Having just finished and published my most recent book, The girl, the gift, the Warsaw Ghetto – Resistance through hope and courage, I now find myself in the curious position of needing to begin all over again. When I began to write about the Holocaust, I committed to a trilogy that is now two-thirds complete and waiting for the third component.
Both of this book’s predecessors required hundreds of hours each, spent in research, writing, and editing. But now that I’ve taken two days to celebrate and recover, it’s time to write the third. As I do that, I’m amazed that the experience is entirely different from the last one and the one before. Maybe it’s because the subject matter is different; maybe it’s simply starting with a blank page.
A number of people have suggested that I take a break and relax before I jump into a third book. It’s a well-intentioned idea except for the fact that the entire process of creating a book is so fulfilling that it never quite seems like work. The best way to explain that is by example.
If you were an artist creating a landscape or portrait and it wasn’t commissioned, would that constitute work? The same question can be asked about a sculpture, musical composition, or interior design. In other words, I believe that this is what I need to do, regardless of how much time and effort are involved.
It’s clear that I am also an educator, explaining why I don’t stop teaching although I have passed the traditional age for retirement. By no means is it the money. I suspect that substitute teachers are paid less than most professionals, particularly in the education world. By all means it is the kids who invigorate, enlighten, and enhance me. And so it goes with writing – filling the pages with words, ideas, history, and optimist is the finest occupation I can imagine.
While I don’t know when book three will be complete, I have every intention of making it happen. The process will be exhausting and exhilarating but that’s what I do. Shalom.