Why does not writing a book before turning 50 appear to be a good idea?
Writers love writing — and it is a piece of common knowledge. Over the last few decades, however, the mode of writing has changed. Previously, it was pen and paper used to prepare a manuscript. But, nowadays, keyboards and monitors have replaced the tools or “the gun” of a writer (as symbolised by Seamus Heaney in his poem, “Digging”), wouldn’t you agree? I am typing this on my laptop. It saves my time and gives the work a better look with less possibility of typos—thanks to the mistake-removal applications, of course.
What you are reading now is a blog post. Here, I share my feelings about particular things, discuss some definite topics, and sometimes stories of others or occasionally mine. The ones I get paid to write are sports features and news pieces—on other websites. They are of different types, yes. Writing a book is a separate entity — a much more laborious and sophisticated one.
You write a blog post of around 1,000 words (“Conor’s Care (A Short Story)”) or maybe 2,000 words (“An effective way to stop wasting time on smartphones”) or perhaps 5,0000 words (“Smoking is killing them, and all I can do is watch?”). But are they akin to the content you find in a book? Most of the time, it is not.
In some cases, short stories come with a word count of around 1,000–1,500 words. But rarely do we see short stories getting published individually. Authors consider publishing them in a collection. It gives the book a meaningful weight. As a reader, you would always find it easy to invest in a book that comprises several stories than the one that consists of only one or two narratives. A book—written on one subject — can contain several chapters. That’s a different sphere. But today, let’s retain our focus on the writing part.
You look around yourself and see authors of various ages. I am not talking about diary authors like me, who prefer filling up their notebooks and journals with gibberish. I am more focused on those who have officially published a book with the help of an official publisher. My attention narrows down to those whose books are available on the market. Among them also, you will find creators of different birthdays. I know a number of people, who are of my age and have already written a couple of books. To be honest, I envy them for being so good at writing books at such an early age.
But, in the same manner, you would find people becoming authors after crossing a sizable age. The Indian and Bangladeshi national anthem was composed by Rabindranath Tagore. It is said that he wrote so many dramas, plays, songs, short stories, and poems during his time as an author that one man cannot complete the reading of those pieces in a lifetime. He started writing very early, understandably at around the age of eight.
Talent knows no age, but experience does. I don’t know whether you have ever read a book, written by a young man, and then tried a book, written by someone much older. If you did, you would find out a gap, especially a void of experience, within the content.
Everyone is knowledgeable. Knowledge can be gained via reading books. But you can not gain experience in something unless you practice it over and over, much like the subject of mathematics. You need to practice hard to make yourself comfortable with the rules. Knowledge is attainable, and you can choose not to attain it. Experience comes along as you get older.
I am 21 and doing my bits here. Some are 21 and putting their words for creating books. Some are 51 and doing bits like me and some are 51 and putting their words for creating books. With my eyes closed, I would prefer to read the ones of the 51-year-olds, why? Because their writings preserve the wisdom and experiences that my scripts, at this age, lack. It’s impossible to match the level of the writing from a writer practising it every day for God knows how long, and I admit it.
Yet again, I am not against any writer, nor am I categorising any genre of writing. I am just emptying my views on becoming an author at an early age. It is glamorous, you know. Putting “Author” beside your name, and I want to have that but not now. I have miles to cover before I consider composing my first book. But I surely will sometimes in the future.
My editors say, “Hey, why do you like to write so long pieces?” Because that’s what I like. I can write a book. It requires a lot of devotion and discipline. And I believe I have both. So, why am I intentionally procrastinating? I would not regard my unwillingness as procrastination, but it is surely related to learning.
I want to read as many books, watch as many movies/web services, meet as many persons, visit as many places, and do as many jobs as I can before writing my first book. I don’t want to disappoint my readers with my first book. I don’t want them to think that this guy has not seen anything or done anything in life and he is lecturing us.
I want to educate myself first and then educate some, lead some to learn about things that I have learned and will certainly learn in future. But don’t let my words hold you back from writing your first book if you are young and want to do so. Go on, you have a story to tell. I can wait for a little longer!