In my workshops, there’s always a significant portion of folks who tell me they’ve been working on their book for years but made little headway. A non scientific guess at the percentage of people who tell me this would be around 40 to 50%. That’s a significant number.
Almost without exception, two things typically keep these people in writing limbo. The first is perfection. They cannot seem to move on unless their previous writing is seamless. This scenario is frustrating for them. Understandably so. The majority of these people have been schooled on the “rules of writing” from their earliest of days. Unfortunately, the schools did not teach creativity in the past, they taught analytics.
The course correction for these people is quite simple, but often not easy. As Ernest Hemmingway famously said, “The first draft of anything is shit.” In my many years as a writer/publisher, I must agree with Hemmingway. The first draft of any piece of writing, ESPECIALLY books, always needs help.
I have to work hard to get the perfectionist folk to understand they have the cart before the horse. They want to create something perfect before they’ve even created it. Creativity is messy. Creativity calls for tangents and dead ends and different trains of thought. Creativity thrives with no rules. When you are fettered by writing rules as an author, your creativity suffers. The pace of creativity tends to be frenetic. When you toss in writing rules, snails move faster.
I understand people being “set in their ways.” But when they come to me for help, I must get them out of that comfort zone and into the “thrill zone” of writing in a creative environment. When writers relinquish their old habits and become willing to put on something new, like writing with passion rather than perfection, they complete their books. The trick for me is convincing these people to try something new.
I find it odd how many writers I stumble across who are inflexible to altering how they write, even when what they write has not impact or is not going well. My experience has been that writers, out of pure situational necessity, must be willing to step out into uncharted territory in order to convey what they wish the world to read. Yes, writers get to dictate story or content, but not necessarily “how” they write. Often, a few tweaks to a writer’s perception of the writing process is more than enough to set them off and running.
I enjoy seeing writers embrace their creativity. When a writer begins to see his/her book take form, my need to motivate and inspire them reduces dramatically. This is how it should be. A writer should love what they write. They should be willing to look at successful, efficient ways in which to accomplish their writing. A writer should be open to new ideas. Ultimately, a writer should access passion and a deep desire to get their book completed.
My workshop, How to Write Your Book in 30 Days, is a five-week course designed to help even the most stodgy of writers. Of course, I can only help those who are willing to be helped, but the success rate has been astounding. I love to write. I love to create. I love everything about the first draft, even when things get hairy and I have characters going out-of-bounds and plotlines skewing off in manic directions. That’s all part of the fun. Helping others get there is most likely my most rewarding experience in the writing world. This workshop is my “happy place.”
I will be running workshops all year online. I’m even considering running live workshops in areas within a couple hours of Palm Coast as long as ten people sign up. If you are interested, please hop on my mailing list at: Write Your Book in 30 Days. You may also email me at Author@MichaelRayKing.com. If you would like to sign up for the workshop in Flagler Beach or one of the online seminars, you may do so at: Workshop Description and Registration
Writing a book should be a joy, not a chore, at least that is my view. I look forward to hearing from you!