I’d like to Write a Book
Part 1 - Motivation
“I’d really like to write.” You’ve said those words a hundred times. Maybe a thousand. Or have they only been cozily hidden thoughts in your secret writer’s soul, dreams you’ve been too bashful to ever talk about. Often, when those words are bravely blurted out, the speaker’s gray hairs outnumber whatever their original color scheme might have been. Folks in the later stages of life frequently have an overpowering urge to leave their mark on the wall before senility and the afterlife become reality. However, this blog isn’t only geared to folks who have passed the prime of life. Whether eighteen or eighty, we all have the option of diving into the deep end, even if we can’t swim all that well. So yes, a new and exciting chapter in life? Go for it. And yes, you can start that book you’ve always wanted to write.
But it’s always the “how” that we stumble over. How does one make that leap from starry-eyed wannabe’, to serious butt-in-the-chair-author with a published dream on book store shelves? It boils down to one word—MOTIVATION. What are you willing to sacrifice to reach this Olympic-like plateau experience?
The reverse is that you can choose to not take up the challenge to write your story. But are you okay with giving up on your dream? Can you go to your grave never knowing if you have what it takes to be the next Michener, Clancy, Steele, or Twain?
Ah, I hear your voice from the next room. “If there was some way to make it happen, I would have done it.”
I picture the scowl on your face as you enumerate the barriers.
“I’m already crazy busy. I have three kids, a job, plus two side-businesses and a spouse. Where in that schedule is there any time? I will write after I win the lottery so I can retire to a villa in the south of France.”
Oka-ay. I get it. If you win the lottery, then you will have adequate time to write what will surely become the next sensational best-seller of the year? Until that happens,—forget it!
Please sit down and quit throwing those rotten eggs. I apologize for being sarcastic. However, I’m determined to convey what I’ve learned about the writing process. I have some ugly scars, none of them unique, but I would like to help you prepare for the process ahead. First . . . you’re probably not going to win a lottery of any kind, but I suspect you already knew that. That means you need to forget being a published author, unless . . . okay, there may be a way. What if you were willing to get up an hour earlier in the morning so you can have that uninterrupted time to write a new chapter of your novel? Or maybe you could set aside an hour in the evening. How much time do you spend watching television, movies, or simply gaming? Nothing wrong with any of them, but they take time, lots of it. If you’re going to be the writer of your dreams, there will be trade-offs. Your life may change in ways you could never have imagined.
Okay, that was all in-your-face bad, but there is the good news . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Yeah, that’s a long blank space which means, well, it means you may have to create your own good news. Writing is hard, and there are days that a long blank space is going to be what you write, but then there are those other days when you can’t type fast enough to release all those words that flow from your brain. They may not roll with the deep passion you envisioned, but the sentences will have promise, and you will know that with adequate editing, the words you’ve written will resonate with your readers.
My morning view at Bar 7 Ranch.
So, consider the next thirty days. Let’s say you started your story tomorrow morning, and you only wrote four hundred words per day. That’s only about a page, but if you did that every day, at the end of the month you would have twelve thousand words of your story on paper. It’s not a book, but it’s a respectable start. Do that for six months and you could type “The End,” the two most rewarding words in any author’s vocabulary. And, most important, it will be a milestone in your life that will beat any high point you’ve ever experienced.
So, what are you waiting for?
You can do it!
Stay tuned. In the next installments, we’ll tear into the actual writing process. How do you do it, and when you’re finished, what in the world do you do with that manuscript into which you’ve poured your heart?