Last weekend, I experienced my first “So you’re the author,” comment when meeting a stranger. I very much wanted to look over my shoulder and see if I could pass the compliment on to someone behind me who might be better prepared with an answer. I thought it unlikely another author had walked into the small gathering nestled in the lush greens of the neighbor’s backyard. I fired back my finely crafted response. “Anyone can write a book.” How would I know?
I did some research. Eighty percent of adults want to write a book. The process involves thousands of grueling hours, alone, at your computer, so we definitely have to leave out the 20% who don’t want to. Of all those who set out to write a book about 3% will finish. I’m feeling better about myself already. Out of the 3% who finish their manuscripts, about 20% will publish them. I thought those stats were fairly high. I guess once writers have their babies in hand it’s easier to stay motivated. That means about six people out of every thousand who want to write a book publish it for the general public.
The great news is google estimates about 130 million books have been published in all of human history. It can be done! I encourage you, if you’ve had characters keeping you company for years or a burning idea the world needs to hear about to write, and then to write again, and then to write some more, until you’re finished.
When I finally forced myself to complete my novel, I submitted it for editing to a professional editing service and lucked out by working with the well-known American faith-based romance writer Allison Pittman. Her positive reception of my manuscript and encouragement to persevere through all the editing, rewriting, and submitting made a huge difference. I’m going to review one of her latest novels about a pastor's wife struggling with adultery during the Oklahoma dust bowl next week.
In the mean-time, dig out your forgotten pages, begin a new tale, be one of the six of every 1250 adults who publish!
Let me know what it’s about, I’d love to be one of your cheerleaders.