I’ve written about this before, but with National Novel Writing Month breathing down our necks, now seems like a good refresher. Plus I’m annoyed.
The title of this post is “I’ve got this great idea for a book…” because that phrase inevitably comes from someone who may indeed have a good idea but who has exactly zero motivation to actually sit down and write a book.
Writing a book is hard. There are a lot of things to distract you. You may sit down with good intentions, only to see the internet and get completely sidetracked; it’s easy to lose hours surfing, stalking ex-boyfriends, or watching videos. Or you sit down and feel like your ideas have evaporated. Or you sit down and write but then you hate it. I tend to sit down and immediately notice how messy my house is and get an overwhelming urge to clean.
I get it. Writing a book is hard and time-consuming.
But it’s also easy. I mean, writing a book is mostly consistency. It’s showing up and committing to put words down on paper (digital or physical) and doing that over and over and over again.
So if you have a “great idea,” there aren’t that many initial steps to turning that great idea into a book.
Great idea + consistency x time = book
Heck, recent successes show the writing doesn’t even have to be that stupendous!
I met someone awhile back who had a killer idea for a nonfiction book. I mean, it was exciting. She’d done the initial research and was clearly passionate about it. She had a thorough outline. She asked my advice as an editor and I told her the direction looked fantastic.
And then… well, that was 9 months ago, and she hasn’t gotten around to actually writing a single word. She got sidetracked with making a marketing plan–and it was a good marketing plan, even if it completely ignored the fact that you can’t sell an unwritten book–and never actually sat down to do the work. So that great idea? Totally worthless.
It’s frustrating. But that’s why I like events like NaNoWriMo. It’s no excuses time. It’s “don’t let your dreams be dreams” time. It’s sit down, shut up, and produce time.
Take you great idea and wrestle it into reality. As Nike says, Just Do It.