gaol (jail for you ESL students) asked his girl friend to marry him. He was instantly arrested and placed in custody. He had broken one of the cardinal rules. He had ended his sentence with a proposition.
Get it? Proposition. Preposition. Cerebral humour.
Anyway, having said all that my book is about the magnificent gift of choice we were blessed with at birth and how we freely use this gift to carve out lives of joy or despair.
We can even use our gift of choice to choose to write silly blogs.
Unlike all the other books I never wrote, I don’t have a title for this one. I have come up with about twenty titles and discarded all of them.
Would you buy a book called “I don’t know what to call this book?”
The point of this story is this – completing this book was for me, a tremendous accomplishment. The moment I wrote the final word I felt a sense of elation I have not experienced for years. So why did I choose to take thirty years to write it.
My experience is not unique. Many, if not most, of us have dreams we wish to fulfil and fully intend to ‘get around’ to them some day, ‘when the time is right’, when I ‘can give it the attention it deserves,’ when I’m ‘not so busy,’ when I ‘have enough experience’ and every other reason for not doing what we want to do that we can possibly think of.
As I have written before, we only choose to do what is important to us in the moment.
Why are we like this? Why do we choose to put off doing those things that will give us happiness until the right time comes around?
The truth is there’s never a right time.
What could be sadder than, at the end of our lives, looking back over the pathway we travelled and ruefully saying to ourselves, ‘I wish I had,’ ‘I was going to,’ ‘I should have,’ ‘if only,’ ‘I wanted to.’
So why did it take me so many years? Probably because I chose to allow all of the reasons above to “make it OK” not to get the book written.
The funny thing is that when I committed to myself to do it, and then actually did it, all those reasons disappeared.
So now I’m going to publish my book. Two dear friends have promised to buy my book (thanks Leisa and Gregg) so I am only going to have two copies printed. I may even have a third copy sold. Gimalle said she would buy one if there’s enough cash in my wallet to pay for it.
Should I ever print more I can place the words “second printing” on the cover. Pretty clever heh?
If there’s something in your life you’ve always wanted to do and you have been waiting for the right time well, congratulations, the right time just got here.
Just do it. You’ll surprise yourself when you realize all those obstacles you thought were in your way, aren’t.
Stop building disappointment into your dreams. Choose to make your dreams real so you can make room for new ones.
Till we read again.