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Writers: Are you writing that book, or are you talking about it?

January 18, 2013

Maybe you know someone who goes on and on about writing the big book. Let’s call him Jimbo. Yeah. He’s got stories to tell, adventures and exploits and wildly uproarious tales he’s packed into his life, things you can only imagine having done. Jimbo carries all the affectations of a writer – tattoos up and down his arms, a cigarette dangling between nicotine-stained fingers, perhaps a beret cocked down rakishly over one eye, a cool, confident, world-weary manner of a bloke who’s been around the block. You sit in dark coffee houses and bars as he spins his tales – how he took a bullet for his buddy in Iraq, the voluptuous girls he’s seduced from all corners of the globe, the drugs he’s done, the bad-ass dudes he’s faced down, the rivers he’s run, the game he’s killed. Yeah. This Hemingway’s got a book to write. A big one.

Jimbo is going to finish the great American novel, this blockbuster of a book that will grab Gotham by the balls and rock the literary world. Says he’s got about fifteen chapters knocked off already.

The question is: Is Jimbo actually writing? Is he sitting his ass down in a chair several times a week and knocking off words? Or is he like so many people bold enough to stamp themselves as writers, not putting in the sweat and time it takes to finish, let alone start a book?

What about you? Are you another Jimbo, talking the talk, but not walking the walk? Writing that book isn’t that hard, but it does go beyond merely talking and dreaming. Get started on that book. Today.

hunter thompson

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4 Comments
  1. Very true. I try not to be a Jimbo, so to speak. I actually just finished a book, so now I am trying to talk about it.
    –JW

  2. I think we all know a Jimbo! I do talk about writing a book, but that in itself makes me sit down and write the book. I would hate people to keep asking me ‘haven’t you finished it yet?’

    • It seems like there was always one Jimbo at a Writer’s Workshop. The guy is a composite of some characters we’ve all known through the years.

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