So you started to write a book, huh?
Sure, it sounded like an amazing idea at first. You probably even had good intentions to get out of bed every morning and work on it too. We've all been there.
Before I wrote my first book, Mattress Buying 101, I had big doubts about writing anything. One, I had never written anything for publication before, and two, how did I know it was any good? Luckily for me, at the time, no one else had really conquered the mattress niche on Amazon, and so there were people actively looking for my advice and opinions. That book is still purchased all the time and continues to receive positive feedback.
Someday I will get into the longer story of how I know that a book is coming together well, but for now, I want to talk about how to let a project go. When do you make the decision to stop writing that story and throw that piece of $h!t out with the trash?
When I am working on a project, there are three key things that happen while I am working on it that tell me to keep going. They are:
Now most authors, myself included, have some sort of written plan before they start writing a book. They usually have a general layout of the plot, and some notes and details on certain things that are going to happen during the story. I know I do. I take an idea and run with it on paper before I ever start writing a sentence. The key to writing like this first is that everything you are mapping out has to fall into place before you start wasting time on a book that goes nowhere. The characters have to evolve. The writing style has to be comfortable for you and easy to write. The hero or heroine has to find an inner struggle and come back from it changed in some way. Whatever the story that you are writing, IT MUST GO SOMEWHERE AND COME BACK IN ONE PIECE. If it starts to fall apart, rather than falling into place, then it's time to let the book or idea go.
Stephen King once spoke at a new book launch for one of his books. Someone in the audience asked him where he got his ideas from. His answer? "The good ideas stay around forever". He's right! Don't keep a journal of ideas or notes about things you want to write someday. Sit down and start mapping it out. If the idea is good enough, it will start to work out on paper first in your outline, then in chapters of the book as you begin to work on it. Another thing to remember is that if your passion begins to fade while writing the story, then your readers will probably not like the results of your writing either. A good book idea will keep the fire lit inside you at all times. It will get you out of bed to write. You will find time and energy to work on your project. In other words, the passion never leaves.
If you are ever doubting your material, go back and start to read some of your work for yourself. Take the writing hat off for a couple minutes and become the reader that you want to sell the story to. If you find yourself going through the pages without pausing or thinking, then your readers will most likely do the same thing when they are reading your book as well. Don't over analyze your writing. Just enjoy the story. If you can't focus, or you begin to pick the story apart, then no one else is going to enjoy it either. Time to let that baby go!
Hopefully, I have let you inside this mind of mine (See what I did there?) a little bit and have helped you along on your journey towards publishing a book. Just remember, the world is always waiting on the next great idea. Are you going to write it?