Write on, Wednesday: The Process of Writing

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By Leslie Lindsay

Everyone wants to have written, but no one wants to write.  Writing is not glamorous.  Writing is hard work.  Darn hard.  But it sure sounds cool to say, “Oh, yeah I wrote that.”  So, what to do?  Well, for starters: write.

You see, writing is a process.  It is a series of tiny little baby steps.  That’s why it takes so long.  Trust me, I know.  After having just completed my first manuscript, secured a publisher, and gone through the tedious task(s) of having a peer review board, the grueling revisions, and all of the middle of the night cold sweats, I am aware at just how hard it is to write.

But I did it.  And I am glad I did.  Truth be told, I will do it again (gosh, sounds a little like childbirth, huh?)

But it will be awhile–at least till I produce another  book.  Of course, I will continue to write every day.  For daily jots–in the computer or the old-fashioned way on paper–is what we writers need to do to keep the saw sharp.  But I digress…it will take awhile because I think I need a little bit of a break.

In fact, I just told my husband that I feel like I could sleep  for an entire year!  Someone else recently commented, “It’s like you just gave yourself a Ph.D in Childhood Apraxia of Speech [the topic my book is on] and the publishing world.”  Yes…it is that way.  I just poured 4.5 years of my life into this project…all while raising kids, and keeping my house from falling down (my sanity is debateable).

But back to this process…writing doesn’t just “happen.”  First, there is the preliminary steps one has to take:

1) Is there a market for this book?  2) What else has been written on this topic before (read it), 3) what makes my idea for a book different?  4) what sort of publisher would be interested in my work?  5) Brainstorm, gather ideas, facts, and figures 6) Try your hand at writing.  7) If you suck, get thy self to some writing classes or read some how-to’s 8) Keep working at it 9) look for and approach a suitable publisher if you are into the non-fiction market 10) prepare a proposal package 11) Send it to publishers 12) Wait and write some more 13) Throw your laptop out the window when you get fed-up 14) Toughen your skin when someone mean tells you you’re a loser.  Chin up when that publisher says ‘no’ 15) Go  to writing-related events, conferences; stick your neck out 16) learn a about and use social media 17) Keep writing 18) Know there is someone else out there better than you–but keep writing 19)  When it’s finished, query agents 20)  Get rejected 21) If you still want to be a published writer, keep at it.  22) Because in the end, it’s so worth it!

One day, you will be able to publish a book.  Good luck! 

(My Book, “Speaking of Apraxia: A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech” will be available in March 2012 by Woodbine House).

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