two months ago my favorite publishing company–torrey house press–approached me with an idea for a book, and asked me if I would be interested in taking on the project. let me clarify: they approached me with a topic. a one-word topic, a topic that they said I could take on and write about in any way that inspired me. sounds great, doesn’t it? sounds like a dream job, sounds like something any writer with half a brain should say yes to.
so I said yes, (because I appear to have–sometimes if not always–about half a brain). and thus I find myself writing a book about wolves.
and it is going to be a damn good book.
I’ve been researching like crazy for the past two months, reading and interviewing and traveling to yellowstone and missoula and bozeman, thinking and feeling and synthesizing it all . . . and I am creating an incredible book about something I never even knew I might care about. at least, I’m creating this incredible book when I can tear myself away from the never-ending research.
about a month into my indoctrination-by-overload into the world of wolves, I had eight books stacked on my table and I needed a bike ride. along the route, my biking buddy bob was listening to my current-and-future wolf reading list, and he said to me, “back in college, a professor once told me–after listening to all of the research I’d done–just start writing.”
so I just started writing. and I’m still writing, and researching, and reading, and continuing to write.
there are numerous books about wolves already out there: you can read about the reintroduction of wolves into yellowstone, you can read the science, you can read books with amazing pictures, you can read about people who camped and lived with a wolf pack for six years. mine will be nothing like these: they’re already out there. mine is a personal story, a personal journey, with universal application. it’s a book about wolves, and it’s also a book about what it means to be human, in a world with wolves.
and it’s getting written. slowly. there’s more research to do, more experiences to be had, more people to talk with. but I’m remembering to write. because it’s an awful lot like bicycling: nothing happens when you don’t pedal. and once you begin pedaling, your destination comes closer and closer, one pedal stroke at a time.
one day you’ll want to be reading my wolf book. because not only am I an excellent researcher, but I’m a darn good writer and I’m going to keep writing, one word at a time, each day bringing my destination just a little bit closer, and closer, until one day, the wolf book will be ready for you and I will begin writing something else.