Love of the Craft Q & A
By Writing Coach David Duggins | Posted February 11, 2007 | Updated August 3, 2019
Q: I'm an unpublished writer. I love writing and feel a book is growing inside of me. I'm not sure where it's headed just yet, and I don't know anything about book writing or publishing. Is it too early to be thinking about pursuing my passion towards publishing? If so, how do I navigate this path?
A: Too early? It's never too early. Should you start now? Yes. Emphatically, yes!
This is the greatest job you could ever have, the greatest startup you could hope for, the greatest gift you could hope to be given. It's a business, a profession, a calling and a passion all in one. It motivates and inspires, adds meaning, strips away artifice, honors truth and rejects lies.
Plus, it's just plain fun to make stuff up.
Does that sound like a lot? Does any one of those elements sound like a compelling reason to get started?
Forget about all those for a minute. Here is the single best reason to start writing today, right now, as soon as you finish reading this article:
Your startup cost is zero.
What other business can make that claim?
Nada. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. You don't pay a penny. You could be homeless, living on the street, eating all your meals from shelters, and still be a writer. In fact, I can think of more than one case in which a homeless person built a business based on a blog they started on a free site using a library computer. All that technology, used to reach thousands, maybe millions of people.
In our world, our society, where the fundamental underlying principle of existence is that things cost, is there any more compelling reason?
Q: I don't know anything about book writing or publishing.
A: Yes you do. You know there's a book inside you and you want to write it. That's all you have to know to get started. You can supplement that basic knowledge as you go along, and I encourage you to do so. There are tons of free resources. If you really want to be completely overwhelmed by information, type how to write a novel into your favorite search engine. Prepare to spend several weeks sifting through the free information you get.
But before you do that, start writing. Write about any aspect of your book that comes to mind. You don't have to start with page one, chapter one. I often start new writing projects with entries in my journal, writing circles around my subject until I'm ready to dive in.
Write something about your characters. Dabble a bit with your setting. Write some dialogue, a conversation between two of your people. Write a scene in which your main character is doing something that helps define who he is.
If you're a little scared, intimidated by that empty page, remember: there's no pressure, and there are no rules. You have complete freedom. Do whatever you want. Only write. In writing, the only failure is not writing.
Pick up the pen. You will not fail.
Q: Is it too early to pursue my passion towards publishing?
A: Keep this in mind: passion first. Then publishing. Your book will take awhile to form. As you write, learn everything you can about writing, publishing, the publishing industry. By the time your book is done, you will know more, and you will be in a position to use that knowledge.
For now, you know everything you need to know. You know how to put words on paper. So what are you waiting for?
You've got one life, and the clock is ticking. Start now!
©2007 David Duggins. All rights reserved.
David Duggins is a writer and CG artist who's been thrashing around in the genre fiction pool for almost thirty years. ...