There’s something keeping you up at night. It burns in your mind. It’s something you’ve never read, seen on television or on the big screen. If only you could find the right words to describe what you’re seeing in your mind’s eye, then you could give life to a universe that no one has ever seen before.
You have decided that you want to write a book.
Well, let me be the first to congratulate you.Everyone is going to tell you something different about how to go about making it happen. I am not going to give you any advice in this article; I am just going to tell you how I made it through my first novel without destroying my system files and burning my house down.
Finding the Optimal Work Space
First off, I made myself comfortable. I found items that inspired me, both from my past and my hopeful future. I avoided making my space to cluttered (a trick that I learned from my mother-in-law). "A cluttered space is a cluttered mind", and a cluttered mind cannot focus on a singular thought process... it’s all very feng shui.I did however find photos that reminded me of my characters and put them on my desktop for easy reference. I kept my internet available for any research that needed doing but avoided any social media. As I'm sure you'd agree, Facebook can be a poison to creativity. I would always shut it off until I had finished writing for the night. Above all of this, I made sure there were no distractions in the house; I put the kids to bed, I finished whatever chores needed doing for the night, and then I sat down and let the thoughts flow.
PerfectingThe Act of Writing
My writing style tends to be a free flow of thoughts. I read as I type and let the characters in the story tell me what’s going on. I had a direction that I wanted my first novel to head in, but when the characters had finished developing themselves, they took it the opposite way. After a few chapters, I would do a read-through out loud to make sure what I had written all made sense. The few times the kids did wake up, they thought someone had come to visit. After a while they realized there was a very good possibility that their father may be nuts.
Next, I made sure that I had someone that I could trust read over what I was writing as I went along - she has a "thank you" in the book and she bloody well deserved it! There was one point that I had become so discouraged that I told her I was going to stop writing, that I had no business trying to be an author. She promptly yelled at me and explained that she had too much invested in the story for me to stop... so I kept on.
This brings me to a very important point. Don’t stop writing! What you’re writing is much better than you think.
The... End...?
I wish I could say that once you type those important words claim the end of your very first manuscript that everything is going to be sunshine and rainbows; interviews and book signings. Unfortunately now you have to make a decision: Do you find a publisher, or do you self-publish?
Be careful with this one. I uploaded my first book to Amazon full of excitement and never thought too much about the consequences. (What kind of self-respecting author would I be if I didn’t share thelocation of my work?)
I was proud. I had written my first novel and now it was time to find a publisher.
Mistakes You Shouldn't Make
What I discovered in my search is that most publishers will not look at your work if it has been seen by anyone,let alone published on a public site. Oops...
I was beside myself; there went my dreams. I work a full time job, so actively trying to market myself full-time was right out the window. With so many social media sites filled withcompetingauthors trying to do the same, how was I going to be seen through the din?
I went back to social media and started to ask around for advice on marketing and public relations. It was there that I found Dawn White of She offered to take a look at my work to see if she could help me find a publisher that would take me on. Within three days, she had made me an offer to join her publishing family.
Have I made the top ten of the New York Times Best Sellers List? Not yet, but I’m hoping that one day my work will grace its history.Have I been able to say goodbye to shameless self-promotion and avoid social media? Most definitely not; social media is a necessity in a writer’s life.
Your Future
As a writer, you have a future. The question you need to ask yourself is what kind of writer you’re going to be. As I have said, I don’t have all of the answers, but I have had the opportunity to type the words, ‘The End’ twice now. I've also beenprivilegedto take on the position of Chief Script Writer for
A skeptic once asked me, “What kind of person are you, that you think you can just up and write a book?" My response to him was a simple one, “I’m an author."