I like writing; it’s one of the main reasons I keep this blog going. And I’ve thought I’d like to write a book. But a book about what? I think it’d be amazing to put together a fictional book. But I struggle with this. To me it seems like one big hypothetical situation. And I don’t do well with hypothetical situations.
I’m currently taking German lessons, and often I find it frustrating, because I can make myself understood fairly well in English and Afrikaans, but when I get to German I run out of words quite quickly. That being said, when I talk with my teacher about what I’ve been doing, I can get through the conversations. But often to encourage dialogue she’ll ask me something like: “Imagine you’re wanting to sign up for a gym, what kind of questions would you ask?”. This is difficult for me, not because it’s German, but because I’ve never thought about this situation previously, now all of a sudden my mind is throwing 90% of its focus into trying to think about what’s important when joining a gym, (facilities, costs, opening hours, were the conclusions I came to), and only another 10% in actually trying to speak German.
This makes it sound like I have no imagination or creativity though. Which isn’t necessarily true. I just output these in different ways. But I’m on the verge of convincing myself that I wouldn’t be able write a fiction book. Which to me is a bit sad, because I grew up on a lot of fiction. I read a ton when I was young, during primary and high school. Dropping the ball a bit during varsity but picking it up again more recently. And fiction is awesome. It’s never ending; except for me in that I need someone else to make it up first.
The alternative, non-fiction, isn’t necessarily bad, but then I still have to figure out a topic. Most of what I write here is short stories about small events in my life, and I don’t quite see me getting to the point any time soon where I have an experience, or string of experiences worthy of a book. My girlfriend’s gran recently published an autobiography (From Kitchen to Cockpit by Yvonne van den Dool), a series of stories from her time as a female pilot during South Africa’s relatively conservative 1950s. I’d love to write an autobiography, but I don’t want to wait 50 years to have content to write one.
Then there are non-fiction books covering a specialist topic, but ignoring my masters, I’ve always considered myself much more of a ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ type of person. I like knowing lots of little bits of information. Maybe I can figure out something from that. Hmmm…
So again I’m met with what I assume is most author’s perpetual problem, what should I write about?
I love discussing things, having disagreement for the sake of the conversation. I wouldn’t say this is necessarily making things up, but it’s interpreting situations and facts in a way that is most favourable for you, thus the above cartoon from xkcd . Maybe I can write one long argument.