So, you want to write a book…

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I think the question that I, and probably most writers, get frequently is how do I write a book. I must confess that I’m not sure how to answer that question. I kind of feel like, in the words of my dad, you either poop or get off the pot.

I’m sure there are a billion articles out there floating on the internet which addresses this subject in detail. I am certain that there have been hundreds of award winning books written by impressive individuals.

I do not claim to be technically inclined when it comes to writing, grammar, or even at times spelling, but there is one thing I do have in abundance of at my fingertips.

I have quite the imagination.

I can’t pinpoint when it started. I remember the woods behind my house transformed into an entire town and I had houses, stores and even a small parking lot for my bike.

I never needed to be entertained by my parents because I had more than enough entertainment going on inside my mind and I always loved to make up stories in my head.

It’s actually something I never gave much thought to and I rarely thought I could parlay my stories into a career or would it become my driving ambition. It has just always been there and when I finally realized that maybe I should share my stories, I balked because I had no idea how to even go about it in any way, shape, or form.

Until Isle of Skye.

It was a story that I had to get out of my head and literally one morning I started writing a brief synopsis before diving into chapter outlines. I didn’t know what I was doing and I had no clue on how this would change the course of my life.

I just did it.

The finished project was riddled with mistakes and errors, but the guts were there, as well as, my heart.

Writing a book is not easy. It’s like there is a shadowy figure looming over you, sucking out every part of you, and pulling it onto  a blank screen until there is nothing left, but your words and your soul.

It’s exhausting, both physically and mentally.

But when you are done, it’s the most exhilarating feeling that any creative person can possibly have come over them.

The fact of the matter is this…

No one can tell you how to write a book. There are no articles or five hundred page novels that can give you the step by step process. There are no workshops that you can attend or writing groups that you can join that will ever propel you to start on your novel.

Those are all helpful tools, but in the end, there is only one thing that you can do to write a book.

Sit down and start. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to make sense. The more you write, the more organized you will become, but don’t worry about that right off the bat.

Start telling your story and watch how it comes to life the more you type. I guarantee you that there is nothing you have ever read or heard of in a lecture that will compare to those first wondrous moments when the words start to take shape.

So, you want to write a book?

Here’s what you’ll need.

A good story, a dash of courage, and a belief in yourself that no one can ever take from you.

You’ll encounter haters along the way. You will be overwhelmed by the underwhelming non-support you receive ( even from your own family). You will be pushed to the brink of sanity sometimes and sleep will become a vague memory.

But just know that when you are done, none of that will matter, because you can walk with your head held high.

The phrase, ‘I want to write a book’, will become, ‘I wrote a book’, and boy, it is a phrase you can say with every ounce of confidence and swagger because you did something not a lot of people start or even finish.

So, what are you waiting for?

 

~Shannon

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