For as long as I can remember, I've said that one day I will write a book. I just have had no idea what it is going to be about.
There was a moment when I lived in New York that I thought I had something. I was crossing 5th avenue with all the traffic and people zooming by, millions of busy ants. Like a bolt from the blue, I realised that I was ordinary. Just a person, no-one exceptional. Not terrible, but just another face in the crowd. Someone who hopefully would live a happy and contented life, possibly stirring things up a bit, making a difference, but probably not setting the world on fire. And it occurred to me that maybe that was my book: The Startling Reality of Being Ordinary.
But I couldn't flesh the idea out. I got stuck. What happens to this ordinary person? Does she simply come to terms with being ordinary? And if so, wouldn't that make for a terribly dull novel? Does she do something remarkable? What's the story? I told a colleague at the time about it (he had aspirations of being an author) and he said: "God, not another chick lit book." And just like that, I felt that door had closed.
Then after the birth of my first son, I started writing down my thoughts, thoughts that I felt sure could turn into something. Because the process of becoming a mother is so utterly remarkable that it must be worthy of capturing. Somehow. But muffled by sleep deprivation, my thoughts became cloudy and woolly and then lost altogether. And in hindsight I'm glad they did, because there are so many novels just like this, where the author has discovered the amazement of motherhood and felt compelled to share it with others, only to find that several billion other people on the planet have gone through the exact same thing and it's not that remarkable after all.
A few years later, frustrated beyond belief by my children's incredibly annoying habits, I put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and knocked out two children's stories about two incredibly annoying children and their long suffering mother. They rhymed and everything. But they probably aren't what children want to read and the rhythm is clunky. They're still saved on this very pc, but I am not sure they will ever become more than folders in my directory.
I feel as though I've just gone through a library-ful of life experiences in the last few years with rich fodder for novels, yet nothing has as yet sparked me into creating something that has genuine potential. Mostly, it's because life takes over. I don't have time to flesh out characters and storylines, plots and intrigue.
I find reading any books - children's or adult fiction - both invigorating and slightly depressing. Ideas within books remind me (daily) about what else I could do, they trigger story ideas and re-ignite my determination to write something. Yet I always feel slightly dejected about the fact that the book I've just read is one less story idea open to me. And the fact that they've managed to do it and I haven't. Yet.
I'm probably making little sense (it's late) but I guess that's why I blog. I don't do it because I want to be a top rated blogger or try to earn a living from it. It's simply a way for me to capture those fleeting thoughts that stray through my head. Thoughts that could fit into a novel somewhere or somehow, but right now are best jotted down for that one day when they slot neatly together and present themselves as the novel I always knew was waiting within.