Monday, July 18, 2011

I Want to Write a Book

Every bone in my body aches to write a book.  I first got this burning when I went to a chat by Ander Monson, who has a really cool website, by the way.  He read my Creative Writing class a few of his essays and I was hooked.  I wrote this piece as my report of the Works Reading.

My problem is, I have no idea what to write about.  I've started writing a few children's books, only to discover that the plot had been done already - and better.  I wrote one about the yawn heard around the zoo and then discovered that their was a book out there about the yawn heard around the world, with really sweet illustrations.

Then, I wanted to write a novel about a small town.  But, by the second chapter, there were dozens of characters and about that many plot lines.  It was more like a speed dating style soap opera than a novel.  One cool aspect of that book was that the town mail carrier went out on Christmas Eve and dropped off an apple pie in every mailbox that his plump wife (who always wore blue) would spend several days baking.  I quickly bored of the plot.

I have had great ideas.  I wanted to write a diet book.  It was going to be based on the cycles of the moon.  New moon - eat your heart out.  Steak, eggs, high fat foods with plenty of sugar and carbohydrates.  Full moon - drink plenty of water and eat mostly salads, clear liquids, and a small amount of dried fruit and nuts.  I was going to have fake doctors lining up in white suits, touting the benefits of the diet.  The diet was going to cure the common cold, regulate the unregulated menstrual cycles, relieve back pain, and of course, the mother of all diet benefits, flush out those nebulous toxins.

I couldn't stomach the imaginary lawsuits.  Not to mention, I would have to write it with a pen name so I could be a legitimate author in the future.  I imagine there is nothing worse than having a blacklisted bulls eye, square on my book submissions to every agent in the business.  So, naturally, that idea bit the dust.

I started this blog to relieve the pressure in my head.  As you can see, Incongruous Circumspection is supposed to be about the following:

"The intersection of life, religion, politics, stupidity, family life, dreams, goals, history, reflections, essays, college, and much much more. Fasten your safety're in for the time of your life!"

THAT is a high calling.  Putting on a different hat every time I sit down to type with my lousy two fingers. 

First of all, I have a day job, so writing takes a back seat unless, as I usually do, I stay up until 3AM hacking out a post or two, to get up a few hours later, go to work, and start the process all over.  Another issue is that I wrote a post in response to another commenter on another blog and since then, all I have really written about is patriarchy and where I am in my religious walk.

I do love writing the fluff pieces but I feel as if I write them for my kids and my trophy wife alone.  They enjoy them immensely, except for the few times where my wife does that little adorable twitch of her cheek, jiggles her eyebrows up and down in a flash, and then tells me it is good.  I end up dumping those posts.

I wrote about politics a few times and then got bored.  I despise all the polarization involved in it and ended up writing stuff that seemingly nobody cared about.  The content incited several long responses but I felt they were mostly regurgitated talking points and quickly lost interest.  I'm mostly a libertarian fiscally, and quite liberal and ultra-conservative socially.  And yes, I only mix those two because my positions line up very logically in my mind, but both polarized camps have claimed certain carved out positions for their own, identifying themselves by those litmus tests.

Most of all, I just love writing to an audience.  I want people to smile, tear up, cry inconsolably, weep, laugh, giggle, throw their head back and laugh (my dad does that), and not get angry.  I hate inciting anger, unless I'm very angry myself.  I would rather everyone just agreed with me.

I guess this is all leading to a few questions.  What do you like most about my writing?  What should I hone?  Do I need to tone down a bit...or step it up?   Should I do more research on what I write about?  If I were to write a book, what subject would I shine in?  Or, just give me your thoughts.

I thank all my 12 readers in advance.


  1. Write what you know, how you feel, what you live. I'd buy it.

  2. I like your fluff pieces. I read a bunch of blogs about religious abuse and addiction and I like that someone can understand that background but not be stuck there--that you haven't just traded an addiction to god for an addiction to talking about your former addiction to god (not to say all such bloggers do that... but sometimes). So many fluff writers, or mommy bloggers, or other light topics, you wonder if they have any depth. I know you do. I like that you aren't always deep.

    (did that make any sense? did it sound rude? sorry.)

  3. Thanks Jill! THAT content has been my latest dream. Just write. Great mantra.

  4. Sandra. Wow. A very deep compliment. I am honored and will keep writing with you in mind. Thank you.

  5. First of all, you have a wonderfully developed voice and I can tell that you have, for the most part, mastered your abiblity to get your thoughts down on paper, er, I mean screen.
    Your delivery is humorous and gets to the heart of the issues right away. And I enjoy your ability to tell 'slice of life' stories about your family. And above all, your honesty and writing from the heart, the two most important things, are right on.

    Now questions from me.
    Are you really unclear as to whether or not you want to write fiction or nonfiction? Children or adult?
    If we lived in a perfect world and you could write whatever you wanted and it would sell, what would it be?
    If fiction, do you like Speculative, Suspense, Mystery, Thriller, Love Stories (hey don't laugh. Nicholas Sparks is making a killing)?

    Just curious.

    Writers write. That's what we do. We write even if there appears to be no chance of making a dime from it. It's like how apple trees produce apples. They can't help it. And neither can we.

  6. I forgot to mention, your sense of justice, fairness, and your capacity for empathy qualify you to write the heroic.

    Spend a some time on learning the craft of writing and, watch out world, here he comes.

  7. Your fluff pieces are the ones I tend to ignore completely, as I don't have a lot of time but I do like to read here because of the other stuff. If you turned this into a fluff blog though I'd quit coming back and take it off my blog roll, just because it would no longer interest me. You might find that it would interest far more people than you would turn off, though. I like your serious articles on religion and your life etc. I find them fascinating and well written.

    But, that's just my opinion. You have to write what is inside of you. :)

  8. Mara. Thanks. I will chew on those questions. I am considering co-authoring a book with my wife about "The Simple Joys of Life". Pretty much modeling the essay format of Ander Monson - one of my literary idols.

  9. Katy-Anne. More than you know, I appreciate your comment. It is very important for a writer/author to maintain the captivated interest of their readership. You have provided a different light on the subject and for that, I am grateful.

  10. Sounds like you are more interested in nonfiction.

    In which case, I suggest:

  11. I enjoy the serious stuff that makes me think, but the "fluff" is what keeps me coming back. I loved that story you shared about your family and the playground - I have such a vivid picture in my head of that - reminding me of some of the happy memories of my own childhood - and it has inspired me to do silly, goofy things with my kids as well. I think a balance is fine, but that's probably why I like reading memoirs. The best ones mix those up in a perfect balance.

  12. I like the well-rounded variety of your blog and only wish that I had started reading here sooner. :) Of course, there's plenty of back content that I can read when I have extra time (what's that???). I like your sense of humor, you write well and I like that you don't pull any punches when writing about the serious stuff. But I also like that you interweave every day life and funny fluff pieces, too, to lighten it up a bit. The zit post was freakin' awesome!

    Also, you seem to be very much on the same spiritual path as I am and I appreciate seeing someone so open about it and not making apologies, but owning their journey without regrets.

    As for writing a book, your background story is very compelling.

  13. Thanks, Erika. If I wrote about my background, there would be heavy emphasis on the exciting adventurous side of my bipolar single mother. We had a lot of fun when we could massage her inconsistencies.

  14. Write! Do like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Herman Melville, or William Faulkner and write bunches of short stories. That may stave off boredom for a while. I enjoy reading your posts because of your ability to paint a vivid picture in my mind of what your talking about - so vivid, in fact, I avoid your pimple and meat stench post after the initial skim. I would buy your book(s) if you wrote.

    And then, perhaps, writing will BECOME your day job. You could get used to that.