Everybody’s Doing It –
I saw a statistic in a recent blog – “85% of readers dream of publishing their own book.” This may or may not be accurate, but I wouldn’t be surprised.
The trick on this planet is turning a dream into reality. Most of us are here to do just that—turn dreams into reality. And when you look this over, in one form or another, that’s ALL we do, whether they be nightmares or pleasant dreams. The striving toward such goals is the stuff from which we are made.
A Half Truth Is Still a Lie –
Not to put too fine a point on it, that blog I browsed was pitching a course on writing, hence the message was slanted—in short, marketing. The blogger wanted the prospective customer to know “publishing your own book isn’t anywhere near as difficult as it used to be.” This, of course, is a true statement. The blogger goes on to write “It has become very easy to publish your book on Amazon and gain access to millions of readers almost instantly.” While this may be true, it conveniently omits the fact that instant access to millions of readers on Amazon doesn’t typically translate into book sales.
I take umbrage at attempts to woo the wide-eyed hopefuls of the world, however naive they may be, into money-making schemes to their detriment. I find passionate hope a highly valued trait to be treated with respect and carefully nurtured to the advantage of all dreamers who dare dream lofty dreams.
In my view, it takes a minimum of three vital aspects to succeed at any endeavor, including writing for publication:
- Reality – Facing “what is” versus how you “want it to be” is key. Otherwise, you don’t have a firm grasp of where you are. And if you don’t know where you are starting from, you’re not likely to get to the desired destination.
- Persistence – It seems it always takes longer to realize a dream than it should. That’s not what’s important. Realization of the dream is the only thing that counts. Keep at it.
- Hope – The spark of life, itself. Without hope all is lost.
A Recent Mentoring Request –
“I am working on writing a book, memoir. I was wondering if you mentored anyone or if you know of any groups that I could become involved with that would allow feedback.”
I’m flattered and love to help whenever and wherever I can. However, due to time constraints personal mentoring is not an option for me at this time.
Please keep in mind, I speak only from personal experience. First and foremost, you’ll need to master the craft of writing, which brings forth your voice—the creative core form which your style flows.
I avoided writing/critique groups based on the premise that only those who can do, have the authority to teach. Most writing groups seem to be the blind leading the blind, huddling together in the faint hope that there is safety in numbers when it comes to art. I hold the opposite view, art is created by individuals, great art is created by individuals with a singular voice and a persistent passion to express their art in spite of all else.
Learn the basic rules of the craft inside and out, to the point where they are unconscious, part of your ingrained writing style. This you can do by studying books on how to write. There are a handful of great books on the subject. But beware, there are a plethora of fair to mediocre attempts to elucidate the basic principles of good writing.
Two of my favorites are:
- The Elements of Style