Many people ask me how I came to write a cloth diapering blog. It’s a strange topic, to be sure. And at the same time I’m working to become a novelist in a completely different subject area. Why? Well, part of it is that I’m in an experimental phase. But the main reason is that I’m following some good advice. I wish I could remember who said this, and if one of you knows, please tell me so I can give credit where it is due:
“If you keep looking for the same book over and over and can’t find it, you need to write it.” –unknown
I started 29 Diapers because there was no other blog out there with a complete explanation of how modern cloth diapers work, and I spent tons of time researching all my options and getting an answer to one question over here, only to discover I had another question I had to go search for the answer to. Also, my background in editorial makes me heavily in favor of writing that is information-based and has no conflict of interest: independent reviews of products, and information that has been put through the sieve of experience. There also didn’t seem to be a blog that was information-based to help parents figure out which green products to try that wasn’t also trying to sell them those same products. There was a niche that needed filling!
The novel was the same idea. No one writes about why people leave the Church, how most of a person’s spiritual life is contained in their head and not obvious to the world. I kept looking for fiction books that delved into the world of symbolic dreams and communicating with God, or books that acknowledged the many thousands of people who have left the church because of being badly mistreated. My novel touches on all those topics, and I decided to write it after realizing that the reason it didn’t exist yet was that no one but me could write that exact story. It’s not a rant or a diatribe, by the way. It centers around the idea of hope and reconciliation, so please don’t leave comments telling me there are plenty of books on how misbehaved the Church is. Don’t I know it.
If you’re wanting to write but can’t figure out where to start, use the advice above. What do you want to read but can’t find? What do you keep hoping your favorite author will write but they don’t? Write that. It’s a good place to start, anyway.