One day during conversation, a woman, let’s call her Lacy, asked me how I went about self-publishing my debut novel The Other Side, as she wanted to publish her book. I told her the process I went through with self-publishing through KDP. After, I asked Lacy about her book that she wants to publish. Lacy took a breath, looked me dead in my eyes and she said with clear finality, “I intend to write a book.”
I was flabbergasted. She wanted to publish, to the point she wanted to hear exactly how I did it…but she didn’t even have a book to do so with. There was a lot I could have said to this, but I gave her encouragement on how to get started writing. Yet I couldn’t stop thinking about it. How can someone even think of getting a book published with…only intentions.
Writing a book is possible. Getting published, either traditionally or indie, is possible. What’s impossible is getting a non-existent book published. Lacy only intended to write a book.
I intend to write a book.
I’ve never said that I intend to write a book. I’ve said that I want to write one.
I want to be a novelist.
And I’d say that while either working really hard on my novel, or well aware I hadn’t touched my WIP in like six months.
It did take my debut novel The Other Side eight years to write. That novel took sweat, blood, tears, incredible hard work and yeah, I procrastinated a whole lot. But I never only intended to write it. I wrote the damn thing.
I am a novelist.
Lacy hadn’t written anything. She had ideas of notes in her head, had intentions of writing a book, she even knew what she’d like to write about, and held dreams of publishing…without writing a single word.
I am a writer.
I dreamed of publishing. I still dream of having my books in bookstores. Seeing The Other Side up on Amazon, with my name on it, was a real dream come true.
But let me tell you, you’ll never publish anything with only intentions. You can’t learn to ride a bicycle when you only intend to learn how to ride a bicycle. You’ll never scuba dive if you only intend to scuba dive. If you only intend to write a book then you’ll never write one. And you certainly will never publish a book that doesn’t exist.
How do you write books?
You upgrade your intentions into action.
You don’t simply intend to write a book and leave it at that. You take action. You pick up a pencil or pen and write on paper. Pick up your cell phone and open the Notepad or Memo. Get on your computer, and maybe you have Microsoft Word on it. Download and install Scrivener or any other writing program.
Now that you have action, you’ve left intention behind. Intentions don’t get you anywhere, and they certainly won’t write books.
Hard work writes books.
I know it takes hard work, and sometimes procrastination and laziness can win out now and then. Intentions will never get you anywhere. I’ll keep writing and keep working hard.
And while I write, my cat Aomine keeps me company at my side.