"As I sit before my computer, thoughts run through my head.
Do I want to write a short story, or a real short poem, instead?"
-Robert W. Love
(author of Lyrical Verses, pictured above)
Michael V. Novak has written and published 11 of his own books; a novel, 2 short-story compilations, 3 innovative pocketbooks, and 6 collections of poetry. He is currently writing his 12th, 13th and 14th books. In addition, he has published 30 books for aspiring authors, ranging in age from 12 to 82.
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What are you waiting for? Everybody's doing it! Writing a book, that is. The only problem is, only YOU have had the experiences you have had. Only YOU have been where you have been and done what you have done. YOU have learned life's lessons YOUR way. YOU are a unique individual and YOU are the one with a story to tell.
"Just sit at a typewriter and bleed," is how writing was once conveyed to me. It seemed kind of morbid at the time, but I get what that person was trying to say. Once started, the process can be simple. I have found the best way to write is to just go, go, go and edit later. Sometimes thoughts come quicker than the fingers can type, that's when writing is most frustrating, but it's also when it's the most rewarding; you're on a roll, you're in the zone!
I believe there is a writer in all of us. Each of us has a story to tell, whether it's through poetry or prose, novel or short story, script or screen play. I can't wait for the day when we can speak into a microphone and the words appear on the page of the computer screen. I know we already have that technology, but it is far from perfected and to me, seems too hard to handle at the present time. I do enjoy sitting down and writing, though, with the use of a keyboard. In my old house's writing room upstairs, which may be the most unique writing room anywhere, an old fashioned typewriter sat on a modern cherrywood desk. A maroon leather chair was ready to be occupied at any moment. The walls were brick half way up from the bottom and plain white above that. On half of the room, wood slats extended horizontally and their ends were staggered into the white. What's so unique about that, you say? Well, I haven't gotten to the best part! The floor contained a wooden deck which the desk and chair sat on. From the entrance of the room to the deck was a one foot wide boardwalk. Surrounding the deck and the boardwalk was nothing but sand. Yes, sand, indoors. In the sand were rocks and driftwood that I haw accumulated from my travels through the years. Starfish were scattered about as well. And just for cute measure, my son and grandchildren often scribbled messages in the sand from time to time. The closet was a strange size. It was eight feet long and four feet wide, but only five feet high. It was impossible to stand in. The doorway leading into the closet was less than five feet high. So what in the world do you do with a closet like that, just off to the side of a beautiful desk, chair and type writer? Easy. Fill it with sand and put a hammock in it, to go relax the muscles in, but stir up imagination in as well! Give yourself an awesome environment for inspiration and let the words flow!
Don't fret if you feel you have writer's block. The time will come, just make sure you find ways to calm and relax your mind to open yourself up to the inspiration that surrounds you on a daily basis. I have gone months without writing a single thing then wrote nonstop for days or weeks. Right now I am in the midst of a writing session longer and stronger than any other I have ever had. A website to publish, a writing camp to get started, and yet I have found countless hours to finish my eighth book (a fourth collection of poetry) and chip away at my next few books, while finalizing the editing of two spiritual books, including a collection of tales from over 30 years in youth ministry. It was supposed to be 300 pages. I have finished most of it and it is already over 600 pages. Lots of memories. Lots of tales.
I find it helpful to outline books and I am very persistent in keeping track of the dates of my poems. Sometimes I use the date I started it, other times I use the date I finished it, depending on which date I feel captures the essence of the poem the best, based on how it relates to how I feel and what is going on in my life. My first book, To Destiny, was a novel that I outlined back in college in the early 1980's. It took over twenty years to complete it, but you would never know it, because the outline and the finished product were in total sync. Now there is this youth ministry storybook I am in the midst of editing. I outlined it with 32 chapters of my favorite events and estimated how many pages each chapter would be. Boy, was I wrong! One chapter I had estimated for 10 pages ended up 68. Guess I can be a little long winded! Sometimes outlines can be exact, other times they can be a bit inaccurate.
What I'm trying to say is there are many ways to get started and get your book written. There are also many excuses not to. There are really no reasons why not to, just excuses. Scared? Who isn't! Worried no one will get it or like it? The personal accomplishment totally outweighs any reaction to the book, positive or negative. Don't know how? That's what I'm here for. Give me a call and let's make it happen. I can even help with newspaper articles and book signings. It's never too late to get started. One gentlemen was in his 80's when he published a book of poetry with poems from as far back as a navy ship in the 1940's. He's now the envy of his community.
Whatever you have to say, say. Get it down in words and let's go from there. In a matter of months, weeks, or even days you could be holding the final product in your hand, and it will be YOUR book, YOUR accomplishment. There is great joy in opening that box and seeing the book that you created become a tangible, physical property. It can never be taken away. It's a prize, to cherish forever and share with the world. Or even keep to yourself, as some authors have chosen to do. In any case, it can be done. I know. It wasn't long ago I felt I would never get the thoughts inside of me onto a computer nonetheless in print. A few years later, I am writing book number 8 and publishing many more for other aspiring writers. It's your turn. Step up and take it. If you don't know by now, the number is 248.219.8438. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. mljamms enterprises...publisher of your dreams.