Friday, February 1, 2019

Discussion: Do You Wanna Be An Author?

I'm going to make two large assumptions about you right this very minute:

a) You love to read.
b) You like to write.

Am I right?

But here's the thing I can't assume:
c) You want to write, or have already written, a book.

I know some bloggers are already published authors or professional writers. Others are anywhere along the drafting-getting an agent-shopping a manuscript stage. Still others have no interest in writing a full length book, but are quite happy tossing off polished (or not) blog posts on topics that are dear to their hearts.

Personally, I have always dreamed of being an author, but that's mostly because of a) and b) above. I love books. I like writing. But I have no story ideas. I am constantly amazed at the variety of stories and characters authors come up with. How do they do it? I long ago came to the conclusion that I'd never be a published author or professional writer.

And yet.

When we Skyped with author Sarah Cannon in January, I was so struck by her story of writing a book that was terrible, locking it away, writing a second book that was better, but didn't seem to go anywhere, locking it away, writing a book she liked and trying to get an agent with it, writing its sequel, still no agent, and then with her FIFTH BOOK finding an agent and publisher.

The idea that I could maybe write a REALLY BAD book to start with is weirdly exciting.

She also talked about participating in NaNoWriMo, and how having a deadline, and support, and the sense of adventure made writing that first book less daunting than it would have been.

And I said, "Hmm."

My word for this year is "bold" as in "Be bold, try something new, don't let fear stop you from doing things you want to do." There was no way I could have considered writing a book in the past few years, but right now it looks like next November might be a time when I could actually try that.

But I don't know. I STILL don't have any ideas, and it feels like plot and characters are pretty important when writing a book.

What about you? I'm really curious to know where others stand on this, so I put together this quick form. Next week I can share our results. Please play along!


  1. Good luck with the writing! I’m in a writing group, but I’m a terrible writer and don’t know if I have the patience to get better.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  2. I am a bit like you. Maybe I should just try writing something with the absolute knowledge it will be terrible. And then maybe the next thing will be better...possibly. I can't view your form for some reason.

  3. I'm happy to take your survey and help out, but I cannot access the form?

  4. I think I fixed it! Someone let me know...

  5. More power to you. I am amazed by people, who are able to come up with an entire book. Writing was always difficult for me, except technical writing. I was good at that.

  6. Works for me now, though I have to be signed in.

    Yup! Yet another book blogger writing a book. Currently shopping the second novel... I read somewhere where Balzac wrote seven practice novels before publishing his first which is encouraging and discouraging both.

    Go for it. Good luck with yours!

  7. Oh I am so glad that someone finally feels my pain of not being able to come up with actual stories in my head! Everyone I talk to can come up with ALL the stories but has trouble writing them, where I am the opposite- I can write, I just don't feel like I have the imagination for being a legit author! I have won NaNo but I can't come up with proper endings. It's all such a mess. And then like, life happened, and so it all went on the back burner. But maybe one of these days! I definitely think you can do it though- like the full plot could just... come to you as you write it? Idk, I say, go for it, what have you got to lose, right?

  8. Sorry I'm late, but I just filled out your form! My author story is similar to the ones you've heard, actually. I started writing a book when I graduated college, but it never really went anywhere. I eventually had kids and just sort of let life take over. Then, in 2014, I did NaNoWriMo and wrote 50,000 words of a novel ... that never really went anywhere I kept writing over the next year or so, but I never did quite finish the book. I lost confidence somewhere along the way. (I actually looked for the ms just a few minutes ago and couldn't even find it at first---I finally found it on a long-ago forgotten Amazon drive.)

    Then, in 2016, I decided to try again with a different book. This one went much more smoothly because I had a more solid outline going in. I never thought I would be one for outlines (since I'm not very organized), but it proved to be invaluable. I knew where I was going, which encouraged me not to stop! I finished that book and set it aside for a very long time. Now I'm querying it!

    I also wrote one other book for 2017 NaNo. I finished it in 2018, but I'll confess that I don't think it's the best. I don't know if that one will ever see the light of day. I was pretty miserable about that until I started realizing that LOTS of authors have this experience. It doesn't mean I can't write--it means that book wasn't the right one. I've now moved on to book number 3 (Or 4, depending on how we're counting).

    All that is to say, don't give up on the dream! You never know when it might come true!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


Please share your thoughts. Comments are almost as sweet as chocolate!