I have made a vow to myself, to my future readers and to you. I promise to write every single day, no matter what. I promise to put pen to paper (well okay, not exactly but you get the idea) and put my heart into every word. A page a day makes a novel a year so I am going to write my a$$ off until I get my latest creation done and in print. I think about writing multiple times a day and even have dreams about it. Every time there is a quiet moment, (they are few and far between) I think that maybe I can steal away and write a few lines. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t but at least I try. In order to get fit, you must exercise. In order to play an instrument well, you must practice. In order to be a great writer, you must write and write daily. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time to set it aside and take a break from a manuscript that you’re stuck on but always come back to it, even if you have to force yourself. You will be glad you did. Oh yeah, one more piece of wisdom before I go: A year from now you’ll be happy you already started.
I was fighting my way out today. (lol) My daughter was sick and stayed home from school and although that sounds like a bad thing, I had to stay home with her. That meant that I got to write all day long. While I forgot to keep track of the word count that I increased my book by, I do know that I added twelve new typed pages, size twelve font. I have written seven chapters consecutively but my first two chapters aren’t attached to them. You see, I have found that when you know what direction you want to take your book but aren’t sure exactly how to get it there, you might need to stop where you are and start again in a spot you feel more motivated to write. For example: Imagine you’ve just written an exciting scene and your characters are now coming down from that high. They are about to embark on a new exciting adventure but you aren’t sure how to put both scenes together. What I do is stop trying to lead into it and just move on and start writing the next great scenario. You’ll write better because your motivated and you can always go back and build a bridge to conjoin the two sections. It has worked for me so far although some bridges are harder to build than others. Good luck and happy writing!
This is so true. I can’t tell you how many times I have been at work, not thinking about my book and suddenly a situation arises that triggers inspiration. A writer’s mind never shuts off, it seems. I am grateful for the “notes” section of my iPhone because it comes in really handy when an idea hits me. So what was your reason for starting your book(s)? Was it a certain situation you found yourself in or someone in your life that became your muse? The first book I wrote started off being inspired by one thing but then it ended up completely different. I had a vision of where I wanted it to go but somewhere along the way, it made sharp turn and it went on autopilot. I would write for hours but when I went back and read what had clearly come from my own head, I didn’t remember writing it. It sounded like me but I guess I was just so “in the moment”. That is what I love about writing! Whatever your inspiration is, go with it! You never know when inspiration will pop up!
So you had this crazy idea to write your own book. You’ve poured your heart and soul into it, spending the better part of a year (or longer) making it sound just like you want it to. Now that it’s done, what do you do with it? If you are thinking that the hard part is over, you’re wrong. Your next step in your arduous journey is figure out how you want to publish it. There are several options to chose from but let’s assume your first choice is to go with a traditional publisher. Most publishers don’t like or want to be solicited from an unknown, inexperienced writer. Let’s face it, not all of us are gifted in this area or even have a tight grasp of the English language. Many publishing houses will throw unopened manuscripts away simply because they didn’t ask for them. Once in a while you may hear of a publisher who “wants your manuscript” or they’ll say “we love unpublished authors”. BEWARE of these companies. I’m not saying they’re all bad or scams but do your research! If you type the name of a publishing house into Google and come up with ANY red flags, run far and run fast! Most companies are legitimate, some are not and you need to stay away from the ones that are out to scam you. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. We would all like to think that our book will be the next big thing and agents and publishers alike will fighting over who gets to print it. However, reality is cruel and the vast majority of us will struggle to convince just one agent/publisher to give it a second thought. So then what do I do? I’m glad you asked! You need to get a literary agent. An agent will act as your cheerleader, if you will. They have contacts in the world of publishing and will attempt to sell your manuscript to whomever they think will like it. Sounds easy, right? Nothing about this whole process is easy. First you have to convince an agent that your book is awesome and that is nothing short of a miracle in most cases. To get an agent to read your work, you must query them first. This is a letter that has important information in it that gives the agent an idea of what to expect from your manuscript. It also informs them of your credentials, if you have any, and gives them your contact information. My biggest dilemma was where to find the agents that accept the genre I write in (Romance). That is where your new bet friend comes in. It’s a book called The Writers Market. This book tells you everything you need to know and also gives you some names of agents and their contact information. It’s an annually published book that usually comes out around June. I highly recommend getting it. Along with it, you may decide to purchase it’s companion. It’s called The Guide to Literary Agents. I loved this one because it had so many more agents listed and I found it to be more along the lines of what I needed at the time. Get one or both but it’s not nicknamed “The Writers Bible” for nothing! In my next blog, I’ll be going over your next step which is how to query an agent.
<a href=”http://www.amazon.com/2014-Writers-Market-Robert-Brewer/dp/1599637324” title=”The Writers Market”>The Writer’s Market</a>.
Haha! I love this! Personally, I like a physical book when I read. There’s something about turning a page that is so satisfying. I like it because you can dog-ear a page you’d like to go back to or see how far you’ve read and how much of the book is yet to be discovered. E-readers are good too though, in that they take up a lot less room on your book shelf! Opinions anyone?
Tip of the day: Become friends with an author. Like their page on Facebook or Twitter. Send them your questions in a private message. You’d be surprised who will respond to you. At one time, they were in the same place that you are right now. They may not give you the time of day, but what if they do? It happened to me and it meant the world! Thank you JP, you know who you are!