Before you write a book, it is often suggested that you take a course to learn the best strategies to write that book and/or make sure you have a consistently quiet place to uncover the masterpiece within.
Those options, for reasons having to do with time and resources, were not available when the idea for my book came to mind. This book was coming out of me no matter what. It came out of me the same way I've been writing my whole life. It came out of me often in the length of a letter -- much like the ones I have written my whole life.
It came out in small pieces of paper I gathered or on paper napkins in a restaurant. It was written by my children as I recited what I was thinking while I was driving and asked them to start writing and take down my words. It happened when traveling on the train and recorded in a notebook I carried. It happened on long drives when there were no children to write for me as I got off the road and sat in the parking lot of a rest stop and wrote and wrote until the thought had passed and the important story had been recorded. Then I got back on the road and got to my destination a little later than planned.
It was coming out of me just before I heard a yell from upstairs that the dog had thrown up and the child was, with mixed feelings, conveying his pride that he had cleaned it up and...and his horror that he disposed of it in the toilet....which was now overflowing (as a result of the foreign object)...onto the bathroom floor and beyond. I am not proud of how I yelled at the child (and the dog) as I raced away from my writing to stop the impending damage to the rest of the house.
After uncurling a wire hanger and plunging it into the toilet failed to reach the cause of the clog, I stuck my arm in down to my shoulder and pulled out a brown face cloth. The toilet emptied, flushed appropriately and crisis was averted.
I was exhausted from the rush of adrenaline of being angry and being needed to stop the crisis from mounting. I was completely spent. Then I wrote this part of the book because I wanted so badly to let anyone who is considering taking the time to write to simply write and write and write again. Take it from someone who loves order. It can be done in a less than perfect way.
This book is unfolding in a messy, unorganized way and happening as I have lived -- as so many of life's great gifts do. Sometimes, the things giving us the greatest leap to the next stage of our lives are happening within the fabric of our less-than-perfect, not-fully-planned daily events.
Jeanne Stafford is writing a book on Asperger's, improv and fearlessness. She teaches her clients to communicate powerfully using improv techniques. Sign up for her free 30 Days of YES and find out how using YES words can empower you to possibility. Follow Jeanne on twitter @jeannestafford http://jeannemstafford.com