Sunday, January 11, 2009

So You Want To Write A Book!

To start with, I want to say that I am sorry this is a day late. At first I had the thought to just post random resources each 10th. But then I thought maybe I should do something a bit more organized. Okay, yes I know that was my problem, organization. This is just not me. I manage rather well. I'm just not the best organized. I'm still going to try the 2nd thought anyway.

So, you think you want to write a book. You get a notepad or sit down on your computer but then where do you start? Hum. Good question.

You've probably been an avid reader since a child, inspired by a high school English teacher or discovered the magic of books in your adult years. The exact time it happened doesn't matter. It did. And now you believe you can do it too.

Good. Remember that when the journey gets hard and keep believing in yourself. Some days you may feel like you are all you have.

Where to start?

Read. Read. Read.

Read your favorites. Then read someone new. Someone you've never read before. See what is out on the market today. Read books on the craft of writing.

Research.

Scan publishers websites. See what they're looking for. See what they've published lately. Read their blogs. Sign up for their newsletters.

Write.

Got a story in your head you want to get out? Then sit down and write. Remember that your first story is a learning tool. It may or may not ever get published. Many writer's first stories are never published. But don't feel bad about that. After you've written 3 or 4, most likely you'll look back on the first one and see how far you've grown with each book.

*VERY IMPORTANT* Get critique partners.

Yahoo has a ton of writers groups. Do a search for for critique groups. It might take a few before you find the one that works for you. But when you do, you can learn so much from critique partners (CP). Make sure you find one in the genre that you write. This is important if you are writing romance, because they have elements to the story that other genres may not have and if your CP doesn't know about these elements, chances are your writing may suffer because of it.

Learn.

I started writing with a very thin skin. Not in this business. Find CPs that are a few steps ahead of you. You might not feel like you help them much, but you can while you learn from them. Later, you can return the favor by helping someone else. In the mean time, listen to them and learn all you can. you may need to step back a few days and let it sink in. You may even need to shed a few tears. In my case it was a lot of tears. My skin has gotten thicker and I have learned so much in the last 2 1/2 years.

Be patient.

It doesn't happen over night. Writing is more than just talent. It is hard work and determination as well. Give yourself time to grow and learn. Set a goal for how long you're willing to wait to get published before you reevaluate your dreams to write. I picked 5 years. If I hadn't grown and learned and seen myself close to getting published withing 5 years, I was going to rethink it. After all, writing takes a lot of time and energy. I met my goal in under 5 years. So I know I want to keep going, but it was work. Work I'm happy I did, work I would do again, rewarding work, but work nevertheless.

Okay then. If you are starting your writing journey or wondering why you can't get an editor's attention, you have a place to start.

Read.
Research.
Write.
Find critique partners.
Learn.
Be patient.

In the coming months I will break this down even farther. Until then, keep on writing.

Jasmine

1 comment:

  1. Very inspriational! You know, I had the same exact goal, to get puslished in 5 years...and I made my goal as well. I think the first year is the hardest though. What you've written is so true.

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