So You Wanna Write Part 4: Do This Before You Start Writing

announcementSo 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.

I want to see the enthusiasm of Buddy the Elf when he storms into his dad’s office and yells, buddy-the-elf-in-love_o_gifsoup-com“I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it!”

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!



About Andrew Toy
I'm in the beginning stages of starting my own publishing company that's unlike anything you've ever heard of in the industry. The direction of AdoptingJames is taking a 90-degree turn and will be more writing/publishing-focused. Stay tuned for huge updates and exciting news!

35 Responses to So You Wanna Write Part 4: Do This Before You Start Writing

  1. Nancy says:

    I have two beta readers for my novel who read it every so often as I finish new sections. It not only gives me a sense of accountability, it also really helps my motivation to know they are liking it so much that they are eager to read the next installment.


  2. …a new author??? Oh…THAT’S ME!!!

  3. Tom Tomkinson says:

    I think you are right – make a public statement about your intentions and you make it a bit more difficult to back away.

  4. suzanne says:

    I’M WRITING A BOOK. Just so you know.

  5. I did this without meaning to (was too excited to keep my book idea secret) and I’ve just finished the first draft. This advice totally works!

  6. Accountability is great i use that a lot!

  7. Rachael says:

    You read my mind…like a book. 😉 (haha, pun fun)

  8. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  9. Hey, I just read all four parts of your blog on writing. I like the way you write and I just bought a copy of your book. I’ll let you know what I think shortly.

    • Wonderful! There are plenty of grammatical errors in it (which I’ll be testifying to in a later post), but you’ll enjoy the second edition a lot more when it comes out (lots of added scenes and cleaners sentences).

  10. Desiree B says:

    *clears throat* I’m writing a book! 🙂 Nice advice, now that I’ve announced that I am writing a book I can’t go back on my promise. Or else…I’ll be unaccountable. (Dun, dun, dun)

  11. twentytwofish says:

    Wow. You’re right of course, but for some reason, this is one of the hardest things for me to do… that and getting past the insistent “blink, blink, blink”. I enjoy storytelling, however find writing a challenge. Your posts are an encouragement and I look forward to reading more!
    And I suppose the world might as well know…. I’M WRITING A BOOK!
    Thanks for following my blog

  12. Tanyell says:

    What a wonderful Idea. I have always struggled with the idea of letting people know of endeavors, not so much because of fear of failure (although that plays a part) but more so the fear of bragging. I never want to sound like I am bragging. Never thought about it as accountability. I tell my husband when I want to take on the world, but never tell the world until it is conquered. This is an interesting change in thought process. Thanks

    • I used to be just like you, thinking I was being modest. Then my best friend abruptly said to me one day, “Andy, you’ve got to stop being like that! Be a man and tell about your work. Otherwise nothing will happen with it.” I haven’t been the same since. And I’ve never been accused of bragging.

  13. I totally agree! At 12, I lied to some girl that I was on the tennis team. I made sure that when the selection came up later on in the year, that I DID make the team. Her thinking I was a liar was way more motivation than actually making the team! And you are right – not everyone is going to be interested in your writing. Not everyone realises how bloody hard it is, or how rewarding! You can’t let their apathy get in your way!

  14. I’m glad I stopped by to read your blog, you are so right. Plus don’t be to up set if you don’t end up finishing the book right away because the best books are the ones the Author put their heart, blood, and sweat into. Also Thank you for following my blog

  15. pastedreams says:

    Thanks for the follow! I love your blog and this post is helpful…I’m excited to read the rest of the series. Keep it comin’! 😉

  16. Jenn says:

    Super sound advice! I started writing my blog in part as a way to hold myself accountable for taking my writing pieces to completion. I appreciate the follow!

  17. Pingback: So You Wanna Write Part 5: What to Write | adoptingjames

  18. ccornell29 says:

    Accountability…2 years ago I told people I was writing a memoir and then completely lost momentum for writing anything including my blog at the time. I am starting a new blog as a way of trying to get re-motivated. Thanks for helping to re-motivate me by following me!

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