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This might sound silly but i am very interested in writing a book. I am 15 years old and I am homeschooled. I have a lot of free time and I believe the world is going to end in my life time. i do a lot of research on 2012 theories. I am having troubles figuring out how to begin my book. I am aiming for a book about how my lifestyle is and what my beliefs are...heck, even mention some of my dreams. any advice anyone?

Dear Tim,

No one who feels called to write a book should feel silly about it, regardless of his or her age. Rather, I celebrate your desire and honor the call to express the truth of your heart onto the page.

Frankly, whether the world as we understand it ends with the Mayan calendar in 2012 or not, I encourage you to answer the call and set your life, dreams and beliefs onto the page. Whatever happens with it (and who can tell?), it will be a profoundly healing and expanding experience for you.

So, I say, Go for it!!

How to start? I don't usually quote from my own book on this site, as it can seem a bit self-serving. In this instance, however, your question is answered there so well, at least in part, that I ask your forgiveness.

This excerpt comes from the chapter appropriately (for you) titled: Birthing Your Book...Even If You Don't Know What It's About. And by the way, this quote on the chapter's title page, from novelist Somerset Maugham, applies equally to nonfiction:

"There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are."

Here's the excerpt:


Your Book Is Waiting for You

Your book is waiting for you. Itís waiting for you to notice it, waiting for you
to catch up with it, waiting for you to surrender to it.

Perhaps you know you have a book in you. Perhaps you suspect it.

Perhaps you know what itís about. Perhaps you donít.

It doesnít matter.

What matters is that you acknowledge that your Muse is trying to get
your attention. What matters is that you open your heart and blank page to
it. What matters is that you surrender.

I didnít know anything about a book called The MoonQuest when its
words began to fl ow through me. I didnít know The Voice of the Muse was a
book when these words you now read began pouring out of me. All I knew
in both instances was that my Muse was calling me and that the only way to
answer its call was to write.

As I wrote, the books took care of themselves.

One dayís writing led to the next. One draft led to the next. One book
led to the next.

Each day, draft and book drove my pen. My pen, in turn, drove me.
My only job was to release all attachment to form, structure, content and
outcome. My only job was to write and let the words go where they chose
and create what was theirs to create.

As it turned out, they chose to create books I never planned to write.
The StarQuest was different. Even before The MoonQuest was fi nished,
I knew The StarQuest was in me, waiting to emerge. I knew it was a book. I
even knew a smidge of its story before I began.

So how did I begin?

The same way I begin every piece of writing: by beginning.

Whatever you know of your book and its content, you start every piece
of writing the same way, with a single word. With a single letter. With a
single pen stroke or key stroke.

Any word. Any letter. Any pen stroke or tap on the keyboard.

ďIn the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God...Ē
Your first word also resides with God or your Muse or whatever creative
source you acknowledge. So does your second and third and thirtieth and

Whichever word gets you started is the right one. And that right one will
inexorably lead you to the next and the next and the next. And the next...if
you let it.

Ultimately, all those words will lead you through your book to its ending,
an ending that has been waiting for you since the beginning of time. Of
course it has, for your book has existed since the beginning of time, waiting
patiently for you acknowledge it, open your heart to it and capture its
essence in words on a page.

Are you ready to acknowledge it? Then pick up your pen or touch your
f ngers to the keyboard and free your fi rst word onto the page.

You donít know what your book is about? If you listen it will tell you. If
you surrender, it will guide you. If you let it, it will write itself.


I hope this helps, and I wish you a cornucopia of creative flow and an abundance of success with your project.

Remember, you're never too young to write a book. And you're never too young to express and share a wisdom that is, at times, as profound as that of any adult's.

Good luck!
Mark David Gerson

P.S. You can read another free excerpt from that same chapter (about birthing your book) at

Writing Books

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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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