1. Write. Start scratching it out on notepads, Ipads, the back of napkins. Get it out of your brain and onto a solid canvas so you can add to it.
2. Decide on your genre. Fiction? Non? Sci-fi? Fantasy? Romance? I’m a non-fiction writer/memoirist with a poet’s heart. I have a hard time writing fiction, though I may take a shot in the future. There’s plenty about “real” life that I’d like to flesh out.
3. Write. Stop with the excuses or that you need to write X amount of pages per day. A good two sentences is a great start.
4. Forget about grammar or being perfect. That’s why you hire an editor like me to take out all of the gunk.
5. Write. Turn off the TV, shut down the Internet, close the door and write.
6. Read. Keep your mind fresh with ideas and admiration for other writers, even if you don’t agree with their take on life. I’m currently reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and just finished Real Man Adventures by T Cooper.
7. Write. This doesn’t just mean pen to paper. Writing can happen anytime — in your mind, as you think about daily conversations — all of those experiences are sparks for your work. Be sure to have a notebook or computer handy to write down ideas, inspiration, dreams, conversation. Don’t expect to remember it — you won’t.
8. Be as truthful as possible. Write as well as you can — meaning, as REAL as you can — and tell the truth. This is especially difficult in memoir and if you’re not feeling uncomfortable as you write it, you’re probably not telling the whole truth.
9. Be patient with yourself and appreciate your readers. Writing isn’t about visions of grandeur or being on Oprah. You probably won’t write a bestseller. However, you will certainly have an audience if you write well, and they will appreciate your work. It’s an amazing feeling to know that your words are connecting with a stranger who bought your book and took the time to read it. You may have 15 readers or 15 million. Start by appreciating the 15.
10. Write. ‘Nuff said.