Archive for the ‘Opportunity’ Category

Book in a Bottle

Posted: August 5, 2010 in Opportunity
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As I was nearly getting up this morning, I happened to catch an interview with a researcher / author on BBC Breakfast who had turned her 7 year quest to find the writer of a French letter in a bottle into a best selling book. Now, one of my many non-achievements is that of not being a writer. Ever since childhood I have enjoyed writing and always felt that I had at least one book in me, possibly a trilogy. However I have never been able to find my perfect story or the Harry Potter / Robert Langdon / Sherlock Holmes charismatic character to hang a book on. I have ideas almost every day; some of them even make it as far as being realised in a word document, at least for a page or so, but are then resigned to my ever-increasing story beginnings file.

So, I wondered, as I sat watching the interview, whether her success was simply down to opportunity – a fascinating story just ripe for telling to the world, and literally handed to her on a plate, or rather in a bottle. But, when her friend brought her the letter she had found washed up on the beach and asked her to translate it, knowing that she was a fluent French speaker, she could have done the job and simply left it there. Like others have done. The opportunity would have deflated like a burst balloon and raspberried off into the distance, never to be seen again. And yet, the tragic letter from a mother filled with grief at the loss of her young son, prickled her curiosity and started her on a journey that not only took out a considerable chunk of her life but also gave her a great idea for a book. The fact that the writer of the letter was only found after the book was published is even more fascinating – the writing of the book ultimately became part of the quest, a hope that the person who wrote the letter might one day read it and solve the mystery. And she did.

I wonder how many opportunities I miss every day because I’m too busy or too short-sighted to see their potential? Still, maybe one day opportunity will strike long enough for me to lock the gates, grab it and publish it and I can make my way to the top of the seesaw. Then again, it’s a precarious life, sitting on top of the world, wondering when the heavy person opposite will either lose weight or just get off the seesaw and leave you to plummet to the ground. Perhaps turning a blind eye to Opportunity is not such a bad idea!