Yes, I am jealous of your books

My friend Julie Hammerle from the Hammervision blog announced that her first novel is being published. I’m happy and excited for her. But, yes, I am also a little jealous and not just of Julie.

There is a whole list of ChicagoNow bloggers who are also book authors. You can see the list here. The list is so long you have to click “Read next page” three times to see them all.

And I don’t only know authors from ChicagoNow. My friend Robert Isenberg has written multiple books. I think my friend Kevan Yenerall was the first person I knew in real life to publish a book (which has now had multiple editions). I’m sure I know a few others.

As someone who loves to read and values books I think it is rockstar-cool that I know so many authors, but yes, I am jealous of their books.

Maybe it’s not jealousy. Maybe it’s more frustration. Knowing all these authors takes away the excuse illusion that writing a book and having it published is an unlikely achievement.

I was in a class where we had to interview the person next to us using a set list of questions. One was “What is something you haven’t done that you would you be truly proud of if you were able to accomplish it?”

I did not hesitate. I said, “Writing and publishing a book.”

My partner then asked an understandable follow up question, “What type of book?”

Ummm.

That’s one of the things keeping me from MY BOOK. I don’t have a specific idea for a book. I just like writing, and I write about a lot of things and in a lot of different styles.

If you’ve read this blog for a while you know that I write fiction, computer security primers, plays, and lists. I write silly things and personal things. Sometimes I even rhyme. What type of book I would write would probably depend a lot on the mood I was in on the day I started it.

Even if I decided on a topic and genre, I see another challenge with writing a book: Books tend to be rather long.

I’ve written a few full-length plays, but those are only about 90-100 pages even in a script format that includes lots of white space. Plus, I tend to prefer writing one-act plays, which are far shorter.

The longest thing I’ve written in paragraphs was my master’s thesis. That was 90 pages long, and I worked on it intensely for 6 months. It was tons of work, which makes me wonder…

What if writing a book and having it published isn’t just the thrill of holding your book in your hands? What if it isn’t just author events and taking pictures of your book on bookstore shelves? What if writing a book and having it published is actually a lot of work?!

Crap. I think it must be.

I guess I should trade in all that jealousy for admiration. Congratulations, book-writing people, what you did is a big deal. Truly.

But don’t give up on me. Perhaps I will write a book too. It will be about [something], and I’ll be done with it [someday].

It will probably be short.

RELATED POST:  My Lean In epiphany: “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

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Kim Z. Dale writes short things often on Twitter, sometimes on Facebookand rarely on Google+.

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