I was looking for inspiration for this month’s column so I decided to use the mighty Google and see what holidays occurred on today, Thursday (May 6).
Well, I was certainly spoiled for choice. I found the following holidays and observances— International No Diet Day, National Beverage Day, National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day, National Crepes Suzette Day, National Day of Prayer, National Day of Reason, National Nurses Day, National Tourist Appreciation Day, National No Homework Day, and National World Password Day.
However, the one I decided to go with was National Make a Book Day which is part of National Family Reading week.
I started making books as a youngster on my summer holiday travels. Our family had an Aunty Tettler living in the Black Forest in Germany and Mum and Dad and us six kids would head off on a road trip to visit her. Each sibling had a journal and we would write a daily entry about our adventures and stick straws, napkins and ticket stubs into the book.
My book endeavours continued and in 2005 I completed a cycle trip across Africa. Each night in my tent I’d write my blog in a leather-bound journal given to me by my daughter Kristina. At the end of the trip, I made up a manuscript of the entries plus photos and sent them into Lulu.com. They printed off 25 hard copies of How do you Eat an Elephant— One Piece at a Time. My family all knew what they were going to get for Christmas.
Since then, I have had three books published by Rocky Mountain Books: Marathon Quest, about running 250 marathons in one year; Running to the Edge, about raising $1.3 million for the children’s charity Right to Play and The Secret Marathon, Empowering women and girls in Afghanistan through sport. My fourth book The Ageless Athlete— Age is just a Number is scheduled for release on Sept. 28, 2021.
Here are three keys to writing a book:
1. Pick a subject you’re passionate about. Write from the heart.
2. Chunk it down. Tell yourself that you only need to write for 10 minutes. Once you get going, you’ll be surprised how you can keep going.
3. Write first, edit later. Just get the words down.
So, remember— Everyone has a story and a book in them.
© 2021 Martin Parnell