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Hello, I have always thought about writing a book and my friends have always encouraged me to write books for children or small poems but I was thinking about writing a book about my life.  I had a somewhat hectic life, more like something you would see out of Jerry Springer show, and I was thinking about writing about it and publishing it. The only problem is---I don't know where to start, I have all these ideas but I don't know what my first page should be about.  Any way you have insight on this?

Hello Elizabeth:

So you want to write a book - great!

There are two phases to writing a book: planning, and writing. The most important of these is planning. Writing a book is not like jotting down a poem; it is a long, complex process that can take months or even years. And you are writing it "on spec," meaning that after all your work and effort, you may never see it published, unless you publish it yourself. That's the bad news.

The good news is (1) you can save yourself a lot of work and time by planning carefully; and (2) you can have a lot of fun with the book, whether or not it's ever published. At this stage, you should put aside all thought of publishing - that's the first place to start! - and concentrate on the book itself. Born writers can't be discouraged from writing; no matter how hard it is or how long it takes. Unborn writers most often quit when they realize how much work is required. In between are those writers who feel compelled to write, but don't expect to make any money off the book. Somewhere along this line is your spot. Find it. This will tell you the strength of your commitment.

I would encourage you to write down these ideas you get, when you get them, in an abbreviated form. Keep them somewhere safe.

My belief is that emerging writers like yourself can benefit greatly from a mentor, or guide, especially in the planning stage. At my website,, I offer mentoring services at a very reasonable rate: $2 per "lesson."

I hope this helps. If it has, a good rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 1300+ questions.

And good luck with your writing!  

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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