I often get asked,
“Have you written that book yet?
“How can you have a blog and you haven’t published a novel yet?”
“You’ve published articles and stuff but don’t you need to be a published author or at least have a novel before you start giving writing advice?”
The answer to all these questions and more is:
I’m just getting started.
After around eight years of writing I’m still not good enough or ready (brave?) enough to write a novel and that’s why I haven’t written a novel.
I have a question though.
Why should I have to or need to write a book anyway?
Writing is my hobby.
I admit I do write articles and get paid for my efforts but it’s not all about the money.
It’s about honing my craft. Actually I spend more money on reading to learn about writing than I ever earn writing. Writing for me is something that’s always different and keeps me interested.
I see so many of my online writer friends leaping immediately into writing a novel, novelette or ebook and I have to admit I cringe because I’d rather see them practice their writing and gain a few grammar, punctuation, editing and spelling skills along with finding their voice and creating great plot, characters etc before going headlong into getting published.
It’s a bit like sex.
As virgins a lot of people want to get the thing over with so they can say they’ve done it and believe they’re now all grown up or may want to brag that they did it at this age or that age or waited until marriage etc.
Well, that’s how I see novel writing.
If I do it all in the beginning and don’t wait to understand a bit more about the magic around the novel writing process it will all be over with and done with and that would be so sad. I would have missed so much.
So rather than slut my writing-self around I’d like to take the time to get to know my style (if I have any), my audience (same again), know my voice (that’s a tough one) and be able to plot and plan the way I want to write. I want to explore what I should read and how I can please others, share the love and receive back some of that writerly love too!
Become a writer first.