So you’ve hopefully just read my review of Ged’s Cats Undercover, because here’s Ged sharing some unexpected advice.
Ever thought of writing a book? Don’t Do It.
I know, I know. I’m supposed to tell you everyone has a book inside them and you just need the right training to write yours down.
I’m supposed to tell you it’s not to late, to mention late bloomers to inspire you. What about Mary Westley for example? She published her first adult fiction at the age of 71. And Laura Ingalls first ‘Little House’ novel was published in her sixties. (If, in fact, you do find this inspiring, check out this Wikipedia page on Late Bloomers.)
And I’m supposed to say you never know, you might be the next JK Rowling. Oh my God, I hate the example of JK Rowling. I love that woman but she is a terrible data set (total segment size: 1) to demonstrate how writers (total segment size: millions) might get rich (total: very few).
Or maybe I’m supposed to tell you you’ll never regret it, give it a go.
What have you got to lose?
I’ll tell you what you’ve got to lose. Hours and hours and hours of your life. 5% inspiration, they say, 95% perspiration. Rubbish! It’s 0.5% (max) inspiration and 99.5% (min) perspiration.
Writing the first draft of a book is the thin end of a horribly thick wedge. My current book, Cats Undercover, required six drafts before it was ready to send for a structural edit. Your book will be the same. And when the report from your editor comes back, you’ll have to write a good part of the book again. By the way, YOU MUST GET AN EDITOR! If you’re not willing to pay for a good editor, don’t write.
Having written your book a seventh time, you then have to send it for copy editing and then proof reading. Then you have to send it out to your beta readers who are the experts in the world you’re writing on. If any of them object to a key fact, guess what: you’re rewriting again.
You know what?
I love it! I love writing. All my life I wanted to be a writer and now whenever I’m on my laptop, tapping away, I know I’ve achieved my life’s ambition. For a writer is anyone who writes.
So if you’re thinking about writing a book, my advice is Don’t Do It. But if a book is burning a hole in you, forcing its story into your mind and making you itchy with fear you might not get it out, then You Must Do It. Otherwise you’ll die regretting it.
Writing is like love. You do it in spite of everything, not because of anything. It’s stronger than you and every painful word of every torturous sentence is more than worth it.
Just don’t start me on the painful process of marketing your books.