I read an article recently that included a random poll of 1,000 Americans on a variety of topics. One of the topics happened to be writing and publishing. When asked how many of them would like to write a book, 81% responded ‘Yes.’ When asked how many of them had actually written anything, the number of people that responded ‘Yes’ dropped to an astounding 5%!
Clearly, many people find the thought of writing a book an attractive, even romantic, idea. Yet very few people actually try. Why is that?
Do they not know how to write? Do they not have basic spelling and grammar skills? Do they not understand sentence structure or how to develop the plotline for a good story? Do they not have time? Do they not own pen and paper or a computer? Do they start binge watching Seinfeld reruns on Netflix and forget about everything else?
I’m happy to tell you that today, more than ever before, it’s possible for anybody to become a published author. Well, unless you don’t have any basic spelling and grammar skills or don’t understand sentence structure or plot development or don’t own pen, paper or computer. If you’re in that camp, enjoy watching reruns.
For the rest of you, what’s holding you back? Fear? Common sense? Procrastination? Flu?
I suppose you could go back to college and take some advanced English courses or attend a writer’s workshop at your local community college. Honestly, I don’t think that’s necessary. Writing is a natural process. Human beings have always had an affinity for telling stories and then putting them on paper.
Here’s what I would suggest:
First, decide what you would like to write. There’s an endless list of genres from which to choose: Fantasy, Adventure, Romance, Mystery, Paranormal, Horror, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction, Biography, Poetry, Memoir, Cooking, Art, Self-help, Motivational, Business, Health, History, Travel, How-to, Humor, Family and Relationships. You could even combine genres! How about a Science Fiction Poetry Self-help book? Or a Humorous Paranormal Romance Cookbook and Travel Guide?
Second, start writing! You don’t have to do it all in one sitting! Just start writing. Nothing helps generate ideas more than the act of writing itself. If you’re like me, you’ll find that there will be times when ideas and words just tumble out of your brain. That can be exhilarating! There will also be times when nothing will happen. Do something else in those situations and come back to your writing later. I promise you, once you get started, your manuscript will gradually take shape. You will organize chapter ideas; you will gather and organize information; you will begin fleshing out chapters; you’ll be on your way!
Third, shoot me an email or give me a call. Once you have written part or all of a manuscript, you’re going to need some help. Finishing the rough draft of a manuscript is just the beginning. Once you’ve gotten that far, that’s when the real work starts. You will need a capable set of eyes and hands to help with content or copy editing, proofreading, rewriting, polishing, more proofreading, cover design, ISBN, and, ultimately, publication and marketing.
It’s a laborious process, even for the most distinguished and capable writers. In the end, however, there’s nothing like holding in your own hands the finished copy of a book you’ve written and published.
One of the primary reasons I started Skrive Publications was to help first-time authors navigate the writing and publishing processes. What are you waiting for? Let’s get started!