About Writing, Life and Writing About Life

Posts tagged ‘book’

Be An Author Extract – Getting Started, From Inspiration to Action

Here is the next extract from Be An Author. Previously we have met the contributors and found out how they first got the idea to write a book. Now we are going to take a look at the next step.

“Ideas are one thing; completion of a project is quite another. Even getting started can be a major challenge. So what affects the transition from inspiration to action? What made our authors take that brave first step?

What do you think made the difference between it being an idea and actually doing it?

Wendy : I felt I had to make a big leap – do something in order to forward my work. It put me on a new level to promote myself.
Sallyann : In relation to writing my novel – I was going through a rough patch, and realised that fiction had given me as much help as non-fiction in getting through that. That made me feel that fiction was just as valid as writing self-help books and that seemed to open the floodgates to writing my first published novel.
Linda : Leaving my job and deciding that I was going to work full time on The Hysterectomy Association – one of those ‘now or never’ moments and the thought that I might regret it if I didn’t do it.
Simon : It’s all down to belief. You’ve got to have an idea that enthuses you; that you can make live. One that you carry around with you, that’s never far from your thoughts and that you can’t wait to set down on paper. It may sound odd, but it’s like a relationship. You have to have love for your subject to make it work. And if you do, it’ll love you back.

I took the step from the idea to ‘doing it’ because I had an outside influence – my own life coach. She knew about my dream book and the idea of writing a book – even that it had some relationship to cancer because that was what my mother had died from. So she challenged me to start researching books on cancer – to see what was out there. I well remember the conversation that flipped the switch for me. I said to her “The trouble is that books about cancer are written by people who have survived cancer themselves, or people who work with cancer patients. I don’t have that kind of authority, but I will tell you what I do know. I know what it is like to be a family member – to sit on the sidelines not knowing how to help or who is going to help me!” That was it. As soon as I knew who the book was for, I knew I absolutely had to write it – the passion had arrived.”

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Be An Author Extract – Getting Started, The First Idea

Last week I introduced you to the contributors to my new book Be An Author. So now it’s time to start sharing some of the book with you. This section is from the chapter on Getting Started:

“What is not started today is never finished tomorrow”
– Johann Wolfgang Goethe

For many people the idea of writing a book is just that – an idea. You feel you have something to say, and maybe you’ve enjoyed writing some pieces before. But the big one is proving elusive. Maybe you know you want to write a novel, but what genre? Perhaps you are keen on self-help books but worried that everything you know has been said before. So how do you get off the starting block? Let’s turn to our contributing authors to find out how it was for them.

“Where did you first get the idea to write a book?”

Simon : The idea is everything. Mine came when I was talking to a detective about the similarities between the role of journalist and cop – in essence, ask the right questions, read the reactions, get to the hidden truth. From that, came the idea of a TV reporter who covers crimes, and gets so involved in the cases, he ends up helping to solve them.
Wendy : Through working as a life coach and wanting to have a product for clients to take home.
Linda : I’d been thinking about a book to complement the Hysterectomy Association website for some time and it was really the title that came first, 101 Handy Hints for a Happy Hysterectomy – after I got that it took me another two years to actually write it.
Sallyann : I was asked to write booklets as a copywriter, and I was commissioned to write my first book Using Relaxation for Health and Success because it was my area of experience. The publisher only published books from people who were writers and also experienced in their field.
I have written short fiction for years for magazines and in 1995 I wrote my first full-length book. I didn’t continue with it at that time because the idea of being a novelist felt like an indulgence rather than a way of earning a living.

For some the idea comes fully formed, for others it seems to be a progression out of work they are doing already. In my case, I had wanted to write a book for years as a way of generating long-term income while I slept! That idea on its own, though, was never quite enough to get me started.

Who Are Your Readers?

Continuing from yesterday’s post on Why Self Publish? This is the next step – identifying your potential readers.
“As tempting as it is to say ‘Everyone should read my book’ or ‘This book will appeal to a broad market’, this is not really very helpful to you. What you need is to know more about the people who will read your book. (more…)

When to Write

I’m sitting here at my computer. It is 7.37 am and I am eating my breakfast. My husband is making sure the boys have their packed lunches, breakfasts and are ready to go to school (I know, lucky aren’t I?). And I’m wondering if I ought to be able to get some writing done before I head off to work. (more…)

How to Find a Book Title

Yesterday I was telling you how Book 2 (a book for writers) needed a new title. One that hooked the emotions. Given that, how was the new title found? Well, I did a lot of brainstorming, as I was asked to do by the publisher. My husband got involved too. But we just couldn’t get it. The way it was settled on eventually was a big surprise to me (more…)

Titles That Change

As I mentioned before, I am deep in the process of editing Book 2 (which is due out this September), a book for people who want to write. This book was mostly completed two years ago, and has been revived this year for a variety of reasons. Back when I was first writing it, I had a title. I was happy with that title, too. I even did some dowsing to help me with the final arrangement of the words. (more…)