I haven’t been traditionally published. I don’t know if I ever will be traditionally published, but let me pass on a little knowledge, nay wisdom, I’ve picked up along the way.

How to write a book:

1) Write.

2) Finish the darn thing.

3) Put it away. A week or two won’t do. Put that sucker on the backburner and re-fill your creative and mental bucket that you’ve let evaporate and poured out onto the previous two marks on the list. Then once you’ve watched some movies and read some great books, start something else.

4) Go back now that you’ve had some distance and look, really look, at your from #1 and #2 and compare it to everything you’ve read since The Little Engine that Could. Focus more on the High School English class books, and the things you’ve read in your genre than on The Little Engine, but you know what I mean. With this fresh perspective, edit broadly.

5) Go back and fix the periods and commas. Learn how to punctuate “because” and “therefore.” Really, you’ll thank yourself.

6) Give it to a CP.

7) Make fixes and give it to another CP. Always work on another creative project while they’re doing their reading magic.

8) Read CP suggestions as a whole. Do you need more time and space from this doc before you go back and make more fixes? Take that time if you need it. Then make the fixes. You’ll be glad you did. Maybe use a developmental editor. Search for one in your genre and see if you can find someone who’s reasonably priced and well-practiced.

9) Do some research and find an editor in your genre. Bite the bullet and pay for a good polish.

9) Find people who publish or who represent this stuff. Make sure you’ve got the right person with a little research. Market to them specifically.

10)Keep writing that other piece. Creativity will keep you sane while other people judge you.

11) Accept rejection.

12) Accept comments and helpful hints, incorporating them into your work.

13) Repeat #s 9 – 13 as long as you want to, always remembering that if you really have it perfect, you can self publish. There are detriments to the self-pub route, but it’s always a possibility if your work really is ready and simply hasn’t been appreciated yet.

It could be great.  The only way to not write a book is to stop writing, to stop sharing it.