Writing a book is not easy. I once heard of a statistic that out of 100 people who set out to write a book, 80% never finish. Out of the 20% who finish, 75% are not able to get published. Out of the five remaining that get published, one becomes a success. When it comes to writing a book of fiction, the odds are even less. So, why am I writing a novel?
That's a fair question.
In 2004, my wife and I took our two-year-old daughter (at the time) on vacation. I can't reveal where because that would require a Spoiler Alert. Anyway, I had what I'd consider an experience... and knew at that moment I wanted to write a book.
Over the course of several months and eventually years, I began to formulate a story in my mind around my idea. I don't know how or why, I only knew that it was necessary and so I began to sketch out the framework of a novel.
Fast forward to 2010. I published my first business book in my business field, The Power of Loyalty, and soon after began to write the beginnings of a novel. Having no experience writing fiction, I sought out advice, and then talked to my writer-friends in the field and knew I was in way over my head. I felt like giving up, but something deep within kept pushing me to work toward my goal. Then, I got serious.
In 2013, after countless weekends of writing and research, and a few miracles from above... I met with a young woman in New York who had spent her first years out of grad school in the publishing industry. She gave me four words of advice: Seek A Story Consultant!
I thought, What in the world is a story consultant?
The next day, I began my research and started searching the web for a story consultant... one who helps shape a story, one who helps a writer to include the essential elements of story... one who helps keep the story relevant.
Enter James Bonnet.
Fast forward two and a half years and I now have the framework of a good story... yes I said, two and a half years for the framework — a manuscript first draft.
Here's what I learned:
1. Writing a good story is hard work, period. There's no question that there's many talented and gifted writers out there, but in my experience like a fine wine, a good story needs to mature. It is a process of your conscious mind working in conjunction with your creative unconscious. What I've been fortunate to learn is that like many of the laws of the universe, a good story does not get written overnight.
2. Writing requires patience. As with every field of work, there are good days and bad. Early on I tried to fight it... to persevere when there was chaos. I've learned to slow down... to have patience and to write when it feels right, not to write just because. My quality and quantity drastically improved.
3. Go with your gut. So many times over the years of piecing together my manuscript, I doubted myself. What I learned time after time is that it's that little voice we all have — that inside voice —that keeps me on track and knows best. It's okay to be a bit vulnerable... it's okay to be yourself.
—Roger L. Brooks