Friday, October 10, 2014

What Goes in a Book?


This morning I deleted my whole iPhoto library.

I am not patient with computers and when I knew mine was keeping me from plugging emojis into the Google search bar to see if they would produce any results, I decided to throw out everything in my 'Picture' folder and accidentally trashed my whole iPhoto library.  

It took thirteen minutes to erase the whole thing and says it will take seventeen hours to restore it. 

I also made Scott breakfast, read insightful blog posts, wondered if I damaged something in my knee surfing and skateboarding and wandered about the house trying to decide what I was going to do today that would allow me to consider it productive. 

The thing is, some days I am incredibly busy. I work in an office over an hour away from my house. I coach junior high girls in surfing. I manage a property close by. I try to maintain relationships with my surf sponsors. But some days are for writing. Writing exactly what is not specified by me. Sometimes it's articles I hope will go in magazines, sometimes it's emails, sometimes it's in my journal, and mostly it's for this blog. 

The other day someone asked me if I was a stay at home wife. I was about to say, is that a thing? But instead I said "No, I actually have four other jobs" and then listed them off defensively so she would never get the idea that I wander around my 10X10 living room on Thursday mornings trying to think of what I should be doing.

After the kid I originally nannied went to school last October, I took on the office job at my dad's company and another nanny job in the area. I did the new nanny job one day a week up until the beginning of this past summer when both the family and I would be traveling. The mom asked me if I'd like to work for them again in the fall. I told her that, of course, I would love to, but that I feel there might be a small amount of time left before I actually have kids myself and that I really want to use that time wisely and at least try to start writing a book. So we left it at that. I would be attempting to write a book in the fall instead of taking her child to the park and changing his diapers. Well guess what? It's fall now and I haven't written one page.

Sometimes I think I spend all my creative energy here (kind of depressing) and sometimes I think that's a big, dumb excuse. Sometimes there are things I'd love to write here, but because of privacy, mostly other people's who'd be involved, I don't. I can't. My dad would kill me. He's the most private person I've ever known and would probably appreciate me being a little less open book about everything. 

Sometimes I think maybe these personal things are the things that are supposed to be in the book, but how is that really any better than sharing them here? Especially hoping that a decent audience would spend time reading it. Maybe I'd use a pseudonym. Maybe my dad was doomed from the start when my mom first got pregnant and all the cells in that child's body made her want to be a writer. 

I think privacy has a very important place in life. Don't let you neighbors hear you talking to your stuffed animals, close the door to the bathroom, don't pick your nose at work. It's just, even if I live a hundred and two years, that won't be that long in the great, grand life of the world. And while I'm here, I at least want to know that I'm being authentic and true to myself. 

I guess the inspiration behind being an open book and writing a book is that, ultimately, I want people in the world to feel less alone, the way I do when I'm reading something I love.

But am I ready to write the book? Have I experienced enough? Have I developed my writing style? Should I be going to the library to write instead of sitting at my kitchen table getting peanut butter on my notepad? Where do you start? 

Dear internet, thanks for listening. 


(the above is a recycled photo because my iPhoto library is still deleted, remember?)


[p.s. to save you the trouble, this is what happens if you try to Google emojis. And no, momentarily deleting my iPhoto library was not worth this discovery. Thank goodness for backups!] 


20 comments:

  1. i just talked with my friend about writing and privacy, and how we sometimes feel that strong urge to share whatever topics in a book. you speak my mind out loud. but please, yes, do write a book. i'd love to read it one day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Niken! That really means a lot to me.

      Delete
  2. Have you been routing around in my brain again, Devon? :) This whole post (apart from the nannying and surfing bits) could have come from my brain. I'm a writer by day - I write for a local magazine, in fact I'm their only writer! I often believe that I would write so much more for myself, much more than the odd blog post, if I didn't have to write daily, on all kinds of subjects, some of which I know nothing about before researching and interviewing. Other times, I know that's an excuse! Please let me know if going to the library to write actually works; I might try it! Have a great weekend x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am happy to be thinking along the same lines as you. I think it's neat you are the sole writer for a local magazine, but I can understand that it can be hard to be the one and only anything. I'll let you know about the library. Maybe I'll try it next week.

      Delete
  3. I hear you on this one! I wrote in my journal on my 28th birthday that I would use the next 2 years wisely and write a book. I just had to make a point to do it. Well, I'm now coming up on my 32nd birthday, and I've written one page. I was excited at first, but then I freak out because how are you supposed to fill an entire book? Sometimes I tell myself that I need to experience more and watch what happens to those around me to get the meat of my book. I don't know. It's hard. I know you can do it, though! I'll be the first person in line to buy it:) That stinks about deleting your photos! If my computer ever crashes, I'm in trouble. Hope the thoughts are flowing freely today:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks always for your support Kari. It means so much. Whenever you finish your book, I'm sure it will be wonderful and I'll be excited to sit down with my copy. I'm starting to think I need to take one action each day towards this goal of writing a book, because that's the only real way to make it happen. Something about starting just feels scary.

      p.s. investing in a backup hard drive has saved my memories and sanity on more than one occasion.

      Delete
  4. Dev your write ups are great! It's wonderful that you're always thinking about all the different things involved in life. I'm stoked you enjoyed the skate link I sent to you, I had a funny feeling I knew you would make use of it. Hopefully in the future we can all meet up and I would be stoked to work on a short surf edit with you guys. I'm working on one this winter with a friend of mine from Austrlia and hopefully I can get most of the filming done in the water in between going to school . Anyway hope you guys have a wonderful weekend and keep up the writing, it's inspiring :)
    Leon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Leon. That means a lot. I love instructional videos that break down the elements of performing certain maneuvers in sports. You were right that'd I'd enjoy that Youtube channel. I hope we can all meet up again sometime too. It'd be fun to visit you and Heather in Canada and surf the freezing waves and skate your friend's mini ramp :). That's cool you're working on a new video with a friend. I love doing that.

      Delete
  5. There are a lot of things that I want to write about but that aren't my stories to tell. Sometimes I end up writing about them in journals or I don't at all. People ask me all the time if I want to write a book (because of my blog writing, etc.) and my answer has always been no. I don't think that I have a book in me? I have stories, yes, but a book? But your book? I'd love to read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For the record, I think you have a book in you! You are so passionate about the things you do and sometimes I think that must be the first step to writing a book. Thanks for this note, Christine. It's very encouraging. I'd love to read anything you write!

      Delete
  6. You totally have an ear here...also totally check out this Marie Forleo video; it touches on the at home wife question hard (and classy.)

    http://www.marieforleo.com/2014/10/naysayers/

    Cheers Devon! I have no doubt you will follow your bliss ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Deirdre. Your support means a lot. I'll have to check that video out. This stay at home vs. working thing seems to be a hot topic lately.

      Delete
  7. Just write!!! You can decide how you want to share it and who'll be the audience after the fact. It can become a published book, it can be shared via the blog in installments, same via magazine, or it can still for 5 years written and unshared while you decide. No matter what, you'll be glad you wrote it. There will always be an excuse...but don't let it stop you. I think (my humble opinion) is that the worst mistake a writer can make is to think about their audience and how the book will be received while they are writing it. Love ya D!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is exactly what I needed to hear Emily. Exactly! Thank you so much! I'm going to take your advice.

      Delete
  8. A most interesting post Devon. All of those questions in your last paragraph, I have those too. Where and how to start, that is the thing. When you have the answers, do let me know. CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope I find the answers, and if I do I will be sure to share. Right now I'm taking lots of the advice shared here and I'm just going to start writing and see what happens.

      Delete
  9. Do you read this blog journeymama.com she's a writer, she's written a fiction novel which I enjoyed and her blog has been made into 3 books so far. She's not fancy or intimidating and she's is always super honest about her anxiety and insecurities. I find her really inspiring, and reading her first book from her blog from when she was in her early 20's and seeing her struggle as a writer, you might find it helpful. Plus her life is pretty amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Carey, no I've never heard of that blog, but I'm very intrigued based on the description you gave and I'm always looking for new blogs to check out. This sounds right up my alley. Thanks for passing it along!

      Delete
  10. This really made me chuckle. I don't even know how to type emojis on my computer! However, I can sympathise as I once accidentally deleted my entire iTunes library when I got a bit click happy, and it took FOREVER to restore it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Click happy. I like that description and that is exactly what I was when I deleted my iphoto. I'm not sure it's a good thing to be. I hope your music was restored!

      Delete

I love to hear from you! I try to reply within the comment form.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...