I did it and wrote a story which hopefully becomes an Amazon Best Seller on June 6, 2017. I can’t wait to hold the book, You’ll Always Be Close to My Heart, in my hands. You can purchase it in paperback and in kindle format. Either way, the book is real and it has my name on it. It is truly a dream come true.
Although I published my first kindle book in February, 5 Simple Ways to Love Gay Christians; You’ll Always Be Close to My Heart is my first fiction with plans to turn it into a series. The book is the result of many weeks of writing, refining, and editing with my writing coach MJ Schwader, through Skype calls. Working on-line gave us the ability to view the documents in real-time. The writing process can be long and tedious, but it is truly worth the time and effort when you finally hold the finished product.
Making Time to Write
In order to complete my project, I had to make a commitment to write a story. I couldn’t write when I felt like it, I had to schedule the times. It was like making an appointment with myself and then keeping it.
But in the process, I could have written a story or article about making excuses. I’m really a procrastinator and I tend to put little things such as naps, errands and checking facebook, ahead of more important things, like writing. I know I need to be more mindful and choose to write first.
MJ says “Do what you love first. Get up in the morning and start writing. Write until you have nothing more to say.” My response is a fear – what if I write all day and nothing else gets done?! And to that, MJ would probably say, “What’s the harm in that? Live your life doing the things you love.”
So to get started on this book, I went on a mini-vacation. I realize not all of you would be able to take a random week off from work; so for you, I would suggest scheduling 15-20 minute blocks on your daily calendar and treat them like very important appointments.
I went to Myrtle Beach, SC and after writing the first 25,000 words in three days, I rewarded myself with a helicopter ride. I share more of that story in this blog: Wake Up and Live Your Dreams.
Knowing When to Start Refining
There’s no magic number of words that need to be written in a book. Though the specific types of book may have a suggestion for number of words. Such as, a short, short story has up to 7,500 words. My goal at the beach was that of a novel (40,000 words) but I stopped at 35,000 because I was worn out. It’s amazing how much energy it takes to write, especially pretty much nonstop within a week’s time.
Once you have a story – beginning, middle and end including some type of conflict and resolve, then it’s time to start refining. You can always add more words, but most likely, your word count will drop in the end. Using less words means you’re making every word count, which in the end, is a better story.
I would like to thank both Cassandra Washington and MJ for their coaching in the Transform Through Writing programs that were offered a few years ago. I was a co-author in one, and a featured author in the last one. Each program included writing exercises, individual coaching opportunities, and conference calls. I have learned my trade from them. The more I write, the better I become. These years have been the beginning of many more blogs, articles, and books yet to be written.
Celebrating at the Finish Line
Choose how you want to celebrate at the end, but also celebrate along the way. For with each milestone you reach, encourage yourself to keep going, no matter what obstacles come your way. In the end, the final celebration is holding the book in your hands while leafing through the pages and seeing words or phrases that remind you about the story. I cry every time I read my book. I cried when I wrote it, too. There are just some things in life that have to be told.
Remember, You’ll Always Be Close to My Heart is fiction. The characters are not real, nor is the story. Though themes within the story are true. You will read about bullying and abuse in homes and schools. There are young adults who feel less worthy, unloved and wonder if life would be better without them. There is sadness, yet there is also friendships, love, kindness, encouragement. Each of these attributes give us a balance of life.
This is an amazing accomplishment which took faith, encouragement from others, and self-determination to see it come to fruition.
Have you purchased your book yet?
After you’ve read through it, go back to Amazon and write a review so that others will know it’s worth the purchase.
Thanks and stay tuned for book 2 – no promises, but hopefully by the end of summer.