Writing Books/Organization


First, thank you for your time.
I have an interesting life story that I would like to share.  I am a high school social studies teacher that "has a way with words," but have never thought of myself as a writer.  So I guess my first questions are how do I get started and how do I organize a book?
I guess I should know if it is proper procedure to get short stories published first.  What do you think?
Is it out of line to think that I can write a book just because I have an interesting life story?

Again, thank you for your time.
Renee Sararfin

Dear Renee,
Thank you for your letter. It is a good idea to write a book. There are several ways to go about it. First, you might try writing out your experiences in a memoir. This would be valuable for you because you can review the highs and lows of your life and set down your experiences for your family. My mother is writing about her experiences in the 1940s and 1950s and it is fascinating for me and my siblings, as well as the grandkids and future members of the family.
So in writing, you might make up an intended audience and write to that person. It could be one of your kids or someone in the family not yet born. If you write for a few hours a week, you can probably get it done in a couple months' time. Print up enough copies for your loved ones using your own computer and the local copy shop.
If you want to take it further, you can turn your autobiography into a story like a novel to share with a larger audience. (Most publishers are not interested in memoirs unless it's written a famous person.) Getting a novel published is difficult these days too, but anything is possible if you put your mind to it. If you feel driven to do it, then give it a try. At my page for writers I have posted the Fiction Writers Workshop to organize a novel.
I suggest you start writing the memoir because even if you move to writing a novel later on, your memoir will give you good ideas for how to structure the novel.
Another possibility is that your memoir could turn into a self-help book for teachers.
Best you you.

Writing Books

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Nori J. Muster


Writing and publishing books, including e-books.


I have been writing for publication since 1981, including years as a staff writer, associate editor, editorial writer, and freelance reporter. At this time, I have eight Kindle books for sale at Amazon.com.

Lakes of Tempe Authors, Tempe, Arizona

Betrayal of the Spirit: My Life behind the Headlines of the Hare Krishna Movement
Dreaming Peace: Your Thoughts Can Change the World
Cult Recovery Handbook: Seven Paths to an Authentic Life
Child of the Cult
Learning to Flow with the Tao: The 64 Hexagrams of the I Ching
Positive Quotations: Wisdom from the Master Mind
Collected Writings: Five Books by Nori Muster
Noriland Art Gallery: Secrets from the Vault
Spiritual Summer and Other Short Stories

UCLA Extension Writer's Program, 1988 - 1994
Master's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, Western Oregon University, 1991

Awards and Honors
USA Today, Los Angeles Times, BBC World Services Focus on Faith, BBC Sunday Programme, Salon.com, Glamour Magazine, Portland Mercury News, W-Five TV (Toronto), Publisher's Weekly, Boston Phoenix, San Francisco Chronicle, ABC TV News - 20/20, ABC radio, Associated Press, The Age (Melbourne), Rediff.com, The New York Times, Religious News Service, Dallas Morning News, Columbia Journalism School, Whole Life Times (Los Angeles), Toronto Sun, the John Dayle Show (KFYI AM, Phoenix), the Eliot Stein Show (syndicated radio and Internet broadcast), Discovery with Josh Wagner (KKUP, 91.5 FM, Santa Clara, California), KOGO (News Radio 600, San Diego), Jupiterís Girl syndicated radio show, Lakes Log.

Book Reviews:
Publisherís Weekly, Feminist Bookstore News, Yoga Journal, New York Post, Choice Magazine, Boston Herald, Nexus (Colorado), Gentle Strength Times, Coastlines (UCSB alumni), Theology Digest, Nova Religio, Rapport, India West, Rediff.com, Amazon.com.

Book Signings:
Prescott College reunion; Gentle Strength Co-op, Tempe; Different Drummer Bookshop, Laguna Beach; L.A. Times Toastmasters; Biltmore Plaza Border's Books, Phoenix; Bodhi Tree Bookstore, Los Angeles; Health & Life Enrichment Expo, Pasadena; Sacramento Reads book festival, and others.

ISKCON World Review, Van Dhal Publications, Gentle Strength Times, Arizona Woman, Lakes Log, ICSA Today, Cultic Studies Review, University of Illinois Press, Kindle, steamboats.com, surrealist.org, Apple Books, and others.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.