Writing a Book: What are You Waiting on Time or Courage?

Food for thought for want to be authors

I remember each year in the early years of my marriage, my husband and I would write a bucket list of things we wanted to accomplish. This was usually at my prodding. The years got busier and we would revisit this exercise on the 5 year mark and then it became stretched out to the 10 year mark. The truth is between both of us working full time and supporting our children’s activities, much of what we wanted to do took a back burner.

One of those things for me was to write a book. Looking back to when the idea first popped in my head, it was  probably 19 years ago that I verbalized this goal. Initially, when my daughter was born I had a few ideas for children’s books. I even thought that my daughter and I might co-author a children’s book when my daughter Haley was little. They say the days are long but the years are short. That was so very true. As she packed her bags to go to college, I realized that time may be running out. This started to come back to the forefront of mind again.

So if you are in the same place of wanting to put pen to paper, but don’t know how or when to get started, here’s a few tips that will certainly be helpful.

1. Choose a topic that you are passionate about. I mean really passionate about. One that makes you want to live more days thinking or doing the focus topic. Writing can be a grind so you need motivation.  If you are connected to the topic it will be easier to be motivated.

2. Decide on a writing schedule.  I was

CHapter One Type at a Typewriter
Getting Started is the First Step. What are you waiting for?

fortunate enough to see Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank Fame speak at an event.  Her ” can do attitude” and business advice lit a fire under me.  That night I came home and wrote two chapters of a book that I had dancing in my head for some time.  Then life got busy again and those two chapters sat as lonely as an ice cream truck on subzero day in Fargo, ND.

I finally recommitted.  Knowing myself, and my habit of packing a lot into my days and weekends. I took the opportunity while recovering from a minor surgery to binge write.  That’s right.  Bang it out.  It was effective for me.  This may not work for everyone.  It may be helpful instead to pace yourself and write a little each day. It all depends on who you are wired.

3. Don’t edit as you go.  Part of the writing process is to quickly get all the ideas on paper.  Perfect grammar and well constructed sentences can wait.  For this first book, I didn’t edit at all.  I’ll be honest when I read it later, I was pretty shocked at how sloppy I was on the first pass.  At the end of the day, it didn’t matter. There was plenty of time to come back and add commas or a pithy sentence here and there.  The most important thing was to put perfection to the side and just get the words on paper.

4. Ask for advice.  There are many people who have written books and know a lot about the topic.  I received a great recommendation for the site www.createspace.com that walks novices through the whole self-publishing process.  I learned a ton about marketing, distribution, and categorizing your book.   If I had known, it was truly this easy, I would have done this a long time ago.   Additionally, I am eagerly anticipating putting together a second book after learning the ropes.

5. Inspire others.  This experience has given me the opportunity to tell my story.  Along the way, I’ve heard the stories of other aspiring authors.  In full own recruitment mode, I’ve encouraged them to follow their desires.  Put those words out in the universe.   You will write that book by (insert a date).  I am especially excited to encourage other female authors to take this next step.

6. Have Fun with it.  I wrote and published a  book. Mission accomplished. As the author of the “Misadventures of the Hip and Fabulous,”, I look at the book as an entry point.  My hope is to start a #hipandfab movement whereby women of all ages can share and learn from a vibrant community of women.  These woman by tagging their Instagram posts with #hipandfab can be part of a positive and supportive force in the world.  All of this while having just some great kickass fun.