Friday, October 17, 2014

About Writing A Book




Becca over at: Being Becca recently sent me a lovely little message requesting that I write a post about the journey of writing a book. 

When it comes to writing a book, the journey will be unique for everyone.
The basic gist of it is this though:

The most daunting part of writing your own book is the first word. 
The first sentence. 
How do you start it? 

It really isn't as natural as it may seem. 
Once Upon A Time isn't going to work. 

A book needs to be gripping from the get go. 
You need to hook the reader and reel them in right away or they'll swim off downstream, far away from you. 

Once you've established the basic plot and story-line and hammered out that grueling first line - your fingertips will start to leak words onto the keyboard. At least that's how it was for me,

The problem is, your fingers will start leaking like freaking lactating breasts in the middle of the night.
You'll wake up at all hours - FILLED to the brim with inspiration, thoughts and ideas.
Be prepared for seriously irregular sleeping cycles.

Writing will kidnap you.
I easily get lost in writing my novels - so when I finally look at a clock I'm shocked and wonder where all the hours went!
So here's a heads-up: get your other shit done before you settle down to pump out a few pages.

Writing is a beautiful thing.
You can do it anywhere in the world - which is fantastic for those of us who love to travel. But this post isn't about travel so let me not get off track by discussing my second love.......
My point is this: yes, writing can be done anywhere. But it is important to feel comfortable and happy in the place you choose to write.

A writer needs to make their own little 'Writers Den,' if you will.
Fill this room with all of your favorite things - for instance mine has to be painted and scattered with warm, rich colors like maroons and golds; crammed with inviting bottles of wine, type-writers, incense, candles, an abundant supply of pillows and blankets, soothing music with incredible lyrics, a dozen notebooks to scribble ideas in, pens galore, paintings, sculptures, my absolute favorite books and of course, a copy of my first book: Walk With Me.
My book is perched right beside my type-writer - which I admire every single day.
I don't think you'll ever get used to holding your own, edited, printed and bound novel in your hands. Flicking through the pages and realizing each and every word inside that book comes directly from you.
It's just a beautifully overwhelming, satisfying feeling.

Another wonderful thing I love to do is go somewhere unique and different to write.
Have a change in scenery.
 I often take myself off to little beach bars and into the forests, onto some train tracks above the ocean or out for a cocktail at a little bistro with my trusty laptop and notebook.


Time to backtrack.... 
if you're anything like unorganized me, I don't really tend to mind-map. I know this is usually the biggest no-no BUUUUUUUT rules are made to be broken..... hehe. We're writers after all.
I work like this... if I'm hit with inspiration, I crack open my laptop and start to write. I have no idea what I'm going to write until it has been written - pretty much like when I speak to people generally. No filter.
As fun and as unpredictable as this chosen way to write may be - it also makes you need to backtrack fairly often.
I end up needing to reread if not the entire book then at least the most recent couple of chapters so that I know I am entirely on par with my own story-line.

Resenting your own work...
Obviously with rereading your own words over and over again - dedicating the majority of your life to this beautiful novel you once fantasized about.... you end up realizing that it isn't all glitz and glam like you once believed writing to be.
Due to spending such a large slice of deviously icing covered time on your work - you'll end up hating the sight of it at times.
When I finally completed the final editing stages of my book and received a batch of the thing in print - it was a bittersweet feeling.
I was so bored of it by then that I didn't even want anyone else to look at it and it took me absolutely AGES to work up the courage to distribute it.

It will never be complete.... 
This is a biggie to learn. Mkay?
Obviously, I have flicked through my book a number of times and each time I spot a new mistake. Whether it be spelling, grammar or just a spacing mistake - those little gremlins will always be there.
I personally didn't hire an editor so it's really no surprise the quality isn't top notch but you know what? Even some of the most popular, well-known books around that were edited by 'the best' editors have mistakes too.
You need to learn to kick your book from the proverbial nest and let it build it's own wings and fly on the way down. 

Write drunk, edit sober.
This is something I used to nod my head at appreciatively and say: 'I concur!' - until my wine bills rose dramatically - so did the amount of editing I needed to do.
I still love writing with a delicious glass goblet of wine to accompany me... but I've started to tone it down slightly these days.
I've been able to pour out some of my most amazing chapters while on my lunch break actually, sipping on some green tea on the galleries ancient cracked red leather sofa and listening to some mellow jazz tunes.

Prioritizing and Inspiration....
I'd say that one of the hardest parts about being a writer is knowing when to write.
Often, too often actually, I feel most inspired AS I've walked through the doors to work. Which SUCKS - you know, because then you've got work to do but your practically foaming at the mouth with the need to write.
It's a huge inconvenience.
This will be an issue that will probably never go away...
So is the fact that inspiration will also happen over the weekends while your friends are all gearing up for fun, fun fun!
Yip.
This is where you need to choose... friends or writing.
If you choose writing be prepared to be called a series of names by said friends such as, 'Lame.'
(Pssst... they'll never understand....)
By choosing writing you'll also most likely see a lovely new album appear on Facebook, showing you just how much fun they had while you stayed home sporting baggy sweat pants, a messy bun with a pen shoved through the hair-tie, reading glasses perched on the bridge of your nose and sipping on tea.
IF you choose friends over writing however, then you'll probably be spending the entire time THINKING about writing and dying to get away.
Yip.
True story.

Knowing that your writing will never be everyone's cup of tea is also a huge thing to come to terms with.
If you manage to get agents and publishers involved in your work (which is so bloody hard it's actually ridiculous,) then you need to know that the chances of receiving rejection letters and critical comments are high.
Instead of letting this kick you down and making you feel like you're hopeless - learn from it.
We ALL started somewhere.
You'll find someone that absolutely adores your novel and relates wholeheartedly to it. Then you'll get someone who thinks it's the biggest pile of crap they've ever heard of.
That's life. We're all different - and if we all enjoyed the same things, life would be pretty boring if you ask me.


Overall though, writing is one of the most amazing things some of us are blessed with.
If you're lucky enough to have the drive and the yearning to put pen to paper, then let that yearning be set free. Spend time with it. Enjoy it. Revel in it.

Writing isn't for the faint hearted. Much like photography. So many assholes love to say things like, Óh yeah, anyone can click a button!' 
W.R.O.N.G. 
Retards.
Writing is all of the above and more.
It will be your best friend and your mortal enemy at the same time.
You'll have a love / hate relationship with it.

But you know what?

Just Write. 

post signature

50 comments:

  1. Yay! this couldn't be better timing. I'm about to embark on the challenge of writing my first novel 50,000 words in 30 days, but it's something I have always wanted to do. I really think the biggest hurdle is just starting, and I'm hoping this will be the little push I need. I loved reading this and am excited to get working on my own novel!

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  2. Jade, thank you for this post. I have been completely uninspired to write. Not official or blog writing but my personal, note-something-down-on-diary kind of writing. I will just...write.

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    1. Hey Noor! It's only a pleasure :) Always fun to write a post that someones requested.

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  3. This is a great post, thanks so much for writing it! It really helped :) I think I best get started! xxxx

    xbeccabe.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thanks Becca - and thank you for the request :)
      Hope you enjoyed it hehe

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  4. I so agree with you Jade. Writing is a best friend and mortal enemy at the same time but most important is to write!
    Loved the way you wrote this post!

    Happy weekend
    Ritcha
    http://www.myfashionfootprints.com/
    http://www.myglossyaffair.com/

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    1. Thanks Ritcha, you're so right. Writing is the most important. Never stop or give up x

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  5. This inspired me so much!! :0 Love your blog!!

    Paige x
    http://paigexashley.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Aww thank you Ashley! It's lovely to meet you xxxxx

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  6. absolutely, it's all about the passion and where the writing takes you. Just letting it take over you is the most important thing! You asked for a post from me on how i got signed, I have a link to that post here for you: http://bethellynsummer.com/more-book-deal/#sthash.h2K28wef.dpbs stick with it! :)

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  7. Write drunk, edit sober! Haha - I know this all too well. I used to write a lot of poetry and my wasted work was the best :D

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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    1. I have never been able to write poetry or lyrics properly - it is such a talent x

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  8. Wonderful post! I really liked this a lot. Great advice. :-)

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    1. Hey Daisy! Thanks so much for popping by - glad you enjoyed it x

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  9. I loved reading this, it's so interesting. Somethings as just a reader I have never really thought about.

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  10. Thanks for writing this! I was inspired to write a book/screen play and wrote some on another blog!

    >>>>>>> http://laurawritesabout.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/lets-go-out-tonight-squeezed-patricia.html

    I totally lost the inspiration for myself. But I can't wait to read yours!! x

    LauraThinksAbout

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    1. Awh thanks Laura - I hope you enjoy it! :)

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  11. Very inspiring post. Writing while being drunk can be funny and amazing indeed. You´re right, the first words can make the whole plot, for me (not that I´m writer or what) the most scary thing is to stare at clean paper and try to write something. :)
    Fashion Happenss

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    1. I bet so many people feel that way - it's lovely when its out the way and you can unleash your writing properly :)

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  12. I really love and appreciate this post, especially because I am a writer myself. I've always liked writing novels since I was a kid, and the passion continued on into my adult life <3

    http://www.thestylishbipolar.com

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    1. Thank you Kylie! That comment really meant a lot to me - I'm so glad you can relate xxx

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  13. This is very interesting to read, and very encouraging. I have so many ideas that I want to turn into art and music and novels and poems, but some fearful part of me often stops me from even starting!

    Owl Girl | A London lifestyle blog

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    1. Be brave and let it out - we have to write bad things so that when we write something good, we appreciate and acknowledge it! Just enjoy the beauty and process of writing Candy - don't be scared x

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  14. Sage reflections on book writing, Jade! Writing is indeed my passion! So true--it will kidnap--no doubt! T. http://tickledpinkwoman.blogspot.com

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    2. I love your writing Tina, it is always so beautiful x

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  15. Sounds so great Jade! Thanks for the tips! I'd love to write some day

    New post on my blog -
    www.JuneWantsItAll.com and we could also connect on Twitter, Facebook ,Bloglovin and Pinterest
    Keep in touch
    xx
    June

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  16. Wow I admire anyone who even attempts to write a book! Such great tips xx

    Thrive on Novelty

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    1. Thanks Louise! :)
      Writers are inspiring x

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  17. The craziest thing is everyone including me thinks writing is so easy, thanks for sharing such great insight.

    Meg | Meghan Silva's Blog

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    1. Writing is easy - it's hard. It's a bit of everything :)

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  18. I know what you mean...getting that first sentence is what really kicks it off. You have to feel inspired. I've often found once I start rolling the idea around in my head, that first sentence pops out and it rolls from there. It goes and goes and then...it screeches to a dead halt a couple of chapters in. That's when it gets really hard for us pantsers! We realize all that momentum has to actually go somewhere. That's when I usually stop and do an outline, which often means tweaking a few things in that earlier stuff I wrote...which may ALL get tweaked later on when I realize I didn't plan properly!

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    1. Thank you for your wonderful comment Stephanie! Its great to meet people that you really relate to like this :) xxx

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  19. GREAT POST :)

    http://sbr-fashion-fashion.blogspot.com/

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  20. I love to write but I'm not really sure it's my cup of tea. I've written about 10,000 words of a novel but honestly I think I should just stick to blogging. Great tips, though! I hope all of your future writing goes well! xx

    www.eleanorbroome.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Always keep what you've written though - you never know if one day you may just get the urge to try again x

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  21. Really great tips. I dream of writing a novel. Only problem is I have so many ideas I have trouble committing to one. And yes I know the problem about getting up at night, because you just HAVE to write something down. Glad I'm not the only one doing that :)

    www.girlattitudes.com

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    1. I know just what you mean - there's so many ideas floating around in my head Louise. Just spend time with it when you can and makes countless notes so you don;t forget all your wonderful ideas xxx

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  22. This post was very inspiring, there's often times when I write blog posts and get so involved with writing it, I wish I could publish something myself in a hard copy for people to read one day.
    Thanks for your tips, I didn't realise there were so many elements to writing.

    Alix
    www.letskissandmakeup.co.uk
    xx

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    1. Oh my word I love your blogs name!!
      Thank you for your lovely comment Alix. xxxx

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  23. I admire you so much for being a writer and working on your second book, it's such a commitment and takes so much focus and drive. I've recently started writing poetry, peanuts compared to writing a book, but I'm really enjoying the creative process so far and allowing anything to inspire me.

    Silvia

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    1. It is the best commitment I ever made - writing is life :)

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  24. Writing is hard work, not sure I would go into so much effort to write a book. I don't think I would have enough creativity either….
    www.minsbeautyequipment.com

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    1. You write amazingly Mingaile - don't sell yourself short. But you obviously just have other passions that take priority :) Everyone is different x

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  25. Best of luck, Jade! Very inspiring post. xxx http://littleblingring.blogspot.co.uk

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  26. Not that I am planning on writing a book or anything, but I love these tips! Cant tell you how many times I get writers block for a post! I usually just go out back with a beer and chill for a while!

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Jade