The Unbearable “Lightness” of Writing or: How to Make a Book


When I was about twelve years old, I decided that I wanted to write a book. But let’s be honest; what is there that a twelve year old could write about so that it eventually becomes a book worth reading?

Back then however, I thought that writing a book would not be so difficult and could be done relatively fast. You just need the right idea for a story and the proper writing skills, right?

Well, actually…NO. That is not the only thing you need. All of those people, who are thinking about writing a book, should sit down and think about whether they have the actual will, patience, working discipline and stress resistance that one will need for such a project in first place.

Last school year, six years after my decision to publish something, my junior English class of the American School of Kosova and I had the idea to write our own book: War and Love with the support of our professor. We got inspired by Sandra Cisneros’s book The House on Mango Street, which is a book consisting of vignettes.

We spent quality time writing our own pieces, proofreading the ones of our other junior schoolmates and then there was, of course, the whole organization thing to be dealt with. Things like: How many copies should there be printed? How should the layout be? How much do we want to charge students for a copy? What should the title be? Etc.

Writing a book is neither easy nor is it a thing that can be done quick. A really good product will eventually take a year if not more than that.

There are always these moments when you think nothing is going the way it should or moments when everything just goes perfectly well. But despite the ups and downs it is a project that gives a lot of satisfaction and warm memories at the very end of it.

Not only was I amazed by the whole process of letting our idea become reality but also by the work done by my Albanian comrades.

Some of the vignettes in our book were about love, while others decided to write about the Balkan War of 1998.

For me, as a non-Albanian member of the group, it was so fascinating to read all of these stories. It gave me a totally different perspective on the whole Kosovo Albanian culture and I appreciate this insight very much.  This project gave me an unforgettable sense of teamwork.

Writing a book, be it on your own or with the corporation of other potential authors, is a great experience that helps you to get to know either yourself or the people you are working with. I am very grateful for having been part of our War and Love project.

If there is anyone from my former team who is reading this, I just want to say thank you for your fantastic work and amazing contributions. I am so proud to have had the chance to be part of this group of young people with so much talent and so many great ideas!!

Faleminderit të gjithë! Thank you everyone!