Come on, Write That Book in 2020

Be honest, how many of you want to write a book but it just hasn’t happened? Maybe you had your plans made, a start date picked, an outline written, a schedule prepared. It was all perfect. You were set to go. Maybe you even made a New Year’s resolution to get serious and start writing that book you’ve been planning all your life.

But then something happened.

You got busy, life distracted you (silly life), or maybe—and here’s a biggie– you became afraid that you just couldn’t do it, even convinced yourself that it was a dumb idea in the first place. Write a book? Who are you trying to kid? I mean what if you fail? What if you never get to those two little words THE END. What if you actually do finish it and it sucks?

These are all questions many prospective writers ask. Believe me, I know from experience. Sometimes even published authors have these same doubts. A writer’s ego can be fragile. We put our work out there for the whole world to see and judge. Many people are kind, but not everyone.

I won’t lie to you. Writing a book takes a lot of time and a lot of creative effort.

A lot of hopeful writers start out great, but then lose traction. That great idea suddenly seems to be not so great. The excitement you felt when you first started, fizzles away to nothing. This can also happen to published authors as well. Again, I know this from experience.

Authors don’t just write books while our publisher waits with hands out to snap it up and publish it. It still has to be a good story, something the publisher can get behind, something they believe in. If it’s not, it doesn’t get published. It’s that simple.

Nevertheless, these things shouldn’t stop us from pursuing our dream of writing a book, if that’s what our dream truly is. I say that because there are people who like the idea of writing a book far greater than the actual doing because, really, the writing part ain’t all that glamorous. You spent a lot of time alone, researching and writing and writing and rewriting, sometimes crying and wailing. You start and stop and start again, you walk away but later come back.

But see, that’s the key–you come back, as many times as you have to in order to get it done.

I think many times, we put our expectations onto the end result instead of enjoying the journey. What I am discovering is that the journey will have its bumps and potholes but try to relax and put those expectations aside. Who cares if what you write isn’t very good? First drafts are often horrible, even for published authors. Believe me, we don’t just write one draft; we write many drafts. We tear apart scenes, change our entry point, points of view, you name it, we’ve changed it. And I know this might seem contrary to what I said about setting writing goals for myself, but I set these goals at a time when I know that the book I’m working on is near to completion. (By near, I still mean a few months away.)

So, if you’ve always wanted to write that book, make 2020 the year you begin. You don’t need to whip up chapters at a time. A paragraph, or even a sentence will suffice, whatever feels manageable at the time. Don’t worry about how good it is or who, if anyone will read it. Be creative. Express yourself. We all here on the planet to create in one form or another. If something inside is urging you to write than you should follow that urging. I like to think that we all have an inner wisdom, that little voice that helps direct us by times. So if there is indeed a hidden voice inside you that is dying to be heard then what are you waiting for? Get out there and start writing. Honestly, that’s how I became published.

Here’s hoping that 2020 finds you taking steps toward accomplishing some long-held dream.

Happy New Year.

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14 Comments

  1. Well said, my friend.

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  2. janlcoates

     /  January 5, 2020

    Maybe you should become a motivational speaker🙃❄☃️

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  3. I need you in my writers’ group so you could give me regular kicks in the butt! Then again, it’s not the writing-of-a-book that’s my problem, it’s the not-doing-anything-with-it-afterwards. I’ve written five books. I love the writing aspect, but maybe there’s a subconscious part of me that thinks the stories really do suck because I rarely send out any queries. Or maybe I’ve let the introvert inside convince me that hiding away and writing is more fun than going public with publishing. Who knows? I’m certainly not getting any closer to my goals, that’s for sure.

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    • Oh my goodness, you written five books? What an accomplishment!!

      I know that fear,whether it’s of failure or success. I’m not sure. Both are equally frightening. Believe me, I know. What I’ve found helpful for me is to take some quiet time and actually declare to myself that I’m ready, regardless of the fear, I’m ready. I’ve got words in me and stories to tell that I can hopefully share with others. I’ve let fear hold me back in the past. It was horrible and I missed out on opportunities that I later regretted. I have come to see the submission process as a possible opportunity to get some feedback from an editor and even rejection as an opportunity to learn more about writing.

      Please promise me that in 2020, you’ll start sending out queries. Deal?

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      • I HAVE sent out a few, but I realize my average of about 1.5 per year doesn’t count for much. I’ll see what I can do to improve on it.

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        • Super! I’m sure you can and will improve that number. Best of luck, Carol. You owe it to yourself to make your dreams come true!

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  4. Great advice, Laura. I’ve known many who have either wanted to write a book but never started or started and never finished. I encourage where I can, but I can’t make them write that book no more than I can make an alcoholic stop drinking. When they are ready, they’ll propel themselves. The wonderful thing about writing is if you are truly meant to be a writer, when you start, you fall in love with it and don’t want to stop. Then books get written.

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    • Yes, that’s a good point, Diane. We can encourage people but no one can make them do the actual writing. What many people don’t understand is that writing a book involves a LOT of work and dedication. You really need to want it . Some people do like the idea of having written something far more than the actual writing. While holding that book in your hand is awesome, as you know, you’ve got to really enjoy what you’re doing or else the first time you become discouraged you’ll give up and quit.

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  5. Duke1959

     /  January 14, 2020

    That book needs to be written. and soon!

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