NaNoWriMo is on the horizon, which means lots of questions about writing. I had a plaintive cry for help from one woman, who’s been listening to people tell her what she can’t do. Basically, her friends were laughing at her and telling her that she couldn’t write a book.
Oh dear. As you might imagine, that made me very cross indeed. Since none of this writer’s friends are authors, how dare they crush her dreams? (While calling themselves “friends”…) On the other hand, perhaps those friends are helping her more than they realize.
I’ve always said that you will know that you’re ready to write a book when you want to do it — and that you’ll learn what you need to know about writing a book in the process of writing.
With any luck at all, this writer will decide to prove that she can indeed write a book, by writing and publishing one. 🙂
Write a book one idea and paragraph at a time
“How do I know I’m ready to write a book?” is a very common question.
Here’s my answer. If you can write a letter, you can write a book. You just keep writing, putting down one idea after another, and one paragraph after another. Keep writing, and you’ll end up with a book. You don’t even have to love writing, nor do you need to be talented, or even good at writing.
Only writing teaches you writing. The more you write, and the more you want to improve, the more you will improve.
Here’s the thing. No one knows what YOU can do — not even you. So, if you want to write a book, just start writing.
Desire is everything: writing a book will teach you how to write it
Of course people will have opinions. 🙂 To avoid getting side-tracked by those opinions, don’t discuss what you’re doing. Your nearest and dearest mean well when they tell you that you “can’t write a book.” They’re trying to help. (Most of them, anyway.) They don’t want you to be hurt.
When I offer this advice to writers — to write a book, get started and write — they have many more questions. However, if they’re not actively writing, they can’t implement the advice they get. So you need to start writing, no matter how many doubts and questions you have.
NaNoWriMo offers you a great opportunity to discover what writing a novel is like. Basically, it’s a lot of sitting and writing. 🙂
If you’re like the writer above, and wonder if you can write a book — join NaNoWriMo and find out.
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