How I Wrote a Book – Tips for the Writer in
There are people far more qualified than I to discuss the craft of writing, so I thought I’d share
my experience of how I came to write my book, The Bachelor Farmers. Maybe you’ll find the
courage to write your own.
Think of Yourself as a Writer
I’ve been writing my whole life: journals, articles, even a children’s book. I loved to write, but it
took a shift in how I viewed myself to become an author. The first step was to begin thinking of
myself as a writer. I can still feel my hesitation when someone asked me what I did, and for the
first time, I said, “I’m a writer.” After a while, I grew comfortable with this image, and I began
to own that I really was a writer. This takes time, so be patient, but when people ask you what
you do, say: “I’m a writer.”
Create a Sacred Space
About the time I was shifting my thinking, I carved out a small space in the house that was mine
alone. I found privacy here, set up my desk and my computer, and lit a candle. You get the idea.
This was a second important step. You’re a writer. You need a sacred space.
Over the years, I’ve studied literature and writing and taken classes and workshops on the craft
of storytelling. I love romantic comedies, so I wanted to write a Chick-lit book. I clicked onto the
websites of every writer I could find and read about their process. Many writers have sections on
their websites for new writers and I found several to be helpful. My favorite was a Romance
author named Leanne Banks who listed affirmations for writers that I wrote down and pasted
everywhere. I was still so fragile. I needed them to keep myself going.
Jump Start with a Writing Class
Before I dug in, I refreshed with a ten-week on-line fiction class with The Gotham Writers
Workshop. Taking the class got me used to writing every day as well as managing my time.
Anonymously, I interacted with other writers at my level, which allowed me to open up with less
fear. The group hailed from several states, and friendships formed quickly as we critiqued each
other’s work. Our instructor was a published author, accessible and willing to share.
Assignments focused on craft and theory, but the best part was going to my desk every day and
Write a Messy First Draft
When the class ended, I had a notebook filled with practical treasures that I still refer to. I also
had the beginnings of several short stories that I would come to develop later. These pieces
represented assignments that had been well-received in class. I didn’t know it at the time, but
several of these stories would later become my books.
It was during this period that I wrote my Chick-lit first draft. I didn’t worry about grammar,
punctuation, chapters, or even sentence structure. I just got the story down on paper. It was awful
and lousy and riddled with flaws, but it had a beginning, a middle and an end. It wasn’t perfect,
but I now knew that I could complete something big.
Then came the lesson that every writer has to learn: the real work is in the rewrites. This is where
things come together, the mess is cleaned up and the book is molded. Notice I said “rewrites”
with an “s!” (You’ll be doing dozens, so get ready.)
When I thought the book was done, I sent out query letters. Hello, Rejection! (By the way, the
biggest sin of first time writers is sending work out too soon) Deflated, but not dejected, I packed
up my manuscript and attended a couple of additional workshops. My book needed work, but I
didn’t feel I had the skills to fix it, so I shoved it into my desk. Switching genres, I dug out the
top pieces from my class work and began to expand them into short stories.
You can finish reading this article on our website about how i wrote a book.