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Journal of a novel: Aug. 23, 2016. A different breed

August 23, 2016

In a series of posts, I’ll share both Steinbeck’s Journal of a Novel and what I learn from it, and I’ll show you what the writing life is like for me.

In his Monday, March 26, Journal of a Novel entry, John Steinbeck muses about being different from other people:

I dislike thinking of myself as different or set aside or separate from other people and yet I am forced to sometimes, much as I dislike it. It is borne in upon me that I do not like the pastimes which amuse and satisfy others—the games, both mental and physical, cards, gambling, tennis, croquet. It is not that I dislike them but that they bore me and in no way hold my attention.

I can relate. Football season is about to start. The sport is especially popular around here and most of the people that I know can’t wait for the games to begin. I couldn’t care less. Instead, I’m laying plans for the event that looms large in my fall calendar: National Novel Writing Month.

In my lifetime, I have attended two football games. One was a scrimmage between two pro teams. The other was a college game that I went to on a date. I knew nothing about the game and had no idea what was going on. Being a dutiful girlfriend, I tried to show that I was engaged in what the guy was interested in by asking questions. I was requested to please be quiet so that he could watch the play. OK … At the conclusion, I suggested that henceforth he take a buddy and leave me out of it.

Now as my friends talk about defense and wide receivers and downs and interceptions, my eyes glaze over. The same way that their eyes glaze over when I talk about book trailers and online cyber book festivals and epub conversion and Facebook author page takeovers. Yes, I definitely live in a different world.

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