I think I'm writing a book.
Two months ago, I left my job and began writing. I placed no expectations on myself, beyond a weekly deadline and a commitment to quality. Ship an essay a week and make it good.
I began by scribbling about journalism trends, something I have a decade of experience with. Write what you know, they said. Then I moved onto various obsessions, ideas I encountered in my reading and in my life that I could not let go of. The habits of leafcutter bees, palaeontology, the career of a despised French surgeon from the 18th century.
And, over the past four months - shipping an essay a week, making it good - my writing improved. I owe it to you.
Your feedback improved my sentences and elevated my dialogue. You cultured my arguments. You taught me how to form structures to support the ideas of others.
Then I started working on memoir and personal essays and everything changed. Centring my own experience, rather than that of an obscure botanist or a pile of bones, I discovered ideas of my own.
Now I understand that ideas arrive when I identify moments of emotional resonance in my life and try to understand why they are important. I owe it to myself, and to you dear reader, to explore that. A book seems like a good way to do it.
There will be some changes around here. You'll still get essays, something crafted, but fortnightly not weekly. I like accountability.
On the weeks where there is no essay, I'll send you a note like this to let you know how I'm getting on. I like constancy.
And, in the time saved, I'll work on an outline and material for the book. I like a challenge.
In a way, you are my editor, my agent and my publisher.
I cannot promise anything, for I have never written a book before. But whether I succeed or fail, it does not matter. I will end up a better writer regardless and we'll both surely learn something.
Best wishes, Adam
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