Writing Books/What now?


Dear Susan,
I was extremely impressed with the responses and advice you have offered at no charge for random readers.  I am embarrassed to say that this is the first time that I have heard the name Susan Rand; however after reading of your expertise, I know that you will be able to help me.
My question is regarding whether or not you believe it would be worth my time and energy to try and publish my life story.  It is still a work in progress and an unpleasant read BUT I know in my heart that it could really help someone who has grown up sexually, emotionally, and physically abused, as well as someone with an eating disorder and suicidal tendencies.  I have come a long way in my journey to recovery and now I feel it is time for me to share with other victims, that the pain they may still be harboring is, unfortunately normal and worth standing up and facing.
I guess my question is:  Do you feel that I am wasting my time and money to write a book that may or may not reach the book shelves.
With much respect,

Hello Mary:

Thank you for the compliment and don't be embarrassed - I'm not as well known as I would like to be!

Whether or not you will be wasting your time writing your life story remains to be seen. This is a question every writer faces, when starting a project - large or small. Many well-known authors regret publishing this book or the other.

Writing a book is a long and grueling process; many would-be writrs just can't stay motivated long enough to finish a book-length project. My writing professor in college used to say, "You want to write a book? Good. Take an average sized book and sit down and type it out. The whole thing, beginning to end." If you can do that, he went on to say, you may have what it takes to write an actual book of your own.

To carry you through to the end you will need faith in your ability, and a deep conviction that the world needs to see this, and the sooner the better. You have one thing going for you: you are writing about what you know! No one else can tell your story - it's up to you.

I would suggest you continue to work on your story when you have the time and energy, perhaps short bits at a time. Go to a few writers' forums (worddistillery.com is a good one), put your bits up and get critiques. The members there are mostly writers, and many are experienced. I believe they can help you.

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 850 questions.

And good luck with your writing!

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at http://pygmypress.com, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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