The fact that you’ve been drawn to the post tells me a lot about you. You’re at a point where either you’ve had this idea to put pen to paper for a while, or someone has planted a seed in you that has you wondering if you have what it takes to write a book.
Those facts tell me that you probably should, but deep down, you already know that.
A more accurate question is probably can you write a book. This might especially be relevant if you have no formal training in writing. Even if you didn’t do well in English or can’t figure out how you are going to get from the first blank page of your story to the last one, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
You absolutely can.
Writing is like a muscle. You just have to exercise it to make it stronger. I’d like to help you figure out how to do just that by offering some insight into the publishing process.
It’s likely you may not have heard of me before reading this post, and you may be asking yourself, Why should I take advice from this woman? Just to share a little of my background: I’ve spent the last twenty years working in various aspects of publishing, including stints at Good Housekeeping magazine and one of the top newspapers at the country. In addition, I also served as the consulting editor of Arabesque romance at Kensington publishing, where I was responsible for acquiring and editing about 60 books a year. Just so you don’t think my background is just in romance novels, I have edited more than 600 books in my career, and I’ve served as the freelance editor for several New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors. I’ve seen things from the other side of the paper as an author too. To date, I have published several novels for young adult and middle-grade readers, some of which have won awards. The bottom line is I know books, and I know I can help you make your writing dreams come true.
Just so we’re clear, there are a few reasons I think you shouldn’t write a book:
- The only reason you’re doing it is to become rich. There are no guarantees that publishing a book will result in you being able to quit your day job, so if the only reason you’re doing it is to get paid. You might want to rethink things.
- The only reason you’re doing it is to become famous. There are only a handful of authors who are well known to the general public—James Patterson, Karen Kingsbury and J.K Rowling come to mind. I’m not saying you can’t be the exception to the rule and become a household name. I am saying you need to have more of a “why” behind your writing. There will be days when you don’t want to sit down and commit to writing one word, let alone a full book, and wanting to be famous might not be enough to motivate you.
If you’re still wondering if you can write a book, I believe you can. All you have to do is exercise your writing muscle.
And hire a great editor.
But that’s another post for another day.