I have heard it said that anyone can write a book. I have also heard it said that everyone should write a book because we all have a book in us. The process of writing my first book has been incredibly challenging yet extremely rewarding.
In February 2009 I began putting my thoughts into a word processor for cathartic reasons rather than artistic. Soon, as I reflected on the emotions and anecdotes I was recording, I thought, “Hmmm, I should try to put this all together and write a book. Heck, anyone can write a book, right?”
I wrote furiously for two months, every single day. Praise God for Desiree for all of her support as I buried myself in our basement rec room. I worked like heck to tell a story and share a message. When I finished the rough draft, I asked a colleague of mine if she wouldn’t mind proofing something for me. What she didn’t realize was that this ‘something’ was over 300 pages long! Needless to say she was a bit shocked.
Nevertheless, my colleague willingly and congenially edited my rough draft. She worked tirelessly on the manuscript and provided great direction in terms of voice, grammar, sentence fluency, as well as content. She would come to work every day with more pages edited. At night I would go back into my word processor and make corrections. I was also researching how to get this thing published. Soon she had finished the editing and I finished the revising.
I purchased the 2009 Writer’s Market book at Barnes and Noble. I finally put a package together for a proper proposal. I queried my book to over 80 major book publishers across the United States. I kept getting denial letters in the mail, mostly form letters with a few personally written responses from the editors. The editors that did take the time to write had some nice things to say about the topic and the proposal I had put together. Most publishers claim that my audience is too select and the economy is crunching publishers causing them to extremely exclusive.
I did get one request for my manuscript sometime in August from Ambassador Books. This was amazing! It felt good that somebody thought the manuscript was worth reading. In September I received a letter from Ambassador with yet another rejection. That’s when I turned my energy into researching the self-publishing idea.
I have had a few more former colleagues whom I have much respect for read the manuscript. I opened the word processor again last night to begin tweaking a few things based on the suggestions my readers have given me. This is going to take me a while, but I am going to see this through because the premise of the book is important for people to consume and digest.
So, do we all have a book in us that could and should be written? Yes we do. We all have valuable life experiences that, when shared with others, can certainly add to our quality of life. Can anyone write a book? I’m not sure ANYONE can write a book. It is a long process that must be endured. It’s a battle of attrition and only the strong will survive. Well, I am a survivor and so is Desiree. I am going to make those changes, get this thing done, and get it published. Then, I am going to write another one!