Just decide to do it.

In a writing and publishing book I cannot recommend more strongly called 78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published and 14 Reasons Why It Just Might, author and editor Pat Walsh says this:

The number one reason your book will not be published is because you haven’t written it.

It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? And it is! Write the book! I’m here to tell you that writing a book, in and of itself? Not a big deal. Thousands of people do it every November for National Novel Writing Month.

I never had any trouble writing books. I wrote my first in eighth grade, a second in high school, and a third was completed by my freshman year of college. That one went on to become my second published novel with Random House, Zero (available now in bookstores everywhere!)

So what was the hurdle toward publication if writing books came somewhat naturally?

Deciding to do it.

Writing a book is easy. Editing, revision, and preparation for submission to editors or agents is the hard part. I remember sitting at my awful day job, selling my soul like so many of us do to pay the bills, and realized the one thing I wanted to put on my resume before I died was that I published a novel with a legit publisher. Large or small, didn’t matter. I wanted to walk in to a real bookstore and see something I wrote on the shelf.

Then the full weight of how long and how difficult that might be sank in. I didn’t know anything about publishing, or agents, or contracts, or much of anything else other than I knew how to tell a story. Telling a marketable story, I soon learned, was another thing all together.

The biggest hurdle is making up your mind and following through. Just as courage is not the absence of fear, writing for publication is not the absence of discouragement, but pushing past it. And there were some discouraging days, let me tell you. (There still are. Massive, mind-shattering discouraging days.)

I can’t in good conscience tell you, “As long as you believe, everything will come together and you’ll get a six-figure deal and be famous and loved by all!” That’s not often true, and you and I both know it. What I can tell you is that if you put in the work researching your art, your craft, and your business – because writing novels for publication is a business – then things do tend to come together.

Decide to go after it, then do it.

Let me know how I can help.

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