All you wanted to do was write a book.
You had a great start–six-thousand five hundred and seventeen words. But now you’re stuck. You haven’t written a word… in three years.
You venture online for a bit of help and inspiration and in no time at all you’re sorry you ever heard of the Internet.
Sifting through a thin layer of the gazillion returns on ‘how to write a book’, you become confused.
Tropes? Outlines? MS? Taglines?
All you want to do is write a book. That story has been stuck in your head since the week before high school graduation decades ago, and it won’t go away.
You just want to get it down on paper.
But all the search returns–where do you start?
You find THE link that says, “Join a group” and things are starting to make sense. You can join a group. You’re a born joiner!
Discouragement sets in a few days later when you still haven’t found a group to join, and it’s not that you didn’t look.
The first group was for published authors only. LA-DE-DA!
The second group didn’t require members to be published, but a completed manuscript WAS required.
How are these groups even in the “how to write a book” search returns if you must already have written something to join???
The next group wasn’t so bad… they were just weird.
They kept calling themselves plotters and pantsers, and talking about conflict resolution, and a satisfactory HEA to satisfy Betas.
What’s a beta?
The last group… wow. That was some next-level-new-age-bullshit!
Moments after joining the group chat, introducing yourself, and sharing your dream of writing a book the interrogation begins.
How big is your mailing list? What’s the link to your author website? Have you installed Google Analytics? How often do you blog? What’s your target audience? Do you have a professional editor lined up? What program are you typing your book in? What’s your plan for marketing and promotion? Have you written proposal letters for publishers and agents? How do you expect to get noticed and sell books?
You break out in a cold sweat! What the hell is SEO and ROI??? And there’s that ‘Beta’ word again!
How are you supposed to HAVE these things when you JUST DECIDED TO WRITE THE FREAKIN’ BOOK???
The Group has been throwing out links which you’ve clicked on and you now have thirteen browsers open. You’ve also kept a running total of costs in your head – $4500.
And you haven’t even hit ten-thousand words in your story.
The group moves on to new topics and you sit quietly… even though you want to scream and vent like you invented the term “going postal”.
The meeting ends… thankfully… and you toss your thanks and goodbyes into the chorus. You leave the chat, unjoin the group, and close the browser.
In hindsight, you should have followed your spouse to Art and Wine Night, or surprised your parents by showing up at St. Paul’s for bingo night.
Sighing heavily, you head for the coffeemaker, suddenly veering off towards the wine… minus the art.
Returning to your desk, your mind is crammed full of things you know nothing about, but just about everyone is the free world is willing to teach you… for a price.
All you wanted to do was write a book. When did writing become so complicated? The Internet did not invent books. Millions were written before ‘https://www.’ became a thing.
Collecting your thoughts… with a nod to the wine… you make a short list of the things you saw and heard repeatedly. Website, mailing list, social networks. Those will do to start… eventually.
You push the list aside, close the remaining thirteen browsers… and work on your book.