Over the last few months, as I talked to people about writing a book, I noticed a few reactions over and over again. The first was support. I am very thankful that so many people have allowed me to talk about writing and my book 'Wolf Song'. It's not easy to listen about anyone's past-times, especially when you're not involved and yet almost every person I talked to was great. They were open and obliging every time I brought it up, and still are even today, as the book sits with an editor getting ready to be sent out to publishers in an attempt to get it printed. I can't tell you how heart-warming and helpful this has been and how much it means to me.
The other reaction I got a lot is, "I would love to write a book." So many people have said the same thing, that it surprised me. I didn't know how many people enjoyed writing and reading, it was an awesome discovery for me. Invariably after telling me how much they would love to write, people would ask, "How did you do it?" Now if you are set, I'll give you the best advice I can, on how to be a writer. Are you ready? Here it is; write.
Wait, what? You're joking right? Nope, not at all. That, in a nutshell, is the best advice I ever received about being an author, and I am passing it on totally free of charge. Here it is again, write. Write on your computer, long hand, jot a few lines or paragraphs, just do it. It doesn't have to be great but it does have to get down on paper or saved on the computer. You can always go back and erase, change or edit anything you wrote, so don't be stingy. No one needs to ever see it if you're not satisfied in the end, so don't be shy either, just write.
People love to make themselves seem bigger, it's a human trait I think. They will tell you about secrets and formulas and things like that, don't buy into it, not for writing, not for anything. Let's take dieting as an example, only because most of us have some experience with that. Every month, if not week, there is a new fad or bandwagon to jump on. BILLIONS are spent on these secrets and 'new' knowledge every year, but here is the truth of the matter. You don't need to cut carbs, eat only fruit or copy what some emaciated Hollywood celebrity heard from some Indian guru. Again free of charge, here is the only dieting secret you need. To lose weight you must burn off more calories than you take in. Period, end of story, save your money. Here is a link to a story about a nutrition professor who lost 27 pounds eating twinkies and other snacks ONLY. How did he manage to do that? He burned off more calories everyday than he took in. For those who find this impossible to believe, here is the story:
Diet professor loses 27 pounds
Just as with dieting, so is writing. The only way to be an author is to write. There are no tricks, no gimmicks, I would even say that for the greater part of us, there is no inborn talent more than you already have. It's just write, write and write some more, until you get better and get in the habit of doing it. Time is the hard part, I know, but look at it this way; just like a slow water leak can add up over days and months, so will your words. No one says your book has to be finished in a few months or even years! Scribble a few notes between feeding and bathing the kids, or on your lunch break or those few precious moments of quiet before you go to sleep. You can do it, or anything else if you want, you just have to take the first steps!
Also a few last words. This entire post, as small as it is, is over seven hundred words. Just do that number over and over again, or even less, and soon you will have a novel.
And lastly, if you are trying to write, lose weight, train for another career, etc., I know you can do it. I know it won't be easy, I know you will struggle but I know you can do it, because I believe in you.