How many people do you know — perhaps this is true of you, too — that say they are going to write a book someday?
I think most of us have heard someone say it, and it was said with good intentions. Problem is, most people don’t follow through. Writing a novel takes a huge amount of time and it has to become habitual — some aspect of it accomplished every day.
While the idea for my novel first came to mind in 1991, the important thing is I WROTE IT. I told people I would write one and finally in 2009 I began, finishing the manuscript exactly two years later. I was a morning writer, when my brain was sharpest, and once I started the project, I researched and wrote for three to five hours EVERY day, even on trips; jotting thoughts on paper throughout the day.
Writing a novel is like getting into a routine of physical exercise. Once you take that dreaded first step, the process becomes habit.
Perhaps you don’t have the desire or the will to undertake such a project or don’t feel you have the talent to write for a public audience. Yet there are other efforts I challenge you to accomplish because they are important for your family, regardless of how well you can write: Your memoirs and the recording of older family members; separate projects — the former for older persons and the latter for any age to undertake.
In regard to memoirs, whether retired or not, begin outlining your life on paper or computer. You are not undertaking this project for you but for generations to follow. Thus it is very, very important that your future family members know what you did throughout your life — at least what you want to share. This includes your childhood, teen years, college life if you attended college, and life from young adulthood until now. Include careers –what your responsibilities, achievements, and failures were, people you met throughout life, your civic service, church service, hobbies, thoughts about life, and hopes for your family’s future. Be as egotistical as you wish. But don’t be shy. If you want more ideas, drop me a line.
PLEASE, don’t let another week go by without figuring out how you are going to video record or audio record your great-grandparents, mother, father, or their siblings. Interview them about their lives. I can give you ideas for questions if you want them. YOU OWE IT TO YOUR FAMILY’S FUTURE GENERATIONS to preserve all of you can about these older members. I still regret that I never sat down with older family other than my mother (her interview is in my bank lock box and in my children’s.). Their thoughts about their lives and experiences are gone forever. FOREVER. Take responsibility for your family.