Since every literate person can write, most people think they can be writers. Interestingly enough, we all can speak quite well, but few of us would deem ourselves “speakers”. A very experienced writer told me that this prevalent belief encourages beginners to say the oddest things that make professional writers want to cringe. Well, we all had to start somewhere – so this week I’m sharing a few “controversial” topics I’ve been asked about lately by students of my writing course.
1. “I can write a book in a week.”
Anyone can mutilate a couple hundred pages with words; however, that doesn’t mean that anyone will want to read them. Yes, I know there are prolific writers who can write a book in two weeks (Voltaire supposedly wrote Candide in three days). Usually they are professionals who have mastered a style and understand the craft of writing. Have you?
Reality however is that getting past that first page, the first chapter, and eventually your first book is just something you have to get through. It’s not easy. But, there is a system you can follow to get the entire first draft manuscript of your book out of your mind and down on paper in less than a single week. That puts you well ahead of anyone who says they “someday” will write a book. Once you have the first draft, you can edit it and make it better until you have something worthwhile reading for others.
2. “I can write a book and make tons of money.”
Many new writers see a 200-page romance or mystery and scoff. These things are so easy, they tell themselves. I can write this in a day. Maybe you can. If you do, will anyone pay you to read it? That is the difference. Those who sell in these genres usually have a passion for the craft that translates onto the page. Hate romance? Think mysteries are ridiculous? Believe sci-fi is for loonies? Then don’t write it, editors and especially readers can tell the difference between something that was written out of passion, or purely for the sake of making money.
3. “I can write a better book than [insert author you dislike].”
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Don’t be arrogant and think the world should concede to your every taste (that’s what book critics are for). Every writer is not meant for every reader. Just because you don’t like a book doesn’t mean it’s not good. It’s just not good for you. I don’t like green beans; however, that doesn’t mean I need to start an anti-green-beans campaign. Diversity is what makes life interesting.
But of course there are horrible, poorly written books. There are some truly bad books out there. Here’s the hard truth. Some bad books (poor grammar, poor structure and poor execution of a plot simpler than a fairy tale) do get published. My old office had plenty of dents in the wall from an effective toss. However, these books are probably ‘placement’ books to fill a hole in a publishing list. Or it might be a “self-published” book that was written in a week or weekend and never received the proper editing. Usually, these books sink and their authors are rarely heard from again.
4. “I really want to write a book.”
If you do, let’s get started shall we? I believe everyone has a book inside of them, and I’d love to help you get that book down on paper.Join Write a Book in a Week
Wilko van de Kamp Author
WILKO VAN DE KAMP is the author of #1 international best seller The Freedom Project and several other books and e-books. He's also an award-winning photographic artist, and professional world traveler. His inspiration comes from traveling all over the world. He calls the Canadian Rocky Mountains his home, and the rest of the world his office. He has been capturing our wonderful planet, and it's beautiful inhabitants, for more than half his life. Wilko has spent his life traveling the world to capture awe-inspiring images for those who wouldn't see them otherwise, and to inspire others to embark on their journey of a lifetime. Through his art, writing and appearances as a keynote speaker he enjoys sharing his colorful experiences with the world. Visit him online at www.wilko.ca