12 REASONS WHY I SHOULD WRITE THIS BOOK
1. First, I am rabidly excited about cruising. My usual pattern is to do things 110%. I don't see why this would be any different.
2. I devour all of the books I can find on the subject. I hope to put the cruise in an appropriate historical context. It was all new to me to discover that Cunard was originally a cattle-car sort of operation shunting immigrants to the new world. I am currently reading about disasters at sea -- something I hope to be avoiding, but find fascinating nevertheless.
3. Because I can. Have you ever seen a piece of art and said, "I could do that." But did you? Actually, I started my research more than a year ago, and the writing of the book will take at least eight months after the cruise to put together, edit, etc. This project is already well under way. There's no stopping me now.
4. This book is needed. .There are few first-person accounts of cruises. One couple, on their 25th wedding anniversary and their first cruise, wrote a book about it. There are a few dated accounts of world cruises (my favorite was in 1913 -- what a different world, with half-naked black men loading the ships one box and bail at a time). There is little else, perhaps because of the plethora of websites. Most books want to tell you how to find the best cruise or the best deal or blah blah blah. Not me. This won't be theoretical. It will be real. .
5. I am addressing an under served population -- retired folks. My target audience may not be much into blogging. Hence, one easy web address. It's true, to read the eBook, they will need a Kindle. But I may also show up in person (see #11 below).
6. I can do as well as many travel writers I read. The first book I read on cruising was Steven B. Stern's Stern's Guide to the Cruise Vacation, his 21st edition, dating back to 1974. It lists every major cruise ship in the world, hundreds of them. He also has a guide to the world's most luxurious resorts. What a nice situation he has made for himself, traveling on cruise ships and visiting plush resorts, usually gratis. But when you go to his website and read his actual travel articles and reviews, they are deadly dull. Snore. Similarly positioned is Alan Fox, CEO of Vacations to Go. He, too, is constantly reporting from some fabulous ship or exotic location. His writing is vibrant and alive and interesting. His account of trying to see the aurora borealis in Alaska was dramatic and mesmerizing. Congratulations to both of them for their success. Personally, I hope to be more like Fox than Stern in my writing.
7. I've done non-fiction writing. Go to Amazon.com and you will find me there. But that was technical, even grueling to produce. I expect cruise writing to be equally hard work, in its way, but also more fun.(That's me in the photo, left, on the Isle of Wight during the three days separating our Queen Mary 2 sailings in 2010.)
8. I'm a pretty good observer. I hope to enhance my vision even more. I am reminded of the poetry of Mary Oliver. Poetry is also observing. Oliver writes simply yet her content and meaning are tremendously moving. In her book about poetry technique, Oliver suggests writing at the same time each morning. You establish a rhythm. Then, after a while, your muse begins to show up. If you just do it occasionally, why would your muse even bother? I hope my dedication to cruise writing will convince my muse to show up regularly.
9. It will give me a chance to return to photography. Not long ago, I sold a case filled with $5,000 worth of Olympus camera bodies and lenses, for $50. They hadn't been out of the closet for decades. In the 80's, I did architectural photography, and loved it. I knew enough not to become a professional photographer, however. Once that happens, the weight of making a living causes you to make horrible compromises with your creativity. It is the same reason not to become a professional travel writer, in some ways. Anyway, for the sake of traveling light, I rejected digital SLR and mega-zoom cameras for a compact Sony that does HD video, takes stills in 16 megapixels, has good automatic and manual controls, and has a reasonable zoom.. Photos and videos will be on this website, as a companion to the book, as eBooks aren't strong in photos yet. In fact, that is the main reason for this website to exist -- to add visuals to the writing.
10. Interviewing people helps me to appreciate other reasons for cruising. I know why I enjoy cruising, but we are all different. I look forward to input from many other sources as to their motivation for cruising.
11. This book is the first step in a larger plan. Once published, I hope Linda and I can travel and speak to groups of retired people to tell them in person about cruising. At the very least, they could enjoy it vicariously.
12.. Why not? Think about it. A new restaurant opens up in the neighborhood. Why do we need another restaurant, or pizza parlor? Yet they come. Some fail, but some make it big, with great food and a large clientele.The cream rises to the top. There is always room for someone to do a relatively routine activity, but do it with pizzazz.