Knowing what you want to be and doing something about it to make it happen isn’t as simple as knowing why you want to do something. BewleyBooks’ aim is to help those who have always had that itch to become an author and have never been able to scratch it.
You won’t be taught the formal Greek names of English grammar, nor how to correct your typos, and you won’t be guaranteed sales or fame. However, the chief aims here are to use whatever skills, knowledge and experience BewleyBooks has available to assist you in getting:
- finished and
You are probably serious about the whole process of being an author. But, before we get started, you need to ask yourself that key question:
- Why do I want to sit for hours on end, alone?
- Why do I want to annoy the hell out of my friends and family, by taking myself off to fantasy land and, in the process, evade involvement with their lives?
- Why do I want to persist – even though I’m being disturbed by the dog or cat or, heck, even the budgie, getting a sore bum, belly and brain?
- Why do I want to become enormously irritated because I’ve woken up in the middle of the night from a great dream I know would make a brilliant book and believed it was so memorable that I’d remember it in the morning, only to find it was lost when I opened my eyes?
- Why do I want to purposely get annoyed with myself by sitting at the PC with a blank page in front of me, knowing I want to write something, willing myself to write something, just to put one word down on that screen, but not knowing which one or even how?
Once you do know your ‘why’ to some, or all, of the scenarios listed, and most others too, something will grow inside you – it’s something like a dedication and commitment that forms inside you. It’s those qualities that help you to finish the book you want to start and become the author you want to be.
When you want to become an author, you need to accumulate some skills in learning your ‘why’, ones you can learn from:
From the reading you will have indulged in you’ll get some insights into the metaphorical stories.
From the work experience since leaving school, you learn how to get organised and plan ahead with your ideas.
From the writing techniques you’ve learned along your path to becoming an author, you can achieve the all-important first three words:
Every writer becomes a psychologist. Knowing how people tick helps you get a handle on your emotional outlook towards the book you want to craft – plus a deeper insight into the characters you want to create.
At the end of it all, it’s really up to you.
However, once you have these ideas embedded in your brain, you’ll quite possibly understand your own ‘Why?’ and you possibly won’t get that dreadful writer’s block syndrome.
Knowing the why of why you want to be an author, helps you keep that all-important ability to focus.
Remember, however, that writing is a craft. And some people dedicate their lives to it. I’ll use the analogy of the mental health continuum, which looks something like this:
Similar to a see-saw. Writers, like all other people living on the planet, are situated somewhere on that scale, from one end of the bar to the other.
- At one end of the see-saw, there are the lucky few who can make millions from the one book they’ve authored.
- At the other end, there’s an odd few million who make not a single penny from their entire life’s work.
- Then, there’s the hefty majority in the middle who take up the bulk of the see-saw. Those are the people who write a couple of pages, dabble with different ideas and may even publish.
The other end of the continuum (or see-saw) is what attracts most people to want to be an author.
Luckily, when you look at the mental health continuum, you’ll find that writers need a good mix of all the emotions listed there. The experience and knowledge gained from either having those emotions or becoming aware of them, can be put to good use in the characters you aim to create.
But, you’ll probably have written stories since you were 10 and nothing will be able to stop you from writing them. The keyboard on your laptop is like a magnet. It pulls you to it like a moth to a light bulb.
Writing is a skill.
Writing is something you need to learn and you need to keep at it. Just as any doctor or gardener will tell you, you need to learn your craft before you become an expert. Malcolm Gladwell mentioned as much in his book The Tipping Point which, again, is a bit like the continuum.
If you want to know how to be an author, you will need to rally your troops (i.e. skills) against The Bullies in your brain (i.e. distractions). Some of The Bullies will say you’re not good enough and that you never will be. But, to borrow a phrase:
Practice makes perfect
It takes many hours (hopefully not ten years), of at times hard work to piece together a book. Here, we can help you begin it, persist with it and get to the end of it.
All the best,
EXTRACT from: How to be an Author – Vol.1: Writing Your Writing