I love writing. I love to live in a story of my own creation and just disappear from the world. I’m gonna be honest with you though, it’s hard. To those people who say: I just sat down and wrote a book! I call bullshit. If you did, you didn’t write a good book.
There are so many things to consider, to plan, to evolve over the course of a book. There’s no way you just sat down and was like, “hey, i’m gonna write a book”. Nope, didn’t happen.
First, there are the characters and I don’t mean each and every person that makes an appearance in your book. I mean the main characters, the ones you want to stick with people long after they’ve put your book down. These people have to be real. Any shallow representations or facsimiles will be spotted and quick.
Second, you have to really think about your plot. Some people are “pantsers” (which means you sit down and just start writing without an overarching plan). This is true, you can do that, but their plot construction comes at the end while editing and finding holes that need to be filled. These people start with the characters and formulate everything else around those people. I personally find it easier to work those kinks out before hand but others don’t. I used to be a “pantser” when I first started but I ended up writing the same book three times just to get it right. All because I didn’t pre-plan. Now, the planning might take some of the surprise out of the book but it ends up being a much cleaner product.
Third, there’s a lot of responsibility to produce the best possible product – not only from my editor but from myself. I want my readers to feel the same things I do when I write any scene. I want to be proud of what I put out there for the world to consume.
Fourth, anyone who thinks they’re getting into writing to be a gazillionaire is nuts. For the most part, there’s no money in it. The authors that can sustain themselves with only their royalties are few and far between. Taking that into consideration, when I see free downloads online from sites that basically stole my work, it makes me furious. It also makes me feel horrible for those authors that don’t have another stream of income and are relying on their royalties to keep them afloat. Buy the book! It’s not that expensive!
Fifth, readers aren’t stupid. You have to know your story inside and out because your readers will. You make a mistake, they’ll find it. You don’t do a good job flushing something out, they’ll point it out. Or worse, they’ll stop buying your books.
Sixth, it’s really hard to not get distracted. Unless you’re on deadline, there’s nothing but your will-power pushing you to write that next sentence, paragraph, page, and chapter. And, sometimes, life and work get in the way. Also, the internet. The internet always gets in the way. Facebook is the devil. Just keep that in mind.
Finally, it’s hard to let it go. You type “The End” but that’s never the end. You can go over it again and again, shaping and reshaping until you’re blue in the face. Adding and deleting until you want to poke your eyes out from the stress and pain of editing the thing you love like your own limb. It is an extension of you with all the greatness and flaws that you possess. Letting it go, out into the world, is scary and nothing less than daunting. People will read it! They will judge you and not all of them will be favorable. Hell, some of them will be down right mean. You are not perfect and neither will your book be. The best you can do is get to a place where you don’t feel like you’re going to break down and weep as you hit the send button.
Let it go. What do you have to lose?
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