Sunday, November 12, 2017

NaNoWriMo Tip: Write For Yourself

Today's NaNoWriMo tip is to write the book that you want to read.  When I was in my twenties, and a stay-at-home dad, I tried to fulfill a lifelong dream of being a novelist. Over the course more than a decade I wrote 13 books. Most of them weren't meant for publication, they were me teaching myself how to write. But I was also trying to write books that I thought had a good chance of being published (based on other books "out there.") I learned two things during that time.
  1. I didn't enjoy writing as much as I would have liked.
  2. Trying to follow publishing "trends" is folly.
For me, I eventually quit writing altogether. At the time I thought I would never return tot the keyboard but a decade later something happened. I picked up a copy of the first Harry Pottter book (for my dyslexic daughter). Sarah didn't read the book, but I did. And it reminded me how much fun a great adventure with characters you love can be. I decided to write again, but with two important differences.
  1. I wouldn't seek publication, as that path led to the dark side 
  2. I would write a book that I wanted to read, and one that I hoped Sarah would like.
That's when I wrote The Crown Conspiracy (the first book of the Theft of Swords Omnibus), and the rest, as they say, is history.  Sarah didn't read that book either...well not until it was published -- apparently reading manuscript on 8 1/2 x 11 paper was frustrating for her dyslectic mind. And Robin picked up the thrown down gauntlet and took it upon herself to get the books published.  I learned a lot from that experience, and it only took me twenty-five years to learn the importance of writing for yourself. 

Hopefully, you won't take as long as I did ;-)


  1. I'm glad you picked up Harry Potter. That book inspired my second child to become a reader. My other children already were. (And he's read all of yours now too)