Wednesday, September 9, 2015

"I Want to Write a Book. How Do I Accomplish That?"

I sometimes get asked what advice I would give to those who want to write a book.  I am often not sure what to say to that question, because to answer it seems presumptuous to act like I have the answers.  Everyone writes differently.  I have one book out and one on the way, and a handful of manuscripts that were my training wheels.  There are so many fabulous authors out there who have tons more experience than I do, who offer up their wisdom freely.  I highly suggest taking advantage of that!

Still, people have asked, so here goes.  Much of this advice is distilled from many books on writing.

Image by FlashBuddy, free from MorgueFile
1.  Read a lot.  Words seep into you like rain in a dry creek bed.  You may not even realize you're learning how to put together a good sentence until you try.  You can thank your favorite authors for teaching you in the best way possible.

2.  Write a lot.  Someone has said you need 10,000 hours of experience in a skill to master it.  That's a lot of time spent doing something, so hopefully it is something you love.  If you want to write stories and if they make you happy, build time into your schedule to write.  Don't be heartbroken if your first completed manuscript doesn't make it into print.  That's normal.

3.  Work with other writers.  Writing can be lonely.  Find a community that will support you and tell you that what you are doing is worthwhile.  People who will say-- hey, get off Facebook and go write!  And listen when they offer criticism.  It may sting, but your story will be better for it.

4.  Keep learning.  Read books on the craft of writing, take seminars and webinars.  Never stop learning.  I think that's pretty self-evident.  I have a list of my favorite books on writing in the sidebar of this blog.  Go check some of them out.


That's really all I've got. It may be simple, but it's not easy.  Making time to write involves sacrifice, but if you love it, it's worth the effort!

Good luck!

Amy