..and in my dream I searched for a very specific book for it would teach me to write beautiful prose. This book was like a great grimoire of writing, it would reveal to me a secret that could make me the greatest writer in the world. I don’t know how I knew this, but then, this was a dream after all.
I eventually found the book on the top shelf of an old dusty bookcase. The bookcase stood in the middle of a dry forest between two broken stumps. On the cover, in sepia tint, was a photo of an old woman’s face. It was leathery with many deep lines. I don’t remember the title. The cover seemed familiar somehow and reminded me of a book I might have read while still at university. I took it down and opened it and saw that all the pages were blank except for one which had one line in the middle of the page:
“So she had lived, and had taken a husband, and settled the rest of her remaining days.”
Though a dream, I felt cheated and angry. But then I heard someone laughing. When I closed the book I saw the woman’s picture had become animated and she was cackling at my obvious disappointment. I told her I didn’t understand, how can she say this is the secret to great writing?
She replied, “Because I can. That is how I write.”
And because this was a dream I accepted her answer and placed the book back on the shelf and left, but not before I reminded myself to go look for it in my real-world library the next morning when I wake up.
I searched for it today but didn’t find anything. I don’t know what the old woman had meant unless it is not so deep as to be understood in any other way except the obvious, which is to write whatever you want because you can.
Not necessarily magic for success, I know, but there’s certainly some truth to it. This isn’t advice I didn’t know. Maybe it goes back to how you can break the rules so long as you know why you’re breaking them, otherwise don’t.
Or it’s about challenging genre boundaries, or both. Or maybe it’s nothing. Just a simple dream I had because I’ve been writing nonstop and because I’ve been fretting about the quality of my writing.
Anyone have any ideas?
Oh, before I go. Today I received the new cover for the second book in the Guardians of the Seals series, formerly known as “The Worthless One”. I’ll show you guys later this week and reveal the final title of the book.
2 thoughts on “I Dreamed of an Old Book…”
What a lovely post. I liked the imagery and the message. Yes, do it because you can!
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Thanks! It felt really weird at the time and I remember going through my library the next morning convinced I had the book somewhere.
Thanks for commenting.