Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Link the Writer, Mar 24, 2011.
Like the title said: How do you know if you really want to write and publish a book?
Seriously? If you want to write, write. If you don't, don't. No one is going to zap you to death with killer laser rays because you finished a book without receiving The Holy Calling.
Same with publishing. You know if you want to do it because....you'll want to do it. If you think about the idea and it appeals to you, chances are you want to.
I guess, you just do?
It's kinda like asking, how do you know when you're in love? It's a case of : It's different for everyone, so only you can answer that
EDIT: Since people are posting their reasons I want my story to make people think, inspire them...move them. Like other stories have done to me. Seems cheesy, but that's what got me rolling.
I think the underlying question is:
"How do you know that you really want to write and publish you work, rather then "want to be a writer" which is respected and high status in out society?"
I would say that you really like writing, more then liking the idea of becoming a writer. You can like the idea as well, but if that your main motivation something is wrong.
I enjoy entertaining people and it would be fun to know that my stories and ideas provided fun and interesting times to others. I have loved books and gotten a lot out of them and it would be fun to think I've done the same.
That's what I'm saying.
It's one thing to imagine writing a story about an Inuit boy going to find his missing brother who disappeared during a hunting party. It's one thing to imagine the boy fighting all kinds of vicious creatures like polar bears.
It's another to write and publish it.
I am working towards being published but really my goal is to write and my work be read which I have achieved. I have readers that like what I write already.
However my daughter's assesment does ring in my ears, 'Mummy you are not a real writer until I see your book in the library.'
I really want to write and publish my books. The ideas keep rolling in, and even when I'm busy with work and regular life, the neglect never affects my love to write.
Ellie has a good point -- not that you necessarily have to be a published writer to be a "real" writer, but you do have to write.
It's annoying to see people who say "I want to be a writer" but then never write any stories. It you want to be a writer, get off your you-know-what and write. It's the only way to get better at it and it's the only way to progress anywhere.
See, I would love to write and publish my own book, but I don't know that I would really be accepted, since I don't think that anyone would want to publish a book made by a 12 year old, I could be wrong though. I have an idea right now, but I don't know how good it would actually be.. Do I have a chance at this age? I hope so, I would love to have my own story, and be recognized for something. Maybe even get money for it.
I guess you just know...and are willing to put in the time and effort to actually do it!
I've decided that I do really want to write, but I don't really want to publish.
How do you know?
If you're willing to sit down and actually do what it takes to write the novel and go through the research and process to submit it for representation (agents)/publication (editors).
It will take more hours than you can imagine. It won't always be fun and exciting. There will be other responsiblities and fun activities that will require attention and draw you away.
Are you able to realize that in the odds of finding a reputable publisher are quite long, especially with the first attempt at a novel. Long but not impossible, because you'll come to realize that once you get deep into the process.
Many folks talk about writing a novel. A few even start. Fewer actually finish the first draft. A small fraction of those revised and edit and do what it takes to make the novel the best it can be and ready to be submitted. Some get this far but fear rejection, or quit after the first rejection. Many that remain never attempt a second novel, especially if the first one goes nowhere.
Nobody knows if you really want to do it but you.
Worry about how good your writing is, not about your age.
Never let anyone despise you because of your youth, that includes you.
If you love to write...write. The more you write, the better you will become.
The most important thing in life is to find your passion, what you love to do, and do it. It doesn't matter if you are 12, or 47 (like me), it's never to early or too late to become a writer.
I honestly think that, at age 22, I'm not ready yet to be fully committed to writing. I have a lot on my plate life-wise (I'm in college, in that stage where I'm trying to figure out what I'll do for a living, where I will live, etc). At least I have the imagination, it's all in there. Also, I have a strong memory, so I can easily pluck out a story concept I created long ago and do something with it.
It's odd though. I feel like I'm betraying someone by not deciding to write and/or publish my stories right now. I know its for the best to put them all aside and wait, but I feel some sort of committment, like "someone is waiting for me to put this down in a book!"
But who? There isn't a race. Nothing's at stake. Maybe it's better to wait until I'm older so I'll have more life experience to draw from.
Right now, I take passion in writing my personal journals on the computer. I consider myself a writer in that regard. Yes, no one else will see it but me, but since I love writing in my journals, I write in it every day, I consider myself a writer.
I agree with neffmoore. It's never too early or too late to write. You can be 65-years-old and be publishing your first book...and that's just okay. If that's when you want to publish, then that's when you publish.
Thanks, this really gave me more motivation, I really believe I can do this.
^ The fact that you are starting now is really good. I wish I had begun writing earlier, I would have had more experience.
I also suspect it's the book itself that could give you pressure.
For instance, I as a beginner writer should not be saying: "I'll write a five-book series and every book will be twenty chapters long!!"
Now, some beginning writers are capable of this. I, as I am slowly figuring out, am not. I am not capable yet to write a twenty-chapter book, much less that five times in a row about the same protagonist. Sure, I can create deep conflicts with character arcs weaving into other character arcs, but I don't have the patience. I only see how it all ends and I get frustrated when I have to start from the beginning.
No, for folks like me, I should start small. There was a time when I actually completed a book, a children's book from front to back. Clearly I'm capable of that, so I should strive to write that for now. Once I gain experience and more patience, then I can tackle twenty-chapter books.
Link, good grief. If you feel a desire to write and feel like you're betraying yourself by not writing, THEN WRITE. I'm at that fresh-to-the-career-world stage too, and sometimes I don't have time to write (whether because I'm writing something work-related or working on something else I have to get done or just out with my friends/boyfriend), but when I have a few hours in the evening with nothing pressing on my plate, I write a bit. Why not do the same?
Really, if you say "I'll just hold off for now" and don't ever write, you can't call yourself a writer. The only way to be a writer is to write.
I'm not trying to be harsh or anything, but I feel like you're asking us for help on something that should be internally clear to you.
I agree with what has been said above. You just sort of know. For me it came gradually. I always loved to write, and I did. But just lately I made peace with the idea of trying to have something published, and that really made it even more fun to write. It's like now Im writing for someone, and hopefully one day people will read it and share the feelings I had when writing it.
Regarding wanting to be a writer (without actually doing the work) I wonder if that isn't the case when I hear people say "I wanna write a novel but I have no idea what I should write about." they are in love with the idea of being a published writer but they have no idea how much work it actually takes, and when they find out they quit. That is just my theory. About publishing Im not sure it always goes hand in hand with wanting to write, at least it didn't for me. When I was younger I was terrified of the idea that someone would read anything I wrote, but now I have grown to like that same idea. Actually it was that idea that made me start writing again after years without. It was a new stimulus that made me take it up again with a new approach.
This topic has gotten my creativity stirring. Instead of trying to gulp in too much, I should take it one small bite at a time by tackling one story, one stand-alone project. Something I know I can complete from beginning to end.
I think I have just the story...
Just begin Link We are all pressed for time. Writing is consuming and never easy. And if the ideas, imagination, and just plain drama are there, then, yeah, you've got a book. It's just a matter of putting it down.
there's a difference between 'publish a book' and 'have a book published'... did you mean the latter, or are you really meaning paying to have it self-published [or starting one's own publishing company to publish one's own book]?...
I understand being busy with post-secondary schoolwork (as that's been my life for the past six years) but unless you win the lottery or something, and don't end up having to work for a living, there will always be something to keep you from being "fully committed" to writing. I think you have to find a way to do it if you want to, regardless of other commitments, or it'll never happen.
As for life experience, I think if you feel like you have things worth saying and an interesting story, you have enough experience to write. Plus you'll be getting all the practice from writing now.
I do agree with you that tackling an entire series right now is probably too much. Your plan of starting with small projects or taking small steps at a time sounds good to me, since that way you won't get overwhelmed with too many responsibilities.
I didn't start to write until I got my first computer maybe fifteen years ago and then it sort of grew on me. I don't really know where the desire comes from except that my imagination seems to keep coming up with new ideas every so often which send me back to the keyboard all fired up. So do I want to write books, yes, but most of them never get beyond the first fifty pages or so, when the creative juices run dry.
But every so often one reaches a point where I feel the need to finish it, I have three or four at this stage, and then when I've got there I tell myself its a damned shame to have written something and not try to get it published. So with my first one I did the traditional route and got nowhere, and I have to admit the rejection letters got quite depressing, so I let the book linger for about five years. But then the kindle came along and I thought lets have a go, and even though its selling like lead balloons I have to admit I feel more then a twinge of satisfaction for having achieved that goal.
So do I want to publish, yes.
But the big question is do I want to be a writer, as in a professional, and oddly enough the answer is that I don't know. I'd like to write a best seller, but in the end I write for me, and I write with or without getting published, with or without becoming a success. I somewhat suspect that if I ever tried to go down that road writing would become a chore rather then something I enjoy. As it is I can write one day, play games the next or do something else. I don't really want to lose that freedom.
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