Killer Pursuit is a book that is featured today on my blog. The author, Jeff Gunhus, is fantastic, as he wrote a guest post for today. Thanks Jeff! I hope all you readers enjoy.
The Solitary Writer
I love to write. There’s no other way to explain this compulsion I have to wake up before the sun rises (and, more importantly, before my five kids rise) to shuffle downstairs to my trusted Keurig coffee machine, then across the house to my office with my two yellow labs padding along behind me, behind my desk and right into whatever story my brain has most recently conjured up. The fingers start slow, unsure of where they left of the day before, but within a few minutes, they’re off to the races. And story happens.
Writing isn’t always easy to love. There are days when the words come slow and the inner-critic decides to be a real bastard who won’t shut up, dismissing every idea as worthless cliché nonsense. There are the days when I have to highlight entire chapters of work and press the delete button. Days when a different book begs me to stop the one I’m writing because it would be soooo much better.
But even those days aren’t all bad. Truth is, if writing was something I had to pay for the privilege to do, like a gym membership or dues at a golf club, I’d happily pay for those bad days.
Writing clears my head. It centers me for the rest of my day. It allows me to ask questions and then take my own sweet time investigating what I think the answers might be.
Writing is a solitary pursuit (except for the dogs who like to pile up on my feet under my desk) and yet it’s never lonely. I get to play in a world filled with crazy characters and non-stop action. There’s romance and tragedy. Betrayal and honor. Love and… well, you get the idea. It’s all there, waiting for me to explore.
Not only that, but the twists and turns of my story are just as surprising to me as if I was reading another author’s work. Characters misbehave, letters bearing bad news arrive in the mail, someone falls unexpectedly dead from a heart attack in the middle of a scene. There’s no telling what’s going to happen.
So, yes, writing is solitary by nature. As is reading. But a good book transports us to a different world. Perhaps even a world more grand, more scintillating, more thought-provoking than the one around us when we put the book down. And when we seek out a community of readers, when we’ve read the same books as one another and we meet to discuss them and fight over them and decipher them, then the books become a connection. When we reach out to our favorite authors to comment on their work or ask a question, it’s another level of connection. And that makes both reading and writing a little less solitary.
So share your favorite book with a friend today. Join a book club. Talk about the books you’ve loved in your life. And reach out to your favorite authors. They’re typing away in solitude, but they’ll be happy to hear from you and be pleased that you made the connection.
Jeff Gunhus is a USA TODAY bestselling author. You can reach him at www.JeffGunhus.com. He responds to all email personally