Is This a Good Time for Book to be Born?
We are living in unprecedented times
Do you dreaming of writing a book—perhaps a novel or memoir, but wonder with all the other voices in the world what would be the point?
Life on earth in this century is frickin’ hard. In our lifetime, we’ve never had to deal with a constantly evolving plague. If we read all the stories about earthquakes, wars, and volcanos erupting across the globe, there are not enough hours in the day to keep up with the news. And that’s not counting the anti-mask and anti-vax wars and all the political insanity going on in the U.S. And as if we were not stressed enough, we keep hearing about asteroids that might hit the earth. What’s not to stress out about?
I don’t mean to increase your anxiety—you’ve probably got a social media newsfeed for that. We are living in unprecedented times. In times past, it wasn’t possible for people to know about the troubles in every remote corner of the globe. People had enough stress locally just getting enough food on their plates without taking on multiple causes around the world. Today a person can scroll around the clock and they’ll probably run out of adrenaline before they get to the end of the news cycle.
You might feel there is so much noise out there that you wonder if anyone will even want to hear your stories. If you grew up a fundamentalist Christian, as I did, you’re probably still hearing lots of doomsayers spouting conspiracy theories. You might wonder—what’s the point of writing my book if life is so uncertain? It’s important to remember that Jesus himself told us not to worry about tomorrow. And we really don’t know if this is the end. People thought the world was ending many times in the past for various reasons including plagues, earthquakes, and wars.
So what’s a writer to do? Should you wait until times get better before you write your book? I guess that depends on what’s going on in your life. The way I look at it, people are reading stories now more than ever. And we still have to maintain some sort of normalcy throughout this pandemic.
People Crave Stories
The truth is that our stories are needed as much as music and art. These are the things that give people the will to survive hard times.
Stories Offer Intellectual Stimulation
We can only read so many sad stories about people who wished they’d gotten vaccinated before they died and it’s no longer news. People are tired of hearing about politics and the lack of human justice. Most people don’t want to hear yet another religious teacher who harms children. People get tired of lectures, but they always love stories.
Stories Offer Diversion
People need a reprieve. We crave an escape from all the bad news. It’s not that we don’t care—we need a break for the sake of our mental health. We’re all suffering from cumulative stress. The secret to surviving difficult times is to compartmentalize and pace ourselves.
People crave stories when they come home from working in the hospital so they can find something to think about besides the sick and dying. We only have so much time and energy and fighting rude people on all sides is wearing us out. It’s nice to escape into a book at the end of the day or look forward to the weekend because we have a good read.
Stories Offer Hope
We also need stories to remember our history and how civilizations have survived worse conditions than we are dealing with today. It’s important to remember the people who found solutions and cures in the past. These stories remind us that not all is lost in our current situation. That heroes and sheroes will arise. Perhaps we can write about them.
Stories not only distract us from our troubles, but they fill us with hope for the future. Many just want their health back and a little hope to fuel their dreams. Books help us escape to another time and place where we can recalibrate our mind and soul.
You might be asking if this is a good time for a book baby to be born? You might wonder, but this beautiful poem reminds us that the value of a life is worth more than the timing.
This is no time for a child to be born.
With the earth betrayed by war & hate
And a comet slashing the sky to warn
That time runs out & the sun burns late.
That was no time for a child to be born,
In a land in the crushing grip of Rome;
Honour & truth were trampled by scorn-
Yet here did the Saviour make his home.
When is the time for love to be born?
The inn is full on the planet earth,
And by a comet the sky is torn-
Yet Love still takes the risk of birth.
Perhaps there will never be a perfect time for a book to be born. Maybe it’s less about the timing and more about the love. The love for self is to set the record straight. The love for others is to give hope. And yes, the love of story for the sake of the story—which never grows old.
Good stories will always be in demand. Your life experiences might be an escape for someone else to read about. Your book might be a cautionary tale, a story about redemptive suffering, or a modern fairytale that gives other people the courage to get up today because they’ve got a book to read.
What are you writing for?
What are you waiting for?
©2021 Cherilyn Christen Clough