So You Want to Write a Book

I got a wonderful email from someone who desires to write a book. I will leave out the details of her letter, but it prompted me to write a reply I’d like to share with all writers and aspiring writers. Here it is:

Dear (put your name here):

Thank you for your lovely letter. I am always pleased to meet writers and aspiring writers.

There are several things you can do, if you want to write a book (or two or more). I will try to summarize, but the journey for each person is their own.

First of all, write. There is a wonderful, free event beginning November 1. It is called NaNoWriMo. Funny name, but it stands for National Novel Writing Month, and the idea is to write as much as you can for the 30-day month of November. I am sending you the link to their site, and I encourage you to participate. Http://

The event has participants from all over the world, and there is a chapter right here in Spokane, Washington. You can have a writing buddy or buddies if you wish, attend local “write-ins” or just sit down every day and write about 1,700 words. Don’t worry about the editing at this point, or even the flow of your story. Just write. The goal is to produce a 50,000 word novel rough draft. The best thing about NaNoWriMo is that you are accountable to no one except yourself. If you’ve put off getting started, it’s a good way to kick yourself into gear.

Second, I would urge you to attend a local writers’ meeting such as Spokane Authors. We meet the first Thursday of the month at 2:00 p.m. at the Golden Corral on North Division. If you work during the day and are unable to attend, there is a group which meets the third Wednesday of the month at Frankie Doodle’s Restaurant on Third and Division at 6:00 p.m. Both these groups have been around for a while, and I attend both meetings whenever I can. The advantages are that you become more connected with Spokane’s writing community, and you will meet some of Spokane’s authors and aspiring authors.

Third, find a critique group. There are many in Spokane. Not all of them will fit your personality and writing style, but if you try out several, you will find one that will nurture and help you in your writing journey. Critique groups are generally smaller than the two groups I mentioned above. They also usually meet more often, and take turns reading from their works in progress. The one I belong to meets twice a month, and we print out copies of what we will read, so that everyone can write their comments down. That’s not necessary, but it is helpful. I also meet with  a couple of writer friends and go even more in detail into whatever project I’m involved in at the moment.

Finally, never give up! 😊 You have a story within you. Let it come out. Who knows? The world may end up a better place because you chose to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). Good luck, and thank you for your wonderful email. Because of it, I wrote something I can share in our newsletter and in my blog. You see, you have already had a positive effect on the world.

Write On!

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