Writing Books/oi vey


OK. So. I'm a published writer, and I make my living that way - years as a full-time journalist, short stories, but here's the first book. It's "as told to," and it already has an agent. All is in place, but I am breaking out in a cold, cold sweat at the prospect of a book-length project and trying to wrap my mind around inhabiting another's voice in first-person. I could *easily* do it as a fiction writer, but I am not sure how that works in "as told to. " I mean, what kind of leeway one has. And, the other thing is, it's really unnerving to have everyone peering over my virtual shoulder as I try to create a mental space in which to write. Because not only are people *on* me, but we are already going around about first serial rights and foreign rights and blah de blah, when the thing isn't even *written * yet. It's just, I guess, a different milieu than the ones I'm used to (you either have all the privacy in the world because it's fiction and so nobody *gives * a sh*t, or it's a journalistic piece and deadline -driven so it's by necessity short, if painful.
Any advice re how to do this? And how to stay sane while trying?
thnx so very much, Mark.
Dee Axelrod

Dear Dee,

First, congrats on the success, contracts, etc. Second, put all that out of your mind and focus only on each day's writing. Forget about the size and scope of the project and deal with each day, each page, each sentence and each word only as it comes. Set manageable goals for yourself, goals so easy that you can't help but meet them. That will beef up your self-confidence and allow you to broaden and expand your goals....and meet them.

It's easy to get overwhelmed and intimidated. The best way to avoid it is to stay as firmly grounded as you can in the moment and the task of the moment.

You CAN do it. Just remember to breathe and stay centered on the word your writing and the words you have written, not on the words yet to come.

Remember, too, that writing is like breathing. The words can come as easily and effortlessly as your breath...if you let them.

Good luck!
Mark David Gerson
author, The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write

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Mark David Gerson


Happy to answer questions about writing, writer's block, publishing/self-publishing. Can answer general questions, but not available to critique work.


Published author; have taught writing for 15 years at colleges, universities and community centers in the U.S. and Canada.

Southwest Writers New Mexico Book Co-op

Author of the fantasy adventure, The MoonQuest, and the book of writing inspiration and practice, The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write. Freelanced full-time as a writer, journalist and editor for more than a decade. Published in a wide range of publications. Free inspirational e-newsletter has 1200 subscribers in more than a dozen countries.

Published Author. Published Freelance Writer. More than 15 years of teaching/coaching/consulting.

Awards and Honors
New Mexico Discovery Award 2006; Award-Winning Finalist in Visionary Fiction, the National Best Books 2007 Awards

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