The first step toward writing a book isn’t writing. It isn’t planning or outlining. The first step is deciding you’re going to write one.
You’re probably wondering, “If that’s the case, then why haven’t I started?”
You know you want to write a book, but you haven’t decided to write one. It’s something you say you’ll do but never with too much certainty.
I didn’t have the desire to write a book until last year. Once I realized I wanted to, I kept saying, “Someday.”
In a couple of years, when I’m a better writer. Someday, when I feel ready. When I have more time. One day. Soon. Later.
Those words are dangerous. Vague promises of starting in the future are what’s preventing you from turning your fantasy into a reality.
I saw other writers do the same. I saw them say that they’d dreamt of writing a book for years but hadn’t started. I saw them saying they’d start when they felt ready or had more time.
I didn’t like that I gave the same excuses they did. If you’re one of the people who’s been wanting to write a book for years and years, I don’t mean to offend when I say this, but I didn’t want to end up like you.
I knew I had to make a choice. Life was never going to be perfect, and I was never going to be entirely ready. So, I asked myself two questions:
Do you want to write a book? Yes.
Are you going to start writing a book? There was a breath. Hesitation. Fear. But finally, I said yes.
It was a simple declaration, but it was real. I was in.
You have to make your choice
I’m 22. People still call me a kid (but also an adult — it’s a very confusing time). What right do I have to write a book? I didn’t even know what I was going to write about. I had a genre (horror, which I ended up switching), and that’s it.
But I decided I was going to write the book simply because I wanted to. If I didn’t, it would become a deep regret that would haunt me.
So, I wrote 200 words. Not much, but most people are too afraid to write those 200 words.
You have to make your choice. Not tonight. Not later. Not until NaNoWriMo. You might not be ready or believe you have time, but forget everything for a moment.
Close your eyes and ask yourself a question.
Do I want to write a book? If the answer is no, you’re welcome to forget you ever read this.
If you said yes, you need to ask yourself another question. Am I going to start writing my book today?
You would think answering would be easy, but it’s not. This isn’t a promise you want to break. This is serious.
If you say yes, you can’t back out. If you say no, you’re left with daydreams. What are you going to choose?
Close your eyes. Ask yourself the question one more time. Am I going to start writing my book today?
If the answer is no, that’s okay. Perhaps you’re not meant to write a novel. But if your answer is yes, then congratulations. You’re going to write a book.
3 reasons why you should start writing your book today
If you need a little more convincing, don’t worry about it. As I said, this isn’t an easy choice to make. Committing to writing a book is committing to a long journey of which you can’t see the end.
This shit is hard, but it’s worth it. Here’s why.
1. It’s a challenge
This is probably a weird reason to start with but bear with me. Humans love challenges. Writing a book is difficult, but it’s also fulfilling.
Trying to figure out who your characters are, what to write, and where your story will end up is exciting. We crave this unraveling of ideas, even if it’s hard.
You’re going to enjoy getting to write your story. Take it from someone who’s been writing her book for two months. The light hasn’t died out, and I don’t expect it to anytime soon.
2. It’s fun
Despite how difficult and challenging writing a novel can be, it’s also fun. You get to take all of the insane and awesome movies in your head and transcribe them into words.
Every night, I look forward to sitting down and writing. I get excited thinking about my story.
Don’t you want that? To have fun doing what you’ve wanted to do for (possibly) a long time now? Enjoying the process is the best part.
3. Because you want to
You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t want to write a book. Wanting to write is enough reason to start.
You don’t need any other reason. You also don’t need to explain yourself to anyone. If this is what you want, then it’s you’re right to fucking do it.
Don’t let that part of yourself starve. Give in to this desire. Feed it. When you ignore this side of yourself is when you end up with regret. Don’t end up wishing you’d written a book. Just start the damn novel.
Fulfill this dream of yours. If you merely want to say you’ve written a book, the process isn’t going to be as enjoyable as it should.
I started writing a novel not because I want to be a published author, but because I craved the process. I wanted to write the book I’ve been searching for on the shelves.
Don’t worry about the end of the process, the results, or anything else. Focus on creating the book your heart has been yearning for.
I know it’s scary. It’s a huge commitment to make. But even though it’s only been a few months since I chose to write a book, it’s already been so worth it — even the struggles.
But making a choice is one thing. Remember, you have to start today. If you don’t, you probably never will. Are you willing to take that chance?