There is a popular saying that goes along the lines of ‘Everyone has a book in them’.
It’s one of those quotes that is quietly whispered in order to encourage a would-be author to sit themselves down at the keyboard, stretch their fingers and commit, once and for all, to telling whatever story it is that they have to tell.
Whether or not anyone would then want to read it of course, is a moot point. The right to do so and consequent act of catharsis is the writing of the story itself. No-one can force someone to read a book. But then no-one should be stopped from doing so either if they have the desire to do so.
Freedom of speech and all that.
It’s partially what inspired me to commit my own story to print. I think I have lived a reasonably interesting life. It’s certainly one that hasn’t been without incident and, if you have, or are intending to read My Way, you will (soon) be familiar with some of the happy, sad, funny and, in some instances, potentially dangerous situations I have found myself in over the last, *cough*, years of my life.
What most people don’t realise, however, is that the quote in question has actually been misquoted and is part of a longer one that has been, amongst many others, attributed to the writer and journalist Christopher Hitchens who is supposed to have said, ‘Everyone has a book in them and that, in most cases, is where it should stay’.
All of a sudden, writing a book might not seem such a good idea. Not everyone can, for whatever reasons, make their living out of writing. But, for all that, everyone but everyone feels they can be a critic of those who are. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you even slightly lift your head above the public parapet, then you become fair game for all the critics out there.
Which brings to mind another famous quote, the one by Oscar Wilde that asserts that, ‘The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about’.
And a lot of people had a lot to say about Mr Wilde-and not all of it was true or fair. But it didn’t do him any harm!
I’m not comparing myself to him of course. After all, who could? The man was a bona fide genius. One who, for all the criticism and accusations made against him throughout his working life continued to do what he did best and better than most.
If someone like him could attract criticism, then no-one is safe! But I digress. And not for the first time.
At the end of My Way, I mention how many of my friends and colleagues would have been certain that telling my story was the prelude to a gentle retirement, of slipping off to a nice country cottage somewhere with only my books, a bee hive or two and my memories for company.
One day, mind you. But not yet.
I enjoyed the whole book writing process so much, that I already have the outlines of at least two more down on paper and I’ll be discussing their viability with various people over the early months of 2022.
One will be to do with wining and dining and will include features and maybe some interviews with the owners or staff from some of the restaurants I’ve enjoyed visiting during my worldwide travels over the years.
The other will have a travel theme and will be about…but no, let’s not say too much about that one yet, other than it should be a fine vehicle for some spectacular photography from, for me, some very special places.
I’ve shared my story. Now I want to share those from some other people and places.