Today’s Quiz

QUESTION: What’s the most challenging part of writing a book? Is it avoiding writer’s block? Maintaining creativity? Finding the time to do it? Or how about just plain sitting down over the keyboard and writing?

ANSWER: None of the above. For one thing, “writer’s block” is nothing more than laziness. Successful fiction writers are born with creative minds that never shut off. If you really want to a write book, you’ll make the time for it to happen. For example, I wrote my first novel, The Quixotics, when I was in law school. It was necessary therapy for the ennui of endless case studies. I set aside time after finishing my homework at about 1 am and wrote until 3 am. You can do it.

So, what is the answer, what is the biggest challenge in writing a book? I can tell you that when you’re writing the book, you’ll believe that is the most difficult task. But that’s because you don’t realize what lies ahead. Once the draft is completed, you’ll need input from Beta readers and the services of a professional editor. Why? Because no one is lining up to become your agent or publisher. You’re going to have to do that on your own. This leads to copious rewriting.

Oh, so then self-publishing is the hardest part? No, but it’s more difficult than writing the book was. Yeah, so? After you publish the book what’s left to do? Now, at last, we’re at the most difficult stage in the process—marketing. You’re self-published. There’s no agent working their network to get publicity for your book. You don’t have a publishing house behind you, so there’s no Random House, no St. Martin’s Press to work the Barnes & Noble side of the street for you. You are entirely on your own.

But people do it. Somehow some self-published authors—“indies”—manage to break through. How? There literally are thousands of techniques and gimmicks to help accomplish the task. This is where your research skills truly are valuable. In my opinion, the best place to start is online where the sum total of human knowledge seems to be available. You will spend as much time doing this as you did writing the book; maybe more. But marketing is key if you’re going to sell enough copies of your book to recoup the expenses of writing and publishing it. Especially if you want to develop writing as a part-time or full-time career. Good luck.

© John Wayne Falbey 2017 All Rights Reserved