Monday, May 18, 2009
A young person commented to me the other day that if I could write a book he was sure he could. In fact he said anyone could write a book. I smiled to myself, but I have to agree with him. He's only fourteen, and I'm not sure how many "life" experiences he thinks he has, but he is right. Anyone can write a book. I'm learning though, it does take more than just the desire to write. That helps, but tenacity and life experiences help too. There are many factors which come into play when it comes to writing a book. I read a few statistics the other day which said that most people who start a manuscript will never finish it. The other obstacle that seems to manifest itself is selling yourself short. One lady said to me "who would want to read what I've written?" She might be surprised, if she finished the manuscript. In addition to getting the words on paper, being able to convey your meaning, you also have to hold the readers interest. What makes them want to turn the page, rather than drop the book into a pile of "maybe I'll read later" vs: "can't turn the pages fast enough". Once you've finished the manuscript, and polished it until it shines, you submit it. You wait and get rejected. Do you quit because one publisher doesn't like what you wrote? Stephen King said he drove a nail in the wall to store all his rejection slips. When he received so many and the nail would no longer hold them, he replaced the nail with a spike. He didn't quit. And you can't either. Just keep hammering away. That's what it takes. Tenacity.