My mother often talked about her book. She would write it, she said to me. In her mind, she knew the parts of the story, the adventures of the main character, and the name of the main character. Mom was going to write of the grand adventures of Adele Jones, an independent woman unafraid to take life by the horns, to live it to the fullest.
For decades, Mom raised us, then helped with her grandchildren, and then took care of Dad after he became seriously ill. She mentioned her book for decades.
As far as I know, her book was still in her head when she passed away, soon after Dad did. I have her computer, we’ve been through her things, and none of my siblings nor I have found evidence that Mom wrote down the grand adventures of Adele Jones.
That’s sad as heck, right?
Mom had a way with language. She read to us when we were small, making sure we were aware of Hobbits and Narnia. I remember her drawing comic pages — she was quite the artist — and how funny she could be. Mom laughed a lot, during some decades, and had a good sense of humor almost to the end.
I believe she could have written her book. I believe it would have been a good book, full of adventures to delight the senses, and humor embedded in every chapter. Except, for whatever reason, Mom never put pen to paper, nor typed on her computer, the story that swirled in her mind for the better part of fifty years.
I’ll never know what Mom’s reason was for never writing her novel; all I can do now is encourage you. That book you want to write, the graphic novel, the memoir, the fictional adventures of your own, special characters, will go to your grave with you if you do not write it down ASAP.
(Semi-related: The same is true of those family stories you want to share, whether your stories, or your parents’ stories, or Grandma’s tales of life in the 1900s. If you do not write the stories down, they’ll be gone forever when you are.)
Write. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Don’t beat yourself up if your story isn’t award-winning the minute you capture it on paper or hard drive. Write. It. Now.
Bonus: There have been many negative happenings in 2020, so finally writing that book swirling around in your head means you can give yourself something positive this year: A start.