As a writer of ten books and counting, I am amazed at how much there is to learn about it.
As I foresaid in my previous article, the first lesson one should learn is to know what you are writing about. Know your subject. This is vital for three key reasons:
- When you know your subject you will give people substance. Your writings will contain value and quality. People will receive some wisdom, some answer that they are looking for. They may receive some entertainment value, filled with principles which can make their lives better. Write on purpose. Write to impact lives.
- When you know your subject, it will keep you focus. You will be able to stay on course with what you are writing about. This is important for it will ensure that your writing has structure and stability. You won’t go all over the place.
- When you know your subject it will give your writing credibility. When people realize that you know what you are speaking about and that they can therefore trust your words, it will enable you to stand out as an authority in the field you are writing about. It is not a good thing at all to have a book about a particular subject, with information which can be shot down easily because it is not built on truth or has very little, if any, factual substance (that is of course, unless your book is fiction). So make sure you have done your homework and write from a standpoint of knowledge.
The next lesson I remember having to learn is vital if you are going to succeed as an author. You must:
Learn to get past your fear of failure
This was indeed a serious one for me. As I fore-mentioned, I wrote my first book, which was concerning the importance of unity. What I did not say then was that although this was my first book, I never released it. I finished writing it. And I even had a minister friend of mine do a Foreword for it. But I never had it printed.
In retrospect, the book was really good (if I may humbly say so). It had substance and would have been a source of encouragement for many persons. But I did not have it printed. I wished that I still had it saved on a jump-drive. I would surely have it published, at the least as an e-book. Why didn’t I get it printed, you may ask? The answer was that I was afraid. But of what was I afraid? I was afraid of several things:
- I was afraid that people may not buy the book.This fear was not warranted however. After all, I had no way of knowing if people would or would not buy the book. I should not be the one who chooses for people. People ought to be given the right to make up their own minds as to what books they should or should not buy. My job was to write it, get it printed or published, and then present it to them. But I did not do this because I allowed fear to stop me from moving forward. My question to you is, are you allowing fear to stop you from moving forward regarding your book? If you are, it is time to get past yourself and to get past that fear. Some people may not buy your book. But, if you ask nicely, some people will.
- I was also afraid that people would criticize my book if they read it.I was scared that they would not find it interesting. And granted, some people may have negative things to say in regards to what you write. However, if you have followed step one, making sure you have written something of substance, worth and value, there will be others who will benefit greatly from your work. When I finally started getting my books out there it is amazing how many people told me the impact they have had upon them. This has transpired from my first book, Diligence to The Things of God, (available here: www.sheldondnewton.org). And it continues. Of course I have had some criticisms. But I have had more encouragement from the testimonies of those who found my books helpful. You never know whose life you can touch in a positive and powerful way. So step up to the plate, push past that fear and get your book out there.
In my next article I will share with you a third kind of fear that I experienced as I aspired to be a writer and it will be something of great interest to all who read this. I can promise you that it may be the number one reason why many have never even finished writing their book. I believe sharing my experiences with you may inspire you to rise up and realize your dream of being a published author, making a difference in the lives of others.
If this inspires you, please leave a comment at the bottom. I would love to hear back from you. Thanks for reading.
Sheldon D. Newton