Should I Write a Book?

Last week, a literary agent contacted me, encouraging me to develop a proposal for a book. And I admit, I’m really interested in the idea. I’ve been turning the following question over in my head ever since: “What would my book be about?”

Now, believe it or not, I’ve written books before (all out of print — for some reason, books on WordPerfect 6 aren’t selling so hot anymore), so I’m not especially intimidated by the idea of writing a book’s-worth of text.

But this is different. This is personal. It’s not easy to answer the question, “What do I know that is big enough to fill a book?”

I’ve considered whether there could be a Fat Cyclist book before, but had mostly thought in terms of a Best of Fatty compilation, including my favorite posts and comments. Which means I’d probably have to share my (seven figure, I’m sure) commission with some of the commenters here.

Lately, though, as I’ve been writing to help me wrap my brain around Susan’s cancer and how it’s affecting us, I sometimes think that telling our story in book form might be worthwhile. The summary of events, after all, is pretty remarkable:

Fatty and Susan are the parents of four kids, including identical twin two-year-olds. About the time Fatty takes a 40% paycut at his job, Susan finds a lump in a breast. Cancer. As Fatty jobhunts, Susan gets ready for a mastectomy. Fatty tells Susan — as she wakes from surgery — that he’s accepted a job in Washington, and has put up their house for sale. Susan goes through treatment in Washington, after which Fatty starts a blog to keep in touch with his old friends and apply pressure to himself to lose weight. When Susan is better, the family moves back to Utah, where they have one easy year before the cancer returns, this time metastasized to stage 4, and aggressive as hell. Thousands of people — most of whom Fatty and Susan have never met — rally around to support them in their battle.

Or here’s a question: is it possible to have a book that tells our story honestly, but still with some humor? If so, that’s the book I think I’d like to write.

But then I think about my life right now and it occurs to me: I’m somewhat busy. Is now really the right time for me to even contemplate a book?

So, I’m asking: should I write a book? And if so, what should it be about, and how should it be about it?

PS: Tomorrow I’m going to try to be funny again. I’ll be interested to see how that goes.

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