Never underestimate the power of books !

2016-10-8--06-19-06


To a special friend…

 


“Let us pick up our books and our pens,” I said. “They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”
Malala Yousafzai


 

Of all the papers that speak about books, there are seldom those addressed to authors or writers. Generally speaking, a paper will advertise the latest publication or the first book of a new author.  

Anyone would tell that the bond between the author and the readers is obvious, hence such obviousness may also trigger the prevalence of certain gaps that need to be reminded to writers.

Once my first book was published, I was excited expecting my readers’ comments , hoping they would share more than encouraging words. In fact,  there’s been a common expression that came in the various feedback notes. It was about emotions. Yes, emotions that readers felt and discovered through my chronicles.

I was impressed and sincerely humbled as I never imagined that simple chronicles could spark such personal and intimate state of the heart.

As if people reminded me of what mattered the most through pages and chapters. “You allowed me to feel emotions I thought I had forgotten”. I assume that says it all about a book.

Whether we deliver a novel,  chronicles, essays or short stories,  we deliver a part of our intimacy to the eyes of the reader; at that point, we better be real and true. The bond between a writer and his audience is one of trust and honesty.

I learned a lot from these newly found friends (my readers), they showed me how high they put the bar of expectations for this book and eventually the next ones to come.

I rushed to my book shelves, did sort through these,  filing  those who procured me emotions during their reading. I tagged them as “my emotions books”; those I would read again with the same pleasure as in the first time.

If it is tempting to use a seductive style, or draw audience’s interest to appreciate how good writers we are; however if we cannot deliver our emotions, there are chances people will start fast reading through pages or simply abandon the volume as I did to the books that never procured me any emotion.

Delivering a book is a responsibility, a great one, our readers’ trust based on a very simple and human attitude: emotions !

Michel ©  

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A Book! Creating a Story! A Story about Real Life!

MTL05


We are all storytellers, but if we are first storytellers,
and second humans, we run the risk of manipulating
our lives to create a story, rather than living out
our lives and sharing where we’ve been.

Darrell
Vesterfelt (Unblogger)[i]


 The first time someone mentioned I was a “writer” it really made me feel very strange. I never imagined I would be called “writer”. It has been over three years I started blogging for the fun, for myself, mostly because I love writing.

Nevertheless the idea of writing was persistent to the point it haunted my thoughts before I got myself into putting words about stories, these real life stories that happened to me.

From simple events to observations, taking advantage of every day’s commuting to work back and forth, interacting with coworkers in my field, and much more.

I rarely worried about finding a topic to write about. Life is such an amazing place where every second has its own story. My preoccupation being instead answering that essential question of how true my story was, and what it related to things I have lived for real.

I must admit I was very new to the world of digital writing. Most of my teachers during the various courses I attended wrote papers, some had their own blogs, and a few wrote and published books. It seemed to me the bar was too high to consider such activity.

Among the few researches I made, I purchased  a book about blogging, it was “the” trigger for my very first paper. A paper I wrote but never published. That book “Unblogger” by Darrell Vesterfelt spoke of why people would blog or write a book. A very different approach from the lot of many other authors, Darrell spoke about real life events, such events becoming stories he wrote and shared with his audience.. “Unblogger” sparked this entire adventure that has being ongoing since 2011.

One of the most challenging matter I was confronted to: deciding in which language I would like to write.

Living in a bilingual speaking country, I wished to share my papers with both French and English natives. After a couple of articles in French, someone asked me if I would not start writing in English as well.  To my worries about syntax and good writing style, a friend, who is an experienced writer and published author shared her own challenges about writing skills. She said, I remember “Write no matter what! We all do mistakes! You will never know how good or bad it is unless you write and publish your first paper” she then added, “Remember, if your subject is captivating, readers will be tolerant towards your writing” So I did, I did write and I did publish my first paper in English, it was read by 50 people, a couple of positive comments, I had all what it took to go on.

The main difficulty I was facing, and still it is, that regardless of the language I speak and know enough well, my grammatical and writing structure remained French. What a nightmare it felt when rereading myself to find a French translated text. It  lost the entire essence of the meaning. I knew it would confuse readers more than ever.

Back to square one! That is when ones regrets for not paying attention to the English teacher who provided all creative efforts to teach me grammar and syntax. Bless you Mrs. Daphne ! You were so patient with me, I owe you so much, even if I was always late submitting my assignment or being late in your class. I owe you for those little tips you wrote on the margin of my papers (filled with red ink), they taught me a lot, yes, I kept these very preciously since, on a file !

We all need to write, we all need to keep our memory alive. That is what writers do, aren’t they? Writing is first to indulge yourself, have fun. Fame and success can wait, but feeling good about yourself is of essence.

One of the movies & the books that influenced my passion for reading (and after for writing) is definitely Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”. How powerful is a book, how more powerful is a writer!

In today’s world we do not write any more, we keep ourselves busy in creating “How to” guidelines and users manuals. If kids learn to read at school it is more to read these guides rather than unleash their imagination, the imagination through writing!

Until our next chat.

Michel ©  


 

[i] Unblogger: Discovering the power of story in a how to world