Can you write a book?

I was surprised when I heard Shelagh Rogers, the host of CBC’s “The Next Chapter” literary program, tell an author she was interviewing that she “could never write a book.” A person who spends much of her time interviewing authors and reading books believing (and admitting) that she doesn’t have what it takes to write a book!

You’ve got to credit Rogers for her admission. There are so many people out there who think that writing a book is something anyone can do. So many retirees who plan to write a book because they perceive it to be an easy task–if only they’d have the time. So many celebrities who write a book just because they know it will generate a significant amount of income for them.

palm reading

what is our inspiration to writing a book?

This topic reminded me of a visit I made to a palm reader back in 1987. She carefully examined my hands and remarked, “Ahhh, I see you’re a writer.” To which I responded that I was an underwriter (an insurance professional who underwrote insurance risks and rated policies.) She looked at my hands again, and emphatically replied, “No, I see you writing creative projects–like a book!”

I was surprised by that comment, as I’d never thought of writing a book. Not being an avid reader of books, I had never aspired to be a writer. Ever.

But then life took an interesting turn, and my underwriting position came to an end when the company I was working for decided to shut down its general insurance division. I was given the opportunity to be retrained in another field so that I could maintain employment with the company.  I chose to take a communications course as I always loved talking with people, was a good communicator, and had the skill of writing good letters.

As a student of the Creative Communications Program at Red River College, I learned all about journalism public relations, and creative writing. I quickly learned that I had a natural talent for creative writing (magazine feature writing) but was not great at newspaper writing where one had to focus on objectivity and stick to the bare facts of any story.

Little did I know that I had opened the tap to let my creativity flow, and eventually, embark on major creative projects–like book writing! I’ve now co-authored two books and written two solo projects. And I’ve already begun researching the next volume of my award-winning chocolate travel book, Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate.

my books

How is it that the card reader saw that talent in my hands nearly 30 years ago? Something I couldn’t see or even feel myself?

So, Ms. Shelagh Rogers … I put the challenge to you. Never say never, as you never know what the future holds.

How about you? Have you discovered a talent you never knew you had? Has your life taken a surprising twist, only to reveal a skill that had never previously shown itself?

Thanks to Manitoba Public Insurance for giving me the opportunity to discover new skills and create a highly creative new life for myself. It never would have happened if you hadn’t opened the door.

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I researched and wrote Volume I of Chocolatour that won a Readers' favourite Award in 2014. Always enjoy experiencing new destinations and flavours.

12 Responses

  1. Hi Doreen, Your experience kind of reminds me of mine. I never thought I’d be a writer either – being dyslexic and all. But sometimes life takes some unexpected twists and turns, doesn’t it? And here I am writing a blog and working on my next book. Life never has a dull moment. But that’s good. It keeps us guessing. 🙂
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Lessons From A Shetland Pony: #StoryMy Profile

  2. Esther says:

    I love this story about you, Doreen! You and my Burnaby friend, Beverley, are the ones who inspired me to begin writing books and blogs. Now I just keep writing. In my case, writing is cathartic.
    Esther recently posted…Is Shunning Ever Appropriate?My Profile

  3. Writing a book isn’t easy, but I think many people sell themselves short when it comes to any kind of creative endeavor. I’ve heard people say “I’m not creative” and I could name several creative things they’ve done.
    Donna Janke recently posted…Living StatuesMy Profile

  4. A.K.Andrew says:

    Amazing- maybe Palm reading really has some value. Fantastic that you took advantage of your creativity Doreen & were able to recognize the girl in the road. I ‘d always wanted to be a writer but felt I had no talent. When I finally had time through I’ll health then I started writing got done books out if the library to learn the craft, casually took some classes & eventually took IT serioudly &a did a 2 yr Creative Writing Certificate at University. It is definitely a craft that needs to be honed. Writing is hard work. But oh so worth it. What an enjoyable post:/)
    A.K.Andrew recently posted…How to Avoid 7 Deadly Sins of Short #Story #WritingMy Profile

  5. Thx for sharing your thoughts, Suzanne. You’re so right. There are many ways to get a book written if a person really has a story to tell.
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…The Mango Walk of Puerto ViejoMy Profile

  6. Perhaps Shelagh was saying she doesn’t have the drive to write the book. For example, I have no desire to write a fiction book, but love writing non-fiction, and that’s what I do for a living. If you don’t feel you have the ability to write a book, but have a compelling story to tell, you can always hire a ghostwriter. Even if you’re a great writer you still need a good copy editor who will clean up everything and make it flow the way a reader wants it to. So there are many ways to write a book, even if you don’t want to actually write it yourself, but the question is whether you have the desire to put in the time required and whether you have a clear picture of what the book is about.

  7. Linda says:

    Very much so. I would never have imagined that I could earn both money and respect from newly honed skills as an editor and book designer. I never, in a million years, imagined that I would become intimately involved with a software program.
    Linda recently posted…Wild horse adoption: from desert to adoption centerMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge