Day 3
Abandon Your Excuses

As a writer it actually pains me to hear the excuses many people make instead of following their dream to write. So many of the “reasons” people use to explain why they are not doing the very thing they say they really, really want to are decoys. People use excuses because of fear, because of false expectations, or because it just isn’t that important to them.
If you really want to “be a writer”, then write.

Making Time
“I don’t have the time to write.” That statement is a common one and often follows the declaration “I have the greatest idea for a novel, one of these days…”

Make one of these days NOW and write that book. No one expects you to finish writing all those magical words in one sitting, or even two. If you really want to write, there is time to write. Most published authors and writers have first or second jobs, families, schooling and other responsibilities. Few people can devote an eight hour work day to writing that great novel.

Part of the writing process is simply thinking – and we can think of scenes, characters and plot twists while we are doing housework, sitting in a traffic jam, riding the subway and even while we are in the shower. Keep a pad of paper in your briefcase, purse, in the kitchen. In your desk drawer, or next to your favorite TV chair to scribble notes whenever an idea occurs to you. Many writers keep a pad and pencil on the nightstand to record bits and pieces of dreams before they vanish away in foggy memories.

Keep a file folder or a large envelope near your desktop or other workstation and store these snippets. These snippets will help you organize your thoughts and begin writing your story. You can find 15-minutes, or more, to write full sentences on a legal pad or type words on a keyboard. Just fifteen minutes, the time it takes to drink your morning coffee, the time it takes to let your hair dry after a shower and you will find your story growing.

What If No One Likes It?
It is possible, even likely, that you will find editors and readers who do not like your work; that doesn’t mean that it is not good. Try again with another editor or a different audience.

When you walk into your local bookstore, are you apt to want to read every book that is on the shelves? Some of the topics won’t appeal to you, sometime you just don’t like the writing. It’s the same with your writing, not everyone is going to be enamored. Send your queries out to different markets. And while you are waiting, keep writing.

Many successful authors “papered” their office walls with rejection slips before connecting with the one right person.

I Don’t Know How to Go About Publishing a Book
Most of us didn’t, some still don’t. First you have to write the book and then you have to find a publisher. Speak to other writers, read magazines or books that appeal to the market you wrote for. Take names off of magazine flags (staff listings), look up publishing names you see on book spines. Join writers’ forums and ask questions.

Most reputable publishers will take the time to explain the process. Understand that there are several different publishing methods. You can publish (if you are lucky to make the right connections) through a large house, small traditional press with small runs, small press with print-on-demand, e-publishing, and self publishing. Study the terms and again, speak to other authors. Lastly, don’t sign anything until you are sure you understand what it means.

Activity: Write an instruction guide for a common, everyday chore (housework, driving, dressing, making a phone call, etc.). Avoid making a simple list and using mere phrases. Write this instructional guide in the form of paragraphs and complete sentences. Make it detailed so that even if someone has never used a telephone they will know how to make a telephone call, etc.

Activity: Using the seven numbers of your telephone number, in any order, write a very brief story about people sitting around a dinner table (how many people, how many dinner rolls, etc).


***based on the long-running***

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