Like many people who enjoy writing, I’ve always wanted to write a book. I’ve written countless articles for blogs, magazines, programmes, papers and websites, but as of yet I haven’t got round to writing that elusive book. That big, bold, brilliant book that I can call mine, forever – even when I’m dead.
I’ve been ‘free writing’ for over 10 years now. I do it at least two or three times a week, and as a result I have literally a million words to inspire me. But the start won’t come, because I can’t settle on an idea. I’ve written about too many subjects, and not enough about one.
A novel? A crime thriller? Short stories? One of those gimmicky books called How Not To Be A Twat On Trains, illustrated in a way that looks like it’s for children but is actually for adults? (I’ll be honest, that’s my strongest idea to date. I’ve got loads of material for that.)
Then I had this thought: could Twitter write it for me?
I need a start. An opening line. A gambit of some sort. Anything. Right now I’ve written precisely nothing, which is why, like that of other creative people, I’m going to turn to the people for my answer.
I haven’t fleshed this out yet, or even thought it through with any reason or balance (currently in the giddy, exciting stage you get when you don’t want the reality to bring you back down to earth – leave me up here for a minute, yeah? And indulge me).
I use a hashtag, something like #beinmybook, and I ask people to tweet a sentence, or whatever they can fit into 140 characters (less the hashtag). Whatever they tweet, I’ll use – word for word. That’s my commitment. It’ll be the first sentence of my book. I could use one to create the first sentence of every chapter.
Could get complicated and confusing. Could get rather messy!
That’s my idea. That’s my start. And don’t none of you tarts go stealing it, because I know what you’re like. I don’t want you going all Mark Twain on me.