About 81 percent of Americans desire to write a book and believe they should. That’s over 250 million people in the United States, alone, who want to put their story to paper.
If you’re here, that probably means you’re one of them.
And yet, only about 305,000 books in America are published each year. That’s just over 12% of 1% of everyone who actually wants to write a book!!!
In this age of technology and information, we have anything we want to know available to us at our fingertips. ANYTHING! Including writing. It’s all available to you via google or your local library.
Which means you don’t need the $10,000 or the $5,000 or the $3,000 or the $1,000 or the $100 program to teach you HOW to write a book*.
Everything you want to know you can find for free. (Best FREE resource for learning to write a book? http://blog.janicehardy.com)
And yet over 99% of people are NOT following through on their dream to write a novel.
What that tells me is that we don’t have an information problem. Or a not-enough-money problem.
We have a confidence problem. And a courage problem. And a connection problem.
We’re talking about a “who” and a “why” problem, not a “what” or a “how.”
So, if you are going to be one of that less than 1% who actually writes a novel and gets it published, then there are three things you need to know before you ever type, “Once upon a time,” or “It was a dark and stormy night.”
(Really, never start with either of those, but I think you get my drift.)
1. You are enough.
Writing a book or not writing a book does NOT determine your worth. The words you put on paper, the way you move people, the critiques you get, the things that you do, the stuff that you write—NONE OF IT can change how valuable you are.
You were born valuable. You live valuable. And you will die valuable.
And there is not a word, a chapter, a book, a series, an accomplishment or a failure that can change that.
Writing a book is what you do; it is not who you are. And the sooner you can separate your WORTH from your WORK, the more successful you allow yourself to be.
Because a confident writer is a producing writer. A courageous writer is a sharing writer. And a connected writer, well, that is the writer who is going to change the world.
And it all starts with knowing that you are enough.
2. Time is irrelevant.
So many people I chat with want to write a book fast. They want it yesterday. They want to pull up to the drive through, order a series, get it at the next window and BOOM, they’re an overnight, millionaire success-story living the dream.
Here’s the deal. Some people can write fast. Some also write slow. Some sit somewhere in between.
Some stories come in a whirlwind weekend of words and dreams. And some stories come like the morning sunrise—slow and steady, moment by moment, enlightening our world, expanding our vision, allowing us to see a bigger, brighter, bolder horizon.
Time is irrelevant.
There is only you and your story, and the ultimate question, “Are you doing it justice?”
Because, I tell you what, many writers in writing a story that is “taking too long” will abandon it. They will let it go not understanding they are writing a sunrise and not a candle flame. And when we do that to our stories, they die inside of us. Unmarked graveyards filled with ghosts that future stories must navigate in order to be freed.
Now, not all stories are meant to be born. Not all stories are meant to live. Some are just meant to teach us in that moment, and that’s okay.
But if you’re deciding whether or not your story is worthy based on the calendar rather than on your own intuition, you will lose every single time.
That less than 1% that actually makes it to publishing? Those are the ones who persevere regardless of who publishes ahead of them or how many months/years have passed or what the calendar says.
So please, please remember that time is irrelevant.
Kill a story if you must. Cannibalize it later if you need to. Just don’t let it die because it’s day 324 and you expected to be done back on day 31.
3. Your story chose you.
Let that settle in for a moment.
That when it first stirred and said, “I need to be birthed to the world,” your story passed by all the millions and billions of people that live on this planet and, in traveling past you, saw something so unique and special that it settled in your heart and wove itself into your soul.
So, when you start to doubt (because you will, because you’re human, because we all are and sometimes we wonder “why this, why me, why now, why not be practical instead?”)…
I want you to remember that your story chose you for a reason. And if you don’t know the reason, ask your story. (Seriously, write it a letter and let it respond.)
There is something unique and wonderful and magical about you… and it doesn’t matter if you have the skills to tell a story or not. Skills can be learned.
Any person wanting to write a story who is willing to put in the effort, who is willing to talk to the masters, who is willing to make the edits, can write an amazing story.
And when you give yourself to the magic that is storytelling and allow it to flow through you and onto a page and into the world, you have the capacity to touch and change and alter every person who comes in contact with your work.
One person sitting behind one computer screen or using one pen and a pad of paper can actually change the world.
So, when Doubt tries to cloud your vision, when Fear settles deep within your soul, when mental gremlins whisper that you are NOT the one…
Remember, that you are made of pixie dust and rainbow glitter and shooting stars.
And your story chose YOU.
You are enough. Time is irrelevant. And your story did chose you.
Everything else—plot, structure, character, setting, pacing, point of view, branding, marketing, selling—can be learned.
Loves & hugs,
* P.S. The statement I made above – that paid programs are unnecessary – is not intended to poo-poo on paid services. I am all about paid programs! I’m in several and even run some of my own. I simply wanted to make the point that the lack of resources (aka money) is NOT what prevents us from writing our stories.
So, if you’re considering a great paid program that fills one or more of your gaps, I highly recommend going for it!
While you CAN find everything about writing for free, these exceptional programs are usually built to filter out the unnecessary information from the stuff you actually need to reach your goal, improving your results and shortening your timetable without hurting your story. Many also provide mentorship, accountability, a tribe of peers, and further resources that make the program well worth the investment price.
If you don’t have the money to invest in a paid program, do what you can for free!
If you do have the money to invest, a high-quality program is worth the admission price multiple times over.