LONDON — I am very pleased that this is National Novel Writing Month. It is, I think, just a ruse for a book publishing website. But for me, it’s working.
My 13-year-old daughter and I started yesterday morning. We get up early and tap away in the kitchen before the sun comes up. On day two she’s on target… churning out thousands of words a day.
Me… not so much.
But I am still at it. And I have published two books already so I am a bit smug.
“How many words have you got daddy?”
“Ah, yes, but mine are really *good* words.”
I look over her shoulder.
“In the first para, ‘bath’ is spelled with a capital B,” I offer helpfully.
“‘Never go back.’ We’re not meant to edit until the end,” she explains, and intuitively I know that I will never be allowed to look over her shoulder again.
So it takes me to thinking about why kids who text and Skype and talk utter rubbish (okay that’s my view) should still be interested in writing long form novels? And the answer is the same as texting, Skyping, Instant Messaging … or for that matter painting, dancing or playing football:
It’s a mode of self-expression, it’s something that we can pass on to others, it’s a longer commitment to communicating… and therefore something else that we people do that separates us from the occupants of the London Zoo.
Our business, Able and How, is a change management consultancy. Okay, it’s THE change management consultancy. We help people plan and communicate change. We work with words. We do it in video, online, face to face and on paper.
It’s exciting and it’s got great value. By writing, talking, planning and publishing we regularly save companies lots and lots of money.
Over time that’s not going to change. The way the words are consumed will. From Kindles to smart phones we’re just finding new and easier ways of reading more and more stuff.
How long has it been since you sat somewhere with nothing to read or do? We’re reading now on the Tube, on the chair-lift… anywhere that you can find a few minutes.
Words are important and increasingly so.