Do you want to write a book? Has that idea been percolating around in your head for a while, not letting you go? Do you think you have a bang-up story within you? Have you committed to that goal this year?
Then I applaud you! I know of nothing so meaningful, so filled with purpose than writing. Of course, I wouldn’t know of anything more so—I’m a writer. LOL. One of those odd people with characters dancing around in my head most of the time. And when they’re not, I miss them.
Whether your aspiration is to pen fiction or non-, the undertaking is much the same. And yep, it’s like climbing Mt. Everest. There is so much to learn. So many elements that go into a great story. I often speak at Literary conferences and begin with: “Writing well really IS Rocket Science.” Because, well, it is 🙂
So what should you know before plunging ahead? A lot, really. And not just about how to write—Lord knows you’ll have enough of that in and of itself! I work with tons of writers, and as Kensington VP Gary Goldstein said, “Working with Malone is like earning a graduate degree in writing.” Still makes me blush 🙂
But this IS like earning a graduate degree. Again, so incredibly much goes into writing a book, it boggles the mind to even think of it. But the good news is, as so many writers say when they get back their initial edit and critique: “I never knew all that went into this.”
I say the good news, because if you truly knew what it took to get up that mountain, 99% of folks would abdicate at base camp.
So, that’s not where we go first. LOL. Instead, where we start is with the passion to write. That’s the whole pot of beans, really. You have to desire to begin, have the fortitude to sustain you, the courage to see you through as you traverse up an icy peak filled with deep crevasses, bloody-fanged monsters loomTng at every turn, and say, “I crave to reach that summit.”
You will be tested at every winding fork in the road. That voice in your deep psyche will ask, over and over and over again, “Do you really want this?” The going will get very dicey. You’ll face demons from both within and without. The at-first whim to write a book will lead you on a magical journey deep, deep into yourself. All your fears, doubts, neurosis will arise.
God, but this is sounding maudlin! Because, well, it just is.
A look at the multi-part series, The Quest is a great litmus test here. Because this is the exact journey you’ll be on when committing to this task.
But if you have that passion, if it grabbed you by the throat and won’t let go, I know of no single endeavor in this world more rewarding. Of course I wouldn’t—I’m a writer! LOL.
After writing for so long (6 books Traditionally published, and many short stories), and working with so many authors (nearly 50 books I’ve edited have been Traditionally published), I can say this for an absolute fact: If you truly have that passion, if as the poet Rainer Marie Rilke asked in his Letters to a Young Poet,
“Above all, in the most silent hour of your night, ask yourself this: Must I write? Dig deep into yourself for a true answer. And if it should ring its assent, if you can confidently meet this serious question with a simple, ‘I must,’ then build your life upon it.”
IF you have that passion, then I can promise that the talent is within you. I’ve never seen a writer with such passion who didn’t have latent talent. All you need is a drop. Because the skills can be learned.
The answer is within you. What will it be?