And, depending on where that book is located, it can be very painful and require surgical removal.
After getting a book deal one thing I hear (and my mom hears, and my dad hears, and anyone who knows me and tells anyone else about it) is this: "That's so cool! I should write a book." And my answer is always the same.
Yes, you should!
Absolutely you should. If you have an idea that you've always wanted to write, by all means, write it! Quit procrastinating. Writing is fun. It's challenging and entertaining, and that sense of satisfaction you get when you write the last word on your very first novel? Amazing. It really is an accomplishment. I recommend writing as a hobby to anyone.
But did you catch that? What I said, right there, right above this sentence? Let me reiterate: I recommend writing as a hobby to anyone. Because sometimes, these same people, after telling me they should write a book, get a sly look in their eyes and ask how much money I made.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. If you want to make money writing, look into freelancing. If you try and write a novel for money you will a) hate it and b) hate it and c) hate it. Cracking into publishing is
There's this myth out there. I call it the Stephenie Meyer myth. The myth goes as follows: You've never written a word in your life, but one morning you wake up after the most amazing dream. The book flows out of you like the waters of life itself, one month later you have a book deal worth moneymoneymoney, and voila! You're famous! You're rich! And it was ALL SO EASY!!
First of all, I guarantee you that it wasn't easy for Stephenie Meyer. I also assure you that her story didn't happen like that, and is still one in a million. In fact, the odds are probably even worse.
The other thing people ask me is how long it took to write Paranormalcy. Well, it took me three weeks.
Three weeks, plus two solid months of editing several revisions.
Three weeks, plus two solid months of editing several revisions, plus three previously written novels.
Three weeks, plus two solid months of editing several revisions, plus three previously written novels, plus four years of writing, plus a degree in English with an emphasis in editing, plus a whole lot of sleep-deprived nights and missed social outings, plus a lifetime of reading and paying attention while I was reading to figure out the mechanics of how this whole English Language thing works (and how it doesn't).
Because this is where writing switches from a hobby to a profession. As with any profession, you need the tools of the trade. And--I'm sorry to shatter any dreams out there--it takes work to learn this stuff. A lot of people say they could be a writer if they only had time. I'm a writer because I made time. Sure, I could have been a lawyer if I had taken the time. But I didn't. And thus, I am not a lawyer. (Thank goodness, too, because we have a lot in my family and the conversations get ridiculously boring.)
I'm not saying you must have a degree in English. Far from it. Becca Fitzpatrick, whose novel Hush, Hush debuted on the NYT bestseller list (and who is awesome), has a degree in Public Health. But you know what she did? She took classes. She found a critique group. She learned how to write. And anyone can do the same thing.
Do I believe everyone has a book in them? Of course I do.
Do I believe everyone has a publishable book in them? Not unless they're prepared to do a whole heck of a lot of work. I also believe that doing the work, learning the mechanics, is worth it regardless of whether or not you ever get published.
You're going to get tired of me saying this, but here it is again: Write because you love to write. If it never becomes more than a hobby, you still have a freaking awesome hobby. And if you want it to be more than a hobby, it's going to be one of the hardest--and most rewarding--things you'll ever pursue.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have a picturebookectomy scheduled for later today. Can't get the dang thing out of my lower intestine.