Question Hi, My name is Krysten and I am 21 years old. I am not working right now, so that I can stay at home to raise my 8-month-old son. I would really like to write a book, so that I can do something to make my own money, and also because I love to write. When I was in high school, I was always able to procrastinate until a day or two before my 5-page paper was due and still be able to finish and get a good grade. I also used to write poetry a lot. I am not sure if any of that makes me qualified to write a book, but I would like to try. My question to you is: Where do I start? I would like to write a fictional book, but how do I know what to make it about? How do I get organized and make an exceptional story? My questions for you would probably be all of the ones that you mentioned in your expertise window. Any advise that you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
Answer Dear Krysten,
Thank you for your questions. That must keep you busy taking care of a young child, so i admire your desire to add more projects to your day. However, i encourage you to write your stories for reasons other than immediate monetary return. Writers usually don't earn a lot of money at first, just as musicians, athletes, artists, and other creative people generally don't break into their fields over night. It takes years of perseverence and many manuscripts before you will get a best seller.
However, there are many other good reasons to write besides money. If you write about your experiences as a mother, for example, your writings will be extremely valuable to your children and their children, and so on. You can pass on a bit of yourself to future generations of your family. Also, writing about your experiences just for the sake of writing will help you to not judge what you're writing. It will free you up to find what you want to write. Maybe it will be non-fiction, maybe it will be fiction, maybe it will be poetry.
I encourage you to buy a wire notebook or blank book and a good pen and just write whatever you want. Take this time to find your true voice and then you may eventually write that best seller that is in the back of your mind. Use this phase of your life to get started on the right road to that goal.
Writing is also therapeutic and keeping a journal may help you get through the difficult parts of being a mother.
A good way to work in your journal is to set aside a certain amount of time (like until the baby cries again) and just write whatever comes into your mind without stopping to think. That's called a "timed writing." Just let your pen go on its own and if you get stuck, just write "i am stuck, i can't think of anything," and then write about that.
At my page for writers i have posted some articles and links to writing books that you might find useful. http://steamboats.com/writing.html
If you want to write fiction, link to the Fiction Writers Workshop. You can also use your journal to start developing your characters, themes, and plots.
I encourage you to get started right away and make it your goal to steal some time every day for your writing.
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.
Organizations Lakes of Tempe Authors, Tempe, Arizona
Publications 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
Education/Credentials UCLA Extension Writer's Program, 1988 - 1994
Master's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, Western Oregon University, 1991
Awards and Honors Interviews: 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.
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.
Publishers: 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.