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Writing Books/Getting Started

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Question
I have traveled extensively and have lived abroad for a number of years. I have been encouraged by family and friends to write a book.

How does one get started? And after I figure out what angle to do a book, How do I organize myself?
I look foward to your input?
-BW

Answer
Dear Brian,
Thank you for your questions. Your friends are right - it is a good idea to write about your travels. However, you have to ask yourself what your  purpose is and how much time you will want to put into it.
The first phase would be to write out your memories in a chronological style, dedicating one chapter or section to each trip. Or, you can think of any creative way to organize the book, such as travels in each geographic area, or decades of your life, etc. Then just sit down and write what you remember, as though writing a letter. If you dedicate a few hours per week, you could have your book finished over the course of a few months.
That  would constitute a journal, or memoir, of your experiences. I would recommend that you take the first step, then decide if you want to go further.
The next step would be to write your memories into a story form to read like a novel. This can tend to be extremely time consuming. There's also a steep learning curve if you've never written fiction before. The purpose of turning your memoir into a story would be to share it with a larger audience.
You may or may not want to get into that. It takes a lot more energy and when all's said and done, if you find a publisher and the book is successful, the monetary rewards are usually modest. Still, there's a lot of satisfaction in having a successful book.
There's also something to be said for having a well-written and thoughtful memoir. Your friends can learn about your travels and you can pass the book along to your children and future generations of your family.
I hope this helps. At my site I have posted some resources for writers:
http://steamboats.com/writing.html
Also, for writing your memoir, consider picking up the book, "Writing the Natural Way." It offers some good suggestions for getting your thoughts onto paper.
Sincerely,
Nori

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Nori J. Muster

Expertise

Writing and publishing books, including e-books.

Experience

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.

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.

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.

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