For the past several years, people keep telling me I ought to be writing for a living. And in all my attempts to take this solid advice, I struggle with issues of brevity. (Thank God that Grant’s equally verbose, or he never would’ve made it through my Craigslist ad.) I particularly get told I should write in response to my real-life stories, recounted with my traditional sarcastic flair.
Lately, left and right, everyone has been telling me to read Eat, Pray, Love, which I just finished. And what an incredible book it was! Elizabeth Gilbert recants the stories of her travels around the globe and through various emotional stages with such wit and soul that I openly giggled the whole way through. Several close friends have told me that Gilbert’s style reminds them of mine, which I consider to be high praise! At the risk of sounding conceited, I can see where they’re coming from — we definitely share a few core traits, though her writing is obviously a lot more mature.
As soon as I finished Gilbert’s book, my nightstand became occupied by Telling True Stories. This was a birthday gift from a great mentor-friend who always encourages my writing (and who happens to be a fabulous journalist herself). And the more I read, the more I’m starting to put two and two together…
Q: So if I struggle so damn hard with brevity in shorter pieces, and my narrative nonfiction elicits so many compliments, why the hell don’t I just write a book of my own?
A: Because then I’d be doing exactly what my mother has been telling me to do since I was in middle school.
Happy (almost) Mothers’ Day, Mom. Today marks the day that I officially start taking this book-writing idea seriously. Well done, there — it only took you about 15 years. And Gilbert, with all due respect, I’m copying you. Hey, highest form of flattery and all that, right?