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What can I tell someone over lunch about writing a book?

January 19, 2013

I received an email from someone the other day to meet over lunch and talk about writing a book. Apparently, the man – an old colleague and friend of mine from the newspaper business – wants me to give him “a pep talk” about how I got started on being an author. Now, I’m flattered that he feels I can help him jump-start some book project that might well be churning in his fevered brain, but quite frankly he already has it in him to begin writing.

He really doesn’t need me to help him launch that novel or nonfiction book he’s dying to get out on paper. You see, we all have that ability. Oh, I can give him a nudge, some advice. But when it comes right down to it, it’s just him and that blank paper or computer screen staring back at him. 

One nugget of information I’ll impart to him in our upcoming lunch date is to write fast and write from the heart. It’s the best way to approach any book project. Get that draft out first and edit later. I think my old colleague and friend has a lot to say. He’s a witty guy with a lot of interesting life experiences. I know there’s a book or two in him. 

Perhaps he’s afraid of writer’s block, that he’ll get started on his book and then stop. I’ll gently remind him that I don’t believe in writer’s block. Writer’s block, I’ll tell him, merely means choosing not to write. It’s an excuse to give up. I might tell him that momentum is important in writing, that once he starts that first draft he should sit himself in that chair five or six days a week for several weeks until it’s done. If he asks me how he’ll know when he’s done with that first draft, I’ll tell him that he’ll need to trust his instincts. You see, instincts are too often overlooked by writers, I’ll explain. This may well baffle him. I’ll go on then about how too many writers rely on their brain rather than their heart to write.

Will he heed my words of wisdom, start madly writing his book the very next day and by the middle of February have the first draft of a manuscript in his hands? Who knows? But it will be up to him.

How about you? Don’t you think it’s time? If you really want to write a book, the time for procrastination is over. It only takes a matter of weeks to write a draft. 

 

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4 Comments
  1. Hi! I’ve really enjoyed reading your work, so much so that I’ve nominated you for a Very Inspiring Blogger award. Here’s my post if you’d like to check it out: http://dlfwriting.com/2013/01/19/very-inspiring-blogger-award/

  2. Thanks, but you didn’t have to. I enjoy writing the blogs and about the topic of writing. I know from long experience how frustrating it can be to write a book. But that’s only part of it. The self-doubts that come creeping into your head at 4 a.m. – wondering if it’s all worth it. Then there’s the people around you who question why you would bother with such an endeaver, when you could be spending the time doing something more “productive” – going back to school, selling real estate or finding ways to make money. It’s amazing how many people want to write a book, and if I can touch a few people – even inspire them – great. It’s can be lonely out there dude.

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