As some of you know already, I want to write a book. Fiction, more specifically speculative fiction that means dystopias, post-apocalypse worlds where everything has been destroyed, new human species emerging – type of a book.
And I have no idea how to actually write a book.
I have written a lot, especially when I was younger. I almost went to a writing focused high school but that would have meant leaving home and moving to another city at age 16 and the scared little kid I was, I did not dare to take that leap.
After high school (upper secondary school in Finland) I thought about becoming a journalist. Only the money-craving side of me thought that it’s hard work without a big pay-check and I ended up studying business because “I could always write about business and stuff”. How was that a plan for an aspiring writer?
Long story almost short, I haven’t written in a long time because I was too busy doing business.
And now I want to write an epic story, possibly even in English. The career gurus of today love preaching of setting your goals high, make yourself accountable and not being afraid of failing so I guess I am their exemplary pupil in my pursuits of becoming an author.
What I have done a lot is reading, researching, preparing, collecting articles, ideas and things that my characters’ love doing, what they believe in. And I thought that by taking a gap 15 months of traveling without working would allow me to read even more!
How wrong was I.
I didn’t grasp that normal life allows you a lot of idle moments to read. Commuting to work and back, lunch breaks, evenings and weekends at home without doing anything else means a hundred pages a day easily.
Camping life on the other hand means constant driving from a to b, setting up the camp, cooking, hiking, seeing sights, and then you notice you haven’t read anything in a week when you should have finished two books. Also, the blog you said you would update is already two weeks behind.
Another challenge is that some of the research material I have to go through is not exactly categorised as easy-and-quick to read. Consciousness, artificial intelligence, Buddhism and quantum physics just to mention few are not the type of topics I grasp at one go.
Thinking of these “challenges” however does not make me feel anxious or stressed about my big project. I have a feeling that it will work out and I will do my best while enjoying the adventures these months of traveling will bring. I already spotted interesting art items at MONA that I am sure one of my characters will be fascinated by…
Latest book recommendations:
I am going through a list curated by Margaret Atwood, my favorite author, of books about dystopian worlds and first pick is from that list.
A find: Naomi Alderman – The Power. What would happen if women would be the strongest sex and men afraid?
A topical classic: Margaret Atwood – Handmaids Tale. Available on Hulu soon, can’t wait to binge watch this back in Finland.
An epic three-piece saga: Justin Cronin- The Passage. There are not many books nowadays you devour at one go like Harry Potters but this series is one of them. Chilling.