Friday, December 21, 2012

How I Did This--The Book Writing Thing

So, whatever possessed me to write a book, anyhow?  Well, I'm about to tell you.  Why? Because I can.

I've been the creative type ever since I was a tiny little thing. Loved to draw, paint, do arts and crafts, the works. Once I learned how to read, I eagerly read everything I could get my little kid hands on. The library was one of my favorite places to go, as was the bookstore. So I read and drew and painted my little heart out.

During my teenager years, I wrote a lot of absolutely horrible poetry.  Tried writing short stories too, but didn't quite have the knack for it then. Those turned out horribly too, even though my friends assured me both my poetry and stories were awesome (they're not, believe me, LOL).

But I never stopped writing, and I never stopped being artsy. I continued to paint and draw, as well as becoming musical. That's right, musical--I can play six instruments, plus sing. So, it was no surprise that I went about getting myself a band together in my 20's. 

I did all of the lyric writing, and I was pretty darn good at it. Lyrics are just poems set to music, after all, and I'd had plenty of practice writing bad poetry that I eventually became good at it. And, of course, I remained an avid reader and writer, painter and drawer, through my entire band career (a few years).

Fast forward to going back to school and taking a creative writing class. That was probably one of the best and most interesting classes I'd ever taken, and I learned a lot. Learned how to better set up stories. Learned what a basic story structure was. And learned at the end of it that I really was good at this whole writing thing. My teacher's comments on my final story for class basically boiled down to "You're awesome, please write lots more."

I lost my job not too long after that. With the state of economy, finding a new one is almost impossible (believe me, I've tried). So, in wracking my brain trying to come up with something I could do that might pay the bills, I decided to write a book.

Yes, it was that simple. Granted, the book in question was prompted by a REALLY COOL dream I had, but it was that simple. I figured hell, my teacher thought my writing was awesome, my dream would make a really good story, and really, what did I have to lose?

And so I got on the internet and read through a number of websites devoted to helping people write books. I devoured the information, recalled everything I'd learned in my creative writing class, and went to work. I also researched successful indie authors to see what they did or did not do. In other words, I researched the hell out of it before I even started.

Being the hard-headed stubborn person I am, I decided I could damn well write a book, and a good one at that. And Vendetta was born. Vendetta, my first novel EVER, and it turned out pretty damn good.

Given that people like Vendetta so much, I decided I must honestly be good at this writing thing, so I wrote the sequel, Insurrection. TWO NOVELS IN A YEAR--not bad, I tell you. Not bad at all.

And while the books don't yet pay the bills, their momentum is growing. Got a kickass review for Vendetta on Amazon, and I've gotten lots of positive feedback outside of Amazon about it. Still waiting to hear about Insurrection--it just came out--but I'm hoping I did as good a job on it as I did the first.

Now you're probably asking what the point of all this is. It's simple--if you want to write, do it. Don't expect to be great the first time around, because you probably aren't going to be. It takes LOTS of writing practice to get to where you can write a novel. It also takes LOTS of not being an overnight success before you realize there practically is no such thing. Even authors who are "overnight successes" have years of hard writing work behind them--years you've never seen because the authors weren't even on your radar until they became bestsellers.

And above all else, write because you love writing. Don't write simply because you think it's going to make you a quick buck, because it isn't. Don't write because you think you're going to become famous overnight, because you won't. And for the love of all that's holy, don't write because you think it will be easy, because it isn't. What you as a reader get is the end result, and what you don't see are the hours and hours of hard work, frustration, tears, self-doubt, and all the other niceties that go along with writing a book.

Do it because you love it. Stick with it because you love it. And if you love it that much, it will eventually pay off for you in the end.

No comments:

Post a Comment