Writing a Book - In One Hit!
I want to encourage any writers out there to have a go at writing a book. Much is said about the time, commitment and inspiration required to do this. Articles about authors who have spent years sweating over their manuscripts (with good and bad results) can be slightly off putting. Who wants to hear that after 5-years of writing you might end up with zip all and a dusty pile of papers sitting under your bed. I’m not saying that it’s easy to get a book published, that goes without saying, but I would like to stress that writing a book can be easier than people want us to believe.
You may not be a fan of Stephen King, but he can write a book in less than two weeks. But it’s Stephen King. Point taken, but there is no reason why you can’t get a good book done in a short space of time, especially, if you have already started writing for a living.
I think it’s one of life’s best-kept secrets. Make it sound hard and people will be put off doing it. Bag of crap I say. Think about it.
How many times have you thought about writing a novel and then been put off because;
a) You don’t think you can write well enough
b) You don’t have the time
c) You have to be a great writer to bother
d) You have no inspiration
e) You have no idea what to write about
f) It would be too personal and people would know too much about you
g) You don’t want to end up like those people you avoid at a party, who can’t stop going on about the book they’ve written
h) You only want to write it if you can be sure of getting an agent and getting it published.
But think of it like this, the faster you write your first book, the less time you will have wasted if it doesn’t work out. Rejection hurts more if you have spent years working on something, feels a hell-of-a-lot better if, let’s say, it only took you five weeks.
The average novel is about 300-pages, loosely translated that’s about 300-words a page (if you lay out the manuscript according to whatever rules for manuscript layout are out there) so that’s about 90,000-words. How many of us have had to write a thousand word piece to deadline? How about that two thousand-word piece they wanted by Monday? Get my point? But this time when you are writing, it’s not to deadline, there are no constraints to style and content and no one is going to see it. Try and write two thousand words about anything you like and you will see how quickly you can do it. Now try a few more on top of that. I bet all of you could come out with five or six thousand words over one day of the weekend.
Here comes the point, at last.
5,000 in one-day equals 90,000 in eighteen days.
Many of you will say, but I can’t possibly write 5,000 words in one day. Okay, try 2,000 words - we agreed that most of us have written that many words on deadline. So, 2,000 a day for forty-five days is – BINGO – 90,000 words. Sounds obvious because it is.
Now imagine you put the whole weekend aside, let’s say 5,000 words in a weekend – that’s eighteen weekends.
How about setting time aside and doing it one hit? That’s right! One big hit. 2,500 words a day - 90,000 words in? 45 days. We agreed that we do that all the time for deadlines. This is free style, no need to edit or think too much, just write. Believe me on some days you will knock out 5,000 words in a day. That's 90,000 words in eighteen days. You do the math.
So you see it can be done. I think a first book should be done quickly, it’s like pulling off a plaster. Once you have written the first, you will be so delighted, that writing a second one will seem like child’s play.
Ever hear of writers who don’t get published until their third or fourth attempt. Well, your first attempt will be done and that’s great news!
Once those 90,000 words are on paper, editing it will feel like fun, sending to agents will be great and the good news the rejections will seem far less painful than if you had spent years honing this unknown beast.
So PLEASE just give it a go! I did.
Let me know what you think. I would love to hear your comments.
See you soon.
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