List: What you need to write a book

March 30, 2016

Insights into creative processes are like windows onto tiny universes. There is mystery in creation, and curious people want a peek! So in the spirit of sharing, I have comprised a list of what you might need to write a book. Enjoy.

 

1. Patience. 

 

From the very first idea and its acrobatic journey to becoming a book, one needs patience. Sometime the ideas flow, sometimes they don't. Sometimes the right word hides in the crevices of your brain that your fingers can't fit into. Often, the process of writing takes longer than one thinks. And always, it is difficult to find a publisher or an audience if one is self-publishing. Job comes to mind here: It's that kind of patience we're talking about.

 

2. A high tolerance for solitude.

 

One must, MUST, be able to be alone. Whether it is time that has to be made or found it does not matter. But getting used to being alone and relying on one's own unique source of ideas and perspective are essential. Which leads me to the next item:

 

3. A dog.

 

Or a cat. Or a bird. A pet of any sort who will pay attention to you and listen, or at least seem to listen, because being alone all the time can get rough! I cannot tell you how many times I read aloud to my dog, nor bounced ideas off of her, or grabbed her to sit in my lap, or ended up on the floor scratching her belly. I could not have written my book without her, or if I somehow managed it, I can promise you it would have been far less of a worthwhile effort. My dog was my writing partner, my sounding board, and the antidote for the moments when my tolerance for solitude was burdensome.

 

4. A lightweight laptop.

 

A desktop doesn't always work because then you're locked into one writing place, and if you're like me, sometimes you want out. I bought a very inexpensive Chromebook and wrote my whole book on Google Docs. I wouldn't change that plan for anything.

 

5. A great editor.

 

Your book is ultimately only as good as your editor.

 

6. Patient friends who will wait for you.

 

And if you're married, a supportive spouse. Some people will believe in you no matter what, while others will doubt you have it in you. You will have enough self-doubt, so listen to the ones who believe in you. But the process of writing a book will take time. My priority was to start and to finish my book, and to find a way to put it out there in the world in a beautiful way. That takes tenacity and often the sacrifice of going to every party, or meeting, or luncheon, or little league game. To finish you must work, and to work well, you need friends and family who will understand. 

 

I may add to this list but these are the essentials that were charging to the front of my mind. Write on!

 

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