As a member of the Red Room (something I am actually quite proud of, which shows the direction my life is currently moving), I received an e-mail "inviting" me to WRITE A NOVEL IN NOVEMBER.
The concept is that most people write about 1,000 words a day, so 30,000 words is possible and, voila, a Short Novel is born. Like most things in life, the concept seems easier than the reality, but I know the Red Room has it's heart in the right place.
The fact of the matter is that most people don't write a novel or column simply because they never bothered to try. Many people are afraid what people would say, they worry it will be no good, they're afraid of being mocked.
When the former Editor in Chief of Vietnam News, Nguyen Khuyen, asked me to start a column on golf in Vietnam, I thought it was a great way to invite ridicule and scorn and I was right.
But it also taught me the role of the critic is to sell hemmoroid creme and make you a better writer.
Taking that to heart, I replied to every negative e-mail. By answering and showing that I was actually concerned with the other person's viewpoint, I learned more where they were coming from and they learned I wasn't a complete and total wanker.
To this day, I take the time to respond to everyone who e-mails me about my columns, both good and bad.
When I began my campaign to quit smoking, I mentioned it in the newpaper column and received encouragement from people all over the globe. Quite humbling to say the least. For the record, I finally achieved my goal of quitting smoking last February through the help of acupuncture. I am still smoke free.
The reason why I am NOT writing a novel this November is that I cannot think of a topic, nor do I have any idea of how to publish it without breaking my piggy bank.
Oh sure, you scoff, how difficult is it to find a topic? Why not write about being a columnist and change the name of the main character so people won't throw tomatoes at the bookstore window?
To be honest, I HAVE thought about it, but it would be more work of the same kind that I am currently doing and, thus, onerous.
I prefer to write about things which I have absolutely no knowledge of and can just make it up as I go. You know bullshit myself into oblivion on a wild trek accross the far reaches of the universe. I'm good at bullshitting...
Unfortunately, thats been done. Hitchhikers Guide and all that...
So, I guess I will NOT be the one two win the two hours of abuse, er...ridicule, er...TUTORING in creative writing from the Editor of Red Room, which is also a good thing because two hours with me might have her running off screaming into the night ...
Yes, I have that effect on people...
Causes Robert Bicknell Supports
Any legitimate charity which benefits children.