I believe that everyone at some point in their life journey has made the statement, “I think I should write a book.” While many have said it, very few have actually embarked on the actual journey when you think about it in terms of the ratio of ‘said’ versus ‘done’.
Now, having completed several tomes myself and published my first novel, Nexus Gate 4307: The Animal, currently available in paperback and ebook on Amazon.com, I have to admit that writing a novel from start to finish isn’t the easiest thing to do BUT it doesn’t have to be as difficult as many of us make it out to be.
Most of what causes the process to be difficult are:
- Over-thinking: Rather than letting your creativity guide you and dance with the muse of your imagination, you think the story into knots to the point that you ware yourself out even before you’ve even begun the actual writing process.
- Lack of confidence: You put too much stock in what others will think of your creative work and often assume what they will think will be negative.
- Perfectionism: You concern yourself with the idea of the ‘finished product’ and expect perfection from a work in progress when the first several drafts are actually just your beginning stages.
- Thinking it’s already been done before/ Someone took your idea: Because of this train of thought, you choose not to share your creative genius. I liken this behavior to you choosing not to share your spaghetti sauce with others because someone else has already made, marketed, and sold spaghetti sauce…you get the picture.
These four are definitely creativity-killers not just in the world of writing but in the world of doing just about anything that poses a challenge but holds interest to you.
What are the cures to these nasty bugs:
- Think less, do more: Enjoy the journey and don’t worry so much about the ending destination, especially not in the beginning stages.
- Believe that trying is worth it even if you feel like you’re going to ‘fail.’ (Failure is relative.): Thomas Edison said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” The joy of simply having accomplished any creative goal is worth pursuing regardless of if you choose to share it with others or not. It simply lets you know that you can.
- Remember that no matter how sharp we are at our craft there will always be a flaw: There is beauty in imperfection and often where there is imperfection our brains will either appreciate the quirk or fill in the gap. Some of the most highly funded books still have flaws in them.
- Your idea is unique even if it resembles someone else’s…how many vampire stories are out there? I rest my case…sorta.
Now that that’s out of the way, it’s time for you to leave the ocean of ‘sayers’ and become part of the flock of ‘doers.’ It’s time for you to WRITE THAT BOOK!
“Many Great Authors began their writing careers in meeting their own imaginative and literary need. Perhaps that ‘book’ you crave to read, but can’t seem to find, rest deep within the soil of your imagination. Perhaps it’s time you begin to bring it to light! Write the book!”Candice Coates
Octavia E. Bulter is a celebrated Science Fiction author. Her success grew from watching what she said was a terrible Science fiction movie and saying to herself that she could write better than that, and you know what? She did.
The Recipe of 3: Why, How, & When
1. WHY should you write that book: If a concept has been playing like a movie in your mind for more than a month (or even a week) you should give it life, even if you are the only one to read it.
And don’t worry if you thought up a great storyline only to find that someone else has tried something that seems similar. Here is the reality, many people have shared ideas, visions, and concepts that they’ve never even discussed with others before.
As I’ve said, there are so many vampire novels out there with the undead being in love with the living. Or think about how many mail-order bride romance novels there are. Similar concepts but if you’ve ever read any of these, you would find they are vastly different.
It’s called a niche within a genre.
So write your book because your idea is worth sharing, there is room for you, and an audience waiting to read what you have to say.
2. HOW should you write that book: I recently read a book by Mark Batterson called Chase the Lion. (Great book!) In it, he describes his concept of using the 80/20 rule when it comes to writing. I liked what he had to say BUT I kind of have a similar but different view of it.
Putting it in my own words, 80 percent of finished work is better than 20 percent of daydreaming about it. Daydreaming without any work done will only lead you down a rabbit hole of nothingness where you let in those four creativity-killers.
Let your first draft be just that, a first draft! Go on and misspell a few words, dance over correct grammar, and use ‘to’ in place of ‘two’ too many times. It’s okay. Goodness, even let the plot slip a few times.
Your job during the 80 is to bring the bones and muscles of the story to life. The skin and clothes will come during the rewrites. Yes, there will be rewrites…at least three.
Putting down the words even with the mistakes is HOW YOU WRITE THAT BOOK! You get out the 80 percent and then weave through the 20 percent during second drafts, editing, and beta reads which leads to at least one more polishing draft after that.
3. WHEN should you write that book: NOVEMBER 1st of ANY YEAR is a great time to write that book or to at least get it started. Why? Because that is NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month. Check out the official site here www.nanowrimo.org.
Participating in NaNoWriMo gives you the chance to connect with other like-minded creatives who are running toward the same goal, like a marathon except you are using computers and being pretty sedentary…and probably packing in the calories instead of burning them but that’s beside the point.
The point is you will have a platform to gauge your progress and be encouraged by that of others.
There is also their program called Camp Nanowrimo which takes place every April and July. Camp Nanowrimo is similar to November’s writing month but differs in that you get to choose your word count goal instead of the target 50k that November has.
Just get started. Write that Book! Why? Because it’s in you. How? By sitting down and doing it. When? Right now is a good time to start!
WRITE THAT BOOK!
If you don’t see the book you want on the shelf, write it.”Beverly Cleary
* Revised from original publication on icameforthesoup.com December 18th, 2015, by Candice Coates