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"There is a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results."--Tom Robbins, American novelist 1936
Writing a book is hard work.
Writing a book is a process.
Writing a book takes tremendous concentration, dedication and firm resolve to get the job done. There is no shortcut that I know of to get words on paper then to sit butt in chair and write write write. Best I can offer is five writing tips.
Here they are:
1. Set a deadline.
Open your calendar and circle a realistic date when you truly believe you can get the job done. Then scribble it on your bathroom mirror in bright red lipstick and write it on your facebook wall.
When friends ask how is writing your book going, and trust me, writer, amiga, your friends will ask, it will feel wonderful to say it's happening, it really is.
2. Set a realistic date for publication.
Get that calendar out again and circle a new date. This date is the date you wish to see your book held in your two tired hands.
3. Set a book signing date.
Same deal. Open the calendar one more time *why did you close it?*. Circle another date. This date is when you plan to sit at your local Barnes & Noble with copies of your book stacked neatly in a box on the floor.
4. Set up your writing place.
This is the place where you will sit and write. It can be an empty hall closet stuffed with all your writing needs; briefcase on wheels loaded with laptop, paper, fast writing pen and calendar, to take to outdoor cafe', indoor coffee shop, cheap motel room, or any place you can sit and work uninterrupted to do your writing thing.
5. Create structure.
Make a blueprint. List captions, topics. Organize your material. Write an outline.
6. Expect the unexpected.
Expect the baby to get sick, earth to quake, a blizzard of renowned proportions, Cat I hurricane, to lose power, someone you love to die, to feel desperately hopeless, your friends to run away. All the wheels of the bus fall off when we embark on a new journey. Expect no one to understand what it is you are going through, not even another writer, because the process to write your book is different as a thumb print--no two alike.
7. Do an author's personal book tour. Go to your book store and check out the competition. As you walk the aisles ask yourself where does my book fit in? Look at the components, cover, titles, chapters, and write them down.
8. Make a book dummy. How do you imagine your book to look when it is completed. Now make a space in the section at the library, put your dummy book there, and snap a photo. Place that photo on your bathroom mirror, alongside the lipstick dates mentioned above.
I know I listed more than five tips for writing a book, but like I said expect the unexpected.
If you follow your passion, remain focused and and true to your commitment and digest what I outlined above, I promise, your dream to write your book will come true.
So what are you waiting for?
Go write something.
I dare you.
See you in print,
Linda Della Donna
Author of "A Gift of Love, A Widow's Memoir"