Monday, November 30, 2009

Visual Motivation to Write

Just a little visual aid to motivate you to put butt in chair and write that book or novel that you've been 'meaning to' write. This is a photo of Linda Swink, author of In Their Honor at her publisher's office during her first book signing.

I've known Linda for years and she's struggled just like the rest of us. But, when she finally settled down in her chair, turned on her Mac and got down to work -- she created a book that will greatly add to the military history of the United States. No small deal, but she did it one word, one day, one rewrite at a time. She might have had a bit more hair before starting this project. I received several emails from her saying "I'm pulling my hair out!" And a few others that said, "Why did I ever start this?" And here she sits in her classic camel tan suit signing her name to copies that people are buying and taking home and THANKING her for writing the book.

I know they say that writing a book is like childbirth, but in this respect I will say that the memory of the pain of the creation process fades quickly once you hold that new baby/book in your hands. I believe she'd do it all over again. But right now, she's devoted herself to the marketing aspects of the process.

This photo brings back memories of going to a reading by my dear friend Peggy Vincent in Iowa City and celebrating afterwards. Her book Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife still gives me goosebumps. The euphoria!

And a few years later Gary Presley read from his Seven Wheelchairs at the same podium at Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City. I could close my eyes and see the room, feel the enthusiasm even if I was a thousand miles away.

It does happen.

It does happen to people we know and respect.

And -- it can happen to us.

A new year is fast approaching -- it is the year for us to finish our projects and get them out there.

Forget all you hear about the doomed publishing industry. That has nothing to do with your book. Your job is to write whatever it is you are compelled to write. The book only YOU can write.

Write it and they will come.

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