My mom always tells me, “Jen, you need to write a book!” She’s terribly biased, but I suppose she’s planted the seed because I’ve been thinking about starting a manuscript a lot lately. It’s no secret that I absolutely love to write. I used to love writing poetry and short stories in high school. In fact, my husband and I bonded in our earlier years of dating over writing. Dan used to write a little poetry here and there, and I thought it was adorable. I need to think about an interesting plot line and just run with it. I’ll worry about annoying publishers later. Actually, I’m not going to hold out any hopes on the publishing front. It would be awesome to be the next J.K. Rowling but, let’s be honest, the chances are pretty slim. Right now, my mom’s the biggest fan of my writing.
What genre would my book fit into? The typical book I love reading the most is really anything (mystery, historical fiction, romance, etc.) as long as it’s emotionally driven. One that can make me cry or laugh out loud. One that can inspire me and teach me some profound lesson missing from my life. I recently read a book called “Being Mortal” by Antul Gawande, which is a non-fiction account on how doctors have handled end of life issues over the year and how hospices became popular. There were moments when I sobbed so hard that I had to put the book down. “Being Mortal” was so moving on so many levels that it was almost too much for me. On the opposite side of the reading spectrum, I love a good crime novel. When I read “Columbine” by Dave Cullen, I was so completely engrossed. Cullen researched that book to a tee, and while the content is interesting on it’s own, he did such a great job of including a wide variety of voices and showing his readers glimpses into each life. I could not put the book down. Non-fiction crime biographies require a lot of time and research so I probably won’t go down that path, and while I love to read them, I don’t think a crime novel is where my heart is at. I want to write something that’s emotional and raw. Perhaps a little mystery would go over well. I need an idea that’s new or perhaps a new angle on an over-done idea. No, I need a NEW idea.
Since graduating from law school I’ve picked up the pace with reading. I’ve read around 40ish books and counting in the last few years, which isn’t bad considering case books were the only stories I read between 2010 and 2013. In reading, I’ve realized that sometimes, sequels are a bad idea. For example, I freaking loved “Me Before You” by JoJo Moyes. The sequel? Not so much. It felt so thrown together, so unnecessary, so unbelievably boring. I’ve also learned love stories can be told in so many different and creative ways. Young adult romance novels are pretty cliche, but there are some gems, like “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green. Yep, I cried like a baby. Lastly, I can’t stand it when books drag. I’m currently reading a mystery novel, “The Lake House,” and this baby is nearly 600 pages long. The author is a phenomenal writer, but I’m getting so bogged down in the details, and I feel like she spent way too much time developing the characters. Not my thing.
I’m going to do it. I’m going to sit down and just start writing sometime soon, and see where things go. If the manuscript never sees the light of day after writing it all, so be it. At least I gave it a shot. Besides, I know my mom will at least want to read it :)