Sunday, November 8, 2009

NaNoWriMo: So You Want to Be a Writer

Shut up and write!

Since my first book, The Path to Freedom, was published in September 2008, people have been approaching me about writing. I've both disappointed and inspired them. Some even at the same time. I'll be the first to tell you that I didn't know squat about writing when I wrote The Path to Freedom.

What I did know was good entertainment.

I wrote the book I wanted to read. I wrote the kind of story that would keep me glued to a movie screen if it were playing out. I wrote characters that had been forming in my mind for years, characters I had grown to love.

I don't care what all the know-it-alls say. You don't need a college degree to write good stories. Jane Austin did a fine job (although she didn't get half the respect she deserved during her lifetime). Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't dream of comparing myself to Jane Austin. We write completely different stories. What I am saying is that a degree in literature or English is hardly a requirement for being published.

This month is National Novel Writing Month and a lot of people are demurring from the thought of writing a novel. They say "Oh, no I couldn't do that!" and my response is usually "If you say so". If you don't believe in yourself you won't do anything, will you?

When the same people ask me what the secret is to becoming a novelist, I tell them the big secret.

Yes, there is a secret.

Do you want to know what it is?

OK. Here it is:

You have to shut your mouth and actually write a complete novel from start to finish.

Everybody talks about writing a novel but few do. Of those few, even fewer have the stones to open themselves up to possible rejection by an agent or publisher. Sometimes it takes years of rejection. (I was rejected by over 50 literary agents before I entered my story in a contest and won a publishing contract. I still don't have an agent but I do receive regular monthly royalty checks.) If you can stand the rejection without crying yourself a river then you'll eventually get your story published.

The key is to write the story first.

Don't put it off or you'll never do it. This is National Novel Writing Month. Do it now!

When you register at NaNoWriMo.org, be sure to add me (CocoTbo) as a writing buddy. Anybody can write a novel and I'd love to see you write yours!

Now shut up and write!

Lisa, her blogs, stories and smack talk can be found at www.LisaPietsch.com.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Heather & Lisa :)
    Thank you for the great post Lisa. It is a much-needed kick-in-the-groin I needed to keep writing and added fuel to my determination.
    :)
    Thanks again,
    All the best,
    RKCharron
    xoxo

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  2. I know, I know...I needed to hear this. I've written SO much nonfiction stuff it's scary, but fiction makes my stomach flutter. It's seems so much BIGGER. I want to do it though, so I just need to. Thanks:)

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