So You Wanna Write Part 4: Do This Before You Start Writing
April 4, 2014 35 Comments
So you’ve learned a few things so far. You’ve learned that writing is a chore, and not as much fun as storytelling (or vise versa). But since you lack the money or connections to get Hollywood to tell your stories, or you can’t draw comics, you’ve gotta write them down.
You’ve decided whether you’re a storyteller or a writer and that either way, you want to be an author.
And you’ve decided why you want to tell your story (or write).
So your writing prompt is blinking furiously at you just waiting to spit words out at your command. But there’s one more thing I recommend you do before we jump into the writing process.
When I was in the ninth grade I received the best advise I’ve ever decided to reject later. I told a friend of mine that I was going to write a book. A big, fat, long fantasy epic. A three-parter. Very Tolkien-like.
You know what he said to me?
He said, “Don’t tell anyone you’re writing a book. Because then if you don’t ever complete it, no one will know you gave up.”
I took his advice, and guess what? I gave up on that book.
So when I married several years later, I spun that advise around. I told my wife and all my friends that I was writing a book and I completed it.
Yes, climb on a mountain top and shout it to the world.
Tell the world you’re going to write a novel.
Go to your most populated social media site and share it with everyone: “I’m going to write a book!”
I don’t promote ego-stroking, but once you announce you’re writing a book, there’s a sense of accountability that follows. Suddenly you’ve got an anxious audience awaiting a sneak peak at your latest endeavor.
Oh, and here’s a word of caution. Don’t expect everyone you know to get super pumped about your novel. They may not be readers, or they may know of your track record of quitting, or they might be jealous. Or they just don’t care or are too busy with their stuff, and that’s all fine.
Most of the support I get for my writing comes from people I only know through social media.
Don’t take offense to this or take your friends’ apathy personally. After all, I don’t comment on their Facebook page when they post something about finding the best deal on bed sheets at Walmart, because I don’t care about bedsheets, nor Walmart.
So let everyone know you’re going to write a book. Even if you don’t know exactly what it’s about, that’s fine. Just get it out there. They may ask you about it later, which could get you back on track. But they might not.
Either way, it’s a good idea to set yourself up for success. Because even if they don’t ask you about it down the line, you’ll always be taunted with the possibility that they might. So then you’ll continue to write.
Look out, world – a new author is about to emerge!