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Writing a Book

Girl writing in a book

I’ve been working on a book, or maybe I should say, the book has been working on me. Writing comes easy to me, that part hasn’t really been a problem, though I know it is for some, which is why often one book can take a lifetime.

Defining a book is also a little like defining life because, in all honesty, there are so many different kinds and formats. My first book was “Paintings With Poetry” and while I could have made it a big hardcover thing, in reality, it became more of a booklet than a true book. Putting it together was easy from the sense that Linda and I had complete control and published it ourselves. This too was also the case with my second book, The Land Beneath My Feet. More true to being an actual book, which I really had to write, layout and produce, I still felt the process was fairly easy. In the process of working with the printer, their internal person fit me like a glove. She appreciated and cared about my book. This was very important and made everything go smoothly. The book too focused a lot on my artwork and so while there was a fair amount of text, there were also100 images.

This brings me to my latest book appropriately titled - Live An Artful Life. This book brings me farther down the publishing road. While there will be some photos, its content is a directive on happiness through creativity. I could not have written it without spending the last 30 years of my life as a working artist. Insight was key and as soon as you start building words, pages and chapters, you start losing control. You read and re-read what you’ve been writing, only to have others read it and even then comes the Easter egg hunt for editors and proofreaders. You also need graphics people to do layout and the very important book cover itself. I’m happy to report, it’s almost done.

The decision to find an agent and publisher becomes a looming issue too, but I just do not want to put myself through that lunacy with this book. I’ll save that for the half-written novels floating around in my head.

Writing has now become the favored way to express myself and quite honestly isn’t that what all this is about? The interest and frustration of learning new creative processes is such an important part of being an artist. I have so much in me, I am constantly seeking new ways to express myself, stay true to who I am, and live a life of happiness.

More blog posts by Tom Neel.