Details: Bumper-to-bumper conditions due to midday roadwork. Fire and smoke right after roadwork.
As soon as the air conditioner broke and all heads bent inward towards the passageway to try and calculate how far the traffic congestion extended, Adair, a delightful 76 year-old adventuress with arresting eyes, put away the novel she was reading to begin telling stories to Tina, a young woman right across from Adair’s seat. Tina reciprocated with tales of her own.
I cannot resist a good story, let alone a dozen. I leaned inwards and introduced myself. (The young teenager in front of us never did talk, but listened with the biggest smile imaginable, holding her own book in her lap.)
At some point I mentioned being a writer/writing teacher. Tina, who has lived in 37 of our 50 states and done so many interesting things my eyeballs grew dry from repeated widening of the lids, paused to ask me a very sincere, serious question. “Is there any way for someone who is not a writer to write a book?”
Tina explained she is a horrible writer and probably got a C or B at best in English 1A. However, she has thought more than once of writing a book about her life, or some chunk of her life.
There are, in fact, several ways for a non-writer to write a book. Some of the issues to be faced are the same as those besetting a professional writer. Tina mentioned that a family member had already criticized the idea, taking the wind out of her sails for a while.
The non-writer can pretty much count on that happening. Since it is so predictable, why do we let negativity dissuade us? Because we are human. However, we can fortify ourselves against that negativity, deciding in advance to ignore it.
This is a long topic, and I hope Connie will join me in tackling the subject. The first stepping stone, for writers and non-writers alike, is making the decision and finding advice/support. (That is what we offer here at the Grassroots Writers Guild blogsite.) There can be a hundred good reasons to write a book, even for a non-writer. For Adair’s son, the reason is therapy. He has been writing and rewriting his dog story (slightly paranormal, told from the p.o.v. of a dog) for at least eight years. Adair, a proclaimed non-writer, thinks writing has done her son a world of good. ( She told Tina and me to send her a Christmas card, and promised not to write back.)