My next step.


I’ve always wanted to write a book.   I actually did write a novel, back in 2003, but it sucked and was rejected by several publishers.    It didn’t take me too long to give up trying to get it published.

Today that novel sits in a cardboard box in the back of a closet.  It’s been sitting in that box for 13 years, its 300+ pages becoming brittle with age and the corners of the box  it dwells in now bent and taped together.  A few years ago I pulled out the typewritten pages and re-read the novel.   I cringed with embarrassment over how bad it was.  Not just bad, but atrocious.   It was shallow, self-indulgent, had no flow; was full of cliches, stilted dialogue,  and purple prose; and populated with unlikable, annoying characters.  It will probably never see the light of day again and most certainly will never be published.  But I still can’t bring myself to toss it out with the recycling.  If nothing else, it’s a reminder that I can finish something that I started.

I’ve done a lot of writing in my life, but that one shitty novel was my only attempt to write an actual book.   Although I’ve always wanted to write a book, it just seems so daunting.  I always find excuses:  it would take too long, I don’t have time, it wouldn’t be any good, I’m not really that good a writer, no one would read it, I’m bad with opening paragraphs, I’m bad with endings, I don’t have the money, I don’t have good ideas.

But excuses are just lies you tell yourself.   None of the aforementioned items have any truth to back them up.  I have a blog and a following, these days you can self-publish an eBook on Kindle at little to no cost (a print version can always come later), and after a year and a half of blogging, my writing has vastly improved.   Some days I have so many ideas for new posts that it makes my head spin.  I spend most of my free time writing anyway, so why am I not writing a book?  I really can’t think of any good reasons not to.

So I know what my next step must be.   I  haven’t yet decided whether I’ll do a compilation of my best or most popular posts, or write something from scratch.   I have a feeling I’ll go with the latter, but might incorporate a few of my blog posts into it.   I haven’t decided what my book will be about yet either, even though I do know it will be connected to this blog’s content in some way.

One thing that’s stopped me before is the thought of having to write hundreds of pages of prose.  But with an eBook or even if I self-publish a print version (which I think costs money but I’m not sure), I don’t have to write something that long.  I’ve read or reviewed a few books that were self published by bloggers, and few exceed 100 pages.

Another thing that makes writing a book seem like a chore is the lack of immediacy.   When you write a blog post, you get instant feedback.  Likes, comments, and views start coming almost from the minute you hit Publish.   You can monitor your stats after a very short time.   With writing a book, no one sees it until it’s published, and that could take a long time.   I’m not a patient person, and I hate having to wait for feedback.  But that doesn’t seem like a valid reason not to write one.

So all I have to do is make the choice to sit down and instead of opening up WordPress to write a new blog post, open up Kindle instead and write the first paragraph of my book.  I never thought I’d start a blog either, and one day I just decided to do it.   I think that’s how writing a book is going to work too.

When I do start to write, I will probably not be able to write new blog posts as often and might even have to take a break from it to concentrate on the book, but I’ll let everyone know when that happens.

28 thoughts on “My next step.

  1. 13 years is a big time. When I reread what I wrote 13 days ago, I find it too immature and jibberish at times. That shows we are growing in all realms.

    If you can rework it and send it to a publisher good or else it has already served its purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. For “immediacy” you could post a few paragraphs, or a scene, etc – that you’re working on and see what people think? Just a thought. Since I will be going epub/self-pub also, I figure can’t hurt if parts of the material come out before the actual book… Actually posted what may be the opening chapter to something new … if I figure out what the rest is, lol.
    The main thing is – if you want to write something “bigger” do it. No one can stop you but you 🙂


  3. The fact that you see what’s wrong with your earlier work shows how much you’ve grown. I would save it too. It can be a measure of how improved you are. But I notice this book was a novel. Have you ever written fiction before? You are great with expository prose as I am. I can’t write fiction. I think that is a whole different skill. I did write my autobiography. It’s actually on my blog now. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I too would love to start a book but feel overwhelmed by the very idea. You have to be in the mind set to take on this adventure…Good luck. I thought the idea of pulling up your original book , tweaking it was a great idea.

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  5. Such a common problem with writers, I think. We are our own worst enemy. I joined blogging to join others in the fight. I live to write, love to write, but finding the courage, the willpower to believe in myself and the time outside of my 9-5 is so hard. We as writers have to lift each other up! I believe in you!! You are a good writer, as exampled on your blog 🙂

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    • Thank you! I think for me, laziness is as much of a problem as insecurity. But the laziness could be an unconscious wayof “dealing with” insecurity too.


  6. I wrote my first novel when I was seventeen, for a freshman creative writing class. It absolutely sucked, but of course I had no idea how bad it was — in fact I thought it was pretty hot stuff. For reasons I will never understand, the professor gave me an A on it; I think maybe he was just impressed that I’d written a novel. (He had left it up to us what we wrote, and the other students in the class all wrote short stories or poems or stuff like that.) I cringe with embarrassment every time I think of it now, it was such an abomination. Now that I’m an old lady, I’m thinking maybe it’s time to get to work on a REAL novel.

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      • The trick is going to be finding the time. I thought once all my kids were grown up and moved out I’d have all kinds of time on my hands and plenty of freedom… but now I have an adorable grandson that I take care of two days a week (sometimes more) while his mom works. I’m not complaining, because I love him to pieces, but my anticipated leisurely retirement has completely eluded me. If I’m going to get any writing done, I’m going to have to be very disciplined and organized (two things no one would ever describe me as being).

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