To Write or Not to Write

3 ProwlingAs I previously mentioned I had decided to take on the new task of writing a non-fiction book. This can be very different from fiction, most important to me being that you can write a book proposal prior to tackling the whole manuscript. Book proposals are not easy critters either, but I wanted to try it.

One of the components of a book proposal is a market search. (You probably should do this for fiction as well!) The writer needs to see how many books similar or on the same subject are out there, how they sell, and what twist the book they plan to write can add to the market.

Roadblock. I ordered, bought and reserved from the library a slew of books on my subject. But I knew that there would be a lot of books on breast cancer. And a lot of the books are very serious, medical, practical, informational books about the topic. I just needed to find out if any of them were funny, quirky and along the lines of what I wanted to write.

Two things happened during my research. The first being there was a fantastic book out there, very, very similar to what I had envisioned. And it was a great book. Concise, compact, beautiful and funny without being offensive. It was also written by someone with a lot of connections, a journalist in DC no less. This wasn’t the thing that shut down my idea.

No, what shut me down was reading the introduction to an art book about cancer (paintings by a well known artist during her journey). The introduction was written by a doctor I respect. It talked about recurrence of breast cancer and the statistics. Bad, bad, bad.

This threw me into a downward spiral of emotions that has followed me all week. I can’t seem to do anything right, I am not sleeping and I am feeling either hostile or hopeless over the smallest negative events. I think that immersing myself in the topic to such an extent as it would take to write this book is probably not a great idea just now. I’m going to work on some other things for a while. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to come back to this one but in the mean time I am not going to sweat it. Or punch anyone.

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