Is it finally time to write that book?
What’s holding you back?
You’ve got this idea for a book floating around in your head. Maybe it’s a memoir about your unique experience. It could be an entire fantasy world you’ve created during some hard-core daydreaming sessions. Perhaps it’s a YA-sci-fi-mystery-romance.
And you keep thinking:
- “Maybe I’ll write when I find a new career”
- “Maybe when I retire”
- “Maybe when my kids go to school”
Sound familiar? The problem with this mindset is that there are a lot of maybes involved.
Maybes don’t get things done.
At every book event I have ever attended, people come up to talk to me about the idea they’ve had for a book. They tell me all about it, eager to see what an author says about their idea. I’ve heard dozens of strangers tell me about the book they want to write. And I tell every single one of them, “You should write it.”
And every single one of them says, “Maybe one day.”
Here’s the thing, one day is a cop-out. We say one day so that we don’t have to commit. But we’ve only got one life, and nothing is guaranteed. One day might never happen.
In the wise words of Captain Jack Sparrow, “If you were waiting for the opportune moment, that was it.”
It is time to finally write that book. So what’s holding you back?
Time to Write
Time is our most limited resource, I get it. But anything worth doing takes time. We all have time in our days that isn’t being spent the way we want. Where can you carve out some time to write?
You don’t have to write thousands of words a day. Even professional authors have trouble doing that regularly. Let’s crunch some numbers.
The minimum length of a novel is 50,000 words. The average length of one typed page, double-spaced, is 250 words. If you wrote just one page a day, you would have a novel or novel-length book in 200 days. That’s less than a year!
Are you a morning person? Wake up thirty minutes early, make some coffee, and write. Evening person? Forgo one thirty-minute show an evening to write. Do you take public transit? Write on the way to work.
You can write on your lunch break. You can speak into a voice recorder while you do chores. You can hole up for a long weekend in a cabin and churn out 20,000 words.
Lack of Writing Skills
“I could never be a writer. I can’t spell. My grammar is horrible.”
I know a lot of writers who have poor grammar and spelling. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. They can still write some beautiful prose. Published authors get editors to worry about that stuff for us.
Here’s the best piece of advice I can give you: don’t worry about it till your book is finished. The untold story of many books is that they’re written in the edit. The first draft (or drafts) often looks very different from the finished product. You don’t need to have an amazing book written from day one. You’ll return to each part of your manuscript later to turn it into something wonderful.
If you’re overwhelmed by the idea of editing and don’t have the time or money to work with a professional, you can get yourself some awesome editing software. Programs like ProWritingAid do a lot more than fix spelling and grammar. They can help with word choice, flow, pacing, and more.
If you’re worried about your skills holding you back, editing software will ease your mind. No one has to read your manuscript until you’ve run editing reports. Then you’ll look like a pro.
Getting Started With Your Book
Writing a book isn’t easy. I’m not going to pretend it is. You will grow so much as a person with every book you write because you are constantly pushing yourself to new limits. But one common question I’m asked by aspiring writers is, “How do I even get started?”
Some of us are blessed with the ability to sit down, look at a blank document, and write. I am not one of those people. I have to plan and get organized and flesh out my story before.
There are so many resources out there for how to plan out your book from idea to finished product. If fiction is where your heart lies, I love Ready, Set, Novel, The Novel-Writing Training Plan, and No Plot? No Problem.
The first thing you want to do is write down all of your ideas for your book. They don’t have to be organized. Then you can try to make sense of them using various plotting methods. You might like the Snowflake Method for plotting, or maybe you’re more of a spreadsheet person. There’s no wrong way to write a book.
Fear of Writing Failure
Fear is the biggest obstacle for any creative. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Fear of success.
Rejection will happen. There will always be people who hate what you write, but there will also always be people who fall in love with your story. You can’t please everyone. Maybe you have a friend who doesn’t finish your book. Maybe you get dozens of rejection letters from literary agents. Maybe you only sell a handful of books.
All of these things may look like failure, but what is failure, anyway? I don’t care how much money you make or how many five-star reviews you have. Writing a book is a huge personal feat. You don’t have to publish. You don’t even have to let anyone read it, although you should.
If you wrote a book, you succeeded. And if you didn’t finish, you wrote more than you had when it was just an idea. That’s success, too.
Write The Book
If you’re waiting for a sign that it’s the right time to write your book, this is it. If you keep waiting for the perfect moment, it will never come.
The world deserves to hear your story. Stories make this crazy world make a little more sense. Stories teach us lessons and entertain us. They make us feel.
But most importantly, you deserve to write that story. You deserve to dive deep into your creative mind, to get to know yourself on the most intimate level. This book idea is begging to be let out because it has something to teach you.
So, pick a time and a realistic goal. Read some writing resources so you know how to get started. Then open the document or pick up the pen and write.
About the Author:
Krystal N. Craiker is the Writing Pirate, an indie author and freelance writer who sails the seven internet seas, breaking tropes and bending genres. She has a background in anthropology and education, which bring fresh perspectives to new adult genre fiction. When she’s not daydreaming about her next book or article, you can find her cooking gourmet gluten-free cuisine, laughing at memes, and playing board games. Krystal lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband Michael and two dogs, Darwin and Franklin. Visit her website and follow her on Instagram.