So earlier today (as I type this), I had some students who wanted to take a portrait of me with my books (I haven’t received a copy of it yet). As I lugged the physical editions of my work (seven items), I couldn’t help but smile. One of the students asked about how one publishes so much.
This is really the crux of a lot of questions:
How does one become a writer? How does one get published? How does one find an agent?
The simple truth of the matter is that none of that happens if you don’t write.
Every time I’m interviewed, every panel I go on, I come to this defining moment. The only way a book ever gets written is if a person sits down and commits to writing it. That commitment is the thing that matters.
I understand time constraints. I’m at work for about nine hours in a day (one for lunch). I have a beautiful wife I love and three sons I enjoy teaching and spending time with. I love spending time in God’s word. Those things all take time.
Then I find time to write. It might be about 20 minutes during my lunch break. I do my marketing and blogging after everyone has gone to bed.
The more you write, the more you will write. It’s a true correlation. However, even if you’re super busy, just find a few minutes. If you write 1,000 words a day, you’ll have a full length novel done in three months. Even if you only write 300 words a day, you’ll have a book finished by year’s end. If you want the book done sooner, find more time to write.
This isn’t the first post I’ve done about finding time to write, but it is essential to hear again and again. The number one reason you probably haven’t finished a novel is because you haven’t started one.
Sure, it’s hard to get an agent. If you self-publish, it’s incredibly hard to market and become successful, and forget about how hard it is for anyone to find that rarified air status like a Brandon Sanderson. But you have no hope of finding that air if you’re not committing at least some time to the craft.
I’ve been at this longer than it feels. Six years is a long time, but 12 titles in six years isn’t half bad. My message to you, reader, is that it starts with the first step, and then you take another.
So just start walking, and keep walking. Before you know it, you’ll end up somewhere you never thought you’d be.
Thanks for reading,