I love writing posts here at The Huffington Post. With so many categories to choose from, I can write about anything I like and I am honored to have had so many posts receive such positive feedback.
I recently wrote a post called 10 Reasons Being 50 is F**king Awesome which received a huge amount of attention because it was published during the media frenzy of Michelle Obama's 50th birthday. I had no idea her birthday was coming up. It was pure luck. I was asked to contribute to several articles and even appeared on CNN to talk about how great it is to be fifty. Several noted journalists followed me on Twitter and the excitement of being on national TV was heady.
Three days later it was over. The First Lady had her party, Monday came, and there was something new to talk about. In a matter of days, my article was old news and I was forgotten. Unless I quickly churned out something just as timely, I was going to lose the momentum of the moment. I submitted another article which was posted on the front page of the Comedy section here at The Huffington Post but it didn't get many views. I was yesterday's news, apparently.
That's when I decided I wanted to be a seashell and not a potato chip.
A trendy news article is like a potato chip. You gobble down the first one and then go back for more until the bag is empty. When you walk past a bag of chips in the grocery store, you don't think "I remember that potato chip I ate last week. It was so good." News trends change at the speed of light. We read them and, perhaps, are moved by some articles but don't keep them in our memory banks for very long.
A seashell, on the other hand, is a souvenir of a pleasant trip to the beach. You wanted to remember that day so you brought it home with you. When you walk past it, you swear you can smell the ocean and hear the seagulls. You pick it up and hold it and feel it's ridges. It is a physical symbol of a happy time and you treasure it.
That is why I am writing a book. I want to be a seashell. I want my readers to hold my words and connect with them, stuff them in their purse so they can read more at lunchtime, and be the last thing they read before falling asleep. I want my book to sit on their bookshelves and make them smile when they walk past as they remember the passage that make them laugh. I want them to be proud they own a "First Edition Emma Nicholson book".
I am in awe of journalists and the amount of information they process at the speed of light but writing for news is as satisfying to my writing appetite as a potato chip is to my hunger at 2:00 pm. Doesn't cut it.
And that's why I'm writing a book.