So I told a family member who is something of a mentor to me about this blog and he emailed me back:
“If you are going to be a writer you must know something well to write about it. Too much stuff that is selling is really empty-headed dribble and for the most part has only a momentary interest. “
Wow. Only momentary interest. Quite a thing to say.
This post won’t be read ten years from now.
No one is going to go through ten years of archives to find it. Most of the blogs people write will be gone in ten years. They might be gone next year.
Your novel or nonfiction book, too. You’ll have some sales early, some sales later, and then people will move on. A friend once said, “I remember the first time I saw my book at a thrift store selling for $1.”
Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.
He’s Also Wrong.
Of course, the same is true for newspapers. Unless you’re researching your family history, you won’t pick up a ten-year-old newspaper again. Probably not even a week-old newspaper.
In other words, it is of momentary interest on purpose.
Your blog isn’t meant to be eternal.
And maybe your novel or nonfiction book shouldn’t be either. What if you wrote a novel to improve your relationships? What if you wrote a nonfiction book to create a conversation in your church or your school or your Chamber of Commerce?
Transformation is eternal, even if your words are not.
He’s right about one more thing.
He said, “You must know something well,” but the last part, “to write about it,” is wrong.
You write to understand. Each sentence is a hypothesis. You put it on a white sheet of paper to see if it boils and turns blue. If it turns red, throw it out and write another sentence. If it turns blue, write another sentence to see if it boils and turns blue, too.
Hypothesize about love. Write for fifteen minutes using the following writing prompt. See if each sentence boils and turns blue before writing the next.
PROMPT: Love is…