A couple of days ago, I read a blog about writing books. As the blogger presented information about how many indie and traditional books are published a year and that it’s a daunting task to even consider writing a book, because, let’s face it, the market is flooded with all kinds of books, he struck a chord with me when he said this: that most people say they are writing a book, but the number of people who actually finish and publish a quality book is far less than those who say they are going to do it.
That was a long introductory sentence, and I apologize for the breathiness of it, but I recounted all of that to say he is right: Most writers who say they are writing a book may never take it across the finish line.
I agree wholeheartedly with his assessment. Personally, I think most people don’t actually get to the point of publication for two main reasons:
1-They don’t ever completely finish the project; they can’t get it done; or it’s never good enough (in their eyes) to “put it out there.”
2-They are afraid to “put it out there.”
I am happy to report, that I let neither one of the aforementioned hold me back.
I write and publish for four main reasons:
1-There are stories inside my head that I want to get out of my head and put on paper.
2-I like to prove to myself that I can tell a good story, one that’s worthy of being published. (I also approach it as though I am only in competition with myself, by the way; I do not compete with others because there’s a lot of talent out there. All I can do is tell the next story better than I told the one before. That is my goal.)
3-I like to “show” my students that it is completely feasible to write and publish a book.
4-I just love the crap out storytelling, writing, and the whole maddening process.
If you are one of those people who is working toward a goal of publishing a book, there’s really only one main trick to it: stay the course. Write it. Edit it. Proof it. Have others read your draft. Edit as necessary. Rewrite it. Edit some more. Proofread again. Publish it yourself or find a publisher.
The hardest part about writing is sitting down every day, making time for it, and taking those steps to write your story. The one you were born to tell. The one you will be proud to say you have written after you crossed the finish line.
Listen clearly, my friends, especially those of you who are in this mode for the first time—it can be done.
Stephanie Verni is the author of Beneath the Mimosa Tree, Baseball Girl, Inn Significant, The Postcard and Other Short Stories & Poetry, and an academic textbook Event Planning: Communicating Theory & Practice, published by Kendall-Hunt, that she co-authored with colleagues Leeanne Bell McManus & Chip Rouse.