Writing
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Advice on Writing a Book

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Once again, I join the writers in this world who are being hounded by the dream, the thought and the calling to write a book.  I say “once again” because I felt the need to write a book twice in the past, and since it was such a persistent call, I wrote two books. Way back then I was involved in publishing a magazine for children, and the book the I felt “called” to write were children’s books.  I won’t say it was easy, but it certainly wasn’t daunting.  And that was probably because I was already in the business of publishing materials for children.

I left that industry a long, long time ago and delved into the healing arts, which was by far a calling that I grudgingly went into.  Almost more than a decade later, I not only love being an energy transformational therapist – I am so grateful for having been given this gift to help others heal.

Has someone ever said that once a writer always a writer?  In my case, the love for  writing seems to be deeply ingrained in my whole being.  Now, once more, I hear the call to write a book – but what to write about?

Write the kind of stuff that really turns you on. What you enjoy reading is what you’ll enjoy writing. And it will show.  Do what you love.  Even small niches have faithful readerships.  -Lee Denning

That makes so much sense, but the problem is, what I love reading these days are books on writing.  I am trying to catch up with lost time and learn new things about the craft.

Write what you know. – Mark Twain

What I know – like the back of my hand – is energy healing. My therapy work is going very well and there are so many things I want to share with the world about energy healing.

The Overwhelming World of Publishing 

I’ve been debating with myself about this issue of writing a book on energy healing for several months now.  I’ve brainstormed on the title, and I have noted down topics that I want to discuss in the hypothetical book.

The two books for children that I wrote eons ago sold very quickly – mainly because at that time my mother’s business was selling books here in the Philippines.  And since I had been involved in the publication of a children’s magazine for sometime, I knew who to approach for the printing of the books. We had several artists working with us on the magazine, so it was just a matter of choosing one of them to do the illustrations and the book design. Everything was there – all I had to do was write.

Now,  it’s a whole new ball game.  Through the past months I’ve been reading blogs and ebooks about self-publishing and the more I read, the more I get confused and overwhelmed by the number of choices available. So I dropped all that, and on impulse followed the advice to  try crowd funding.  I set up a campaign on Indiegogo and after doing that I realized (rather belatedly) that in order to succeed at crowd funding, I should spend a lot of time networking in various social media, spread the word around and find other ways to publicize the campaign.  Where in the world would I find the time to write?

I decided to let things work themselves out as far as the crowd funding campaign is concerned.  The good that came out of putting up the crowd funding campaign was that it helped me get rid of some feelings of inadequacy – writing the campaign proposal was an eyeopener – it made me realize that I do have things to share and maybe – just maybe – some people would buy the book.

Advice From Authors

As I face the challenge of writing a book on energy healing, I look for advice on how to go about it from published authors.  If I were asked to give advice to would-be authors, the best advice I could give would be to read what other authors have to say about the process of book writing.

In “How I Wrote My First Book: The Story Behind the Story,”  edited by Anne K. Edwards and Lida E. Quillen, twenty authors unveil the back-story behind the writing of their books.  Some of the writers share their experiences as first time authors, which is very helpful indeed (the book is still free on kindle, grab it, quick!)

I think I have reached the point where I have managed to convince myself that I can and that I will write the book on energy healing.  As I wade through the usual fears that come when one chooses to face and hurdle a challenge, I continue to gain insight into the fascinating – oftentimes daunting – task of writing a book from these twenty authors.  They will be my mentors and companions along the way.

During a writer’s boot camp I attended in 2003, Orson Scott Card said something that has stuck with me ever since.  He said that before a writer can turn out worthy material, each one will generate at least one million words of pure crap. At that time, I wasn’t sure whether or not I had fished writing mine.

Writing is first about living, growing, experiencing, dreaming, and only then, if you’re very lucky, is it about creating.    —- Christine Amsden

The key to being a writer isn’t just creativity and knowing how to construct sentences.  Being a writer also entails perseverance, discipline and hard work. If you want to succeed as a writer, you have to approach it like any other job, and that means getting up from bed each morning and writing your daily quota – be that one page or ten pages.  You have to show up on the page.

One way to avoid procrastination is to write as often as possible and/or create a writing schedule.  You have to make a habit of writing.  You have to create momentum.  It’s the same with exercise.  The more you do it, the easier it will be to create a habit and honor it.  It’s easier to exercise a little everyday than only once or twice a week. Also the more you write, the better your writing will get.

You also have to turn your inner critic off.  You have to realize that all is accepted when you’re working on that first draft. That the time to edit and polish it is not now but later, once you have finished the book. You have to allow yourself to write a crappy first draft because first drafts are supposed to be just that: crappy.  The time to make your manuscript sparkle is later during the editing process.

– Mayra Calvani

Photo courtesy of Stockvault

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13 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Here’s a quote by John Gardner that’s always stuck with me, perhaps because I’ve succumbed too many times to despair:

    “There are writers who would persuade you not to go on, that everything is nonsense, that you should kill yourself. They, of course, go on to write another book while you have killed yourself.”

    Your post isn’t addressing despair, but that confusion you refer to in response to researching publishing options can have a similar paralyzing effect. Maybe we could paraphrase Gardner for out times:

    “There are writers who would persuade you not to go on, that you don’t have a big enough platform, that you’ll never be able to choose the best eBook publisher, …” etc.

    Write your book! Keep us posted! There are so many connections between energy work and writing. Even that in itself could be an interesting topic.

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  2. I am SO glad to meet you! I appreciate the healing arts. Are you familiar with Pitchford’s Healing w/ Whole Foods, even though it doesn’t sit squarely in your particular niche art? You and I have much in common. Yes, so much of ANYthing we want to see become public entails a lot of time P.R.ing. A suggestion:

    I look for advice on how to go about it from published authors.
    Perhaps…”I look for advice from published authors on how to….”

    You can blip this comment. Just meaning to help. I am so happy for the way you are marrying your love of writing and the energy work. My literary journey echoes yours in some ways, and a seed project I’m about to share with my readers is my holistic nutrition blog (yes, that’d be my 2nd). I would feel honored for your peek at the series I just finished on the writing process. Blessings.

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    • Thanks for the suggestion – I considered editing the post as you suggested – since grade school I’ve struggled with the use of direct object and indirect object. Sometimes, using indirect objects just sounds better, it goes well with the “tune” of the article. This post is so candid anyway, I’ll keep it this way.
      I haven’t heard of Pitchford’s Healing with Whole Foods, but will take a look at it. Thanks for the visit – I visited your blog and will do so again.

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  3. Pitchford adores my boy. He’s taught me so much through his book and in person.

    Sure – go with your ear. There is no indirect object in that sentence.

    Cheerleading your success in your endeavors.

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  4. Lovely post!!! Writing makes you feel good and publishing a book makes you feel great…I would love to have your views on “Writing is Wonderful” and “Top Ten Takeaways from First Book”

    Writing is bliss. Writing is harmony. Writing is satisfaction. Writing is inspiration. Writing is imagination. Writing is emotion. Writing is romance. Writing needs patience. Writing needs practice. Writing is wandering in the world of self-discovery…all encompassing and profoundly embracing.

    More on – http://nrpin.wordpress.com/2014/08/19/writing-is-wonderful/

    First Book is just a journey and once you have started it, it has to be continued and many more books needs to be created…not to get succumbed to contentment of getting your first book published, then the very creativity for which you strive for becomes the cruel casualty.

    More on – http://nrpin.wordpress.com/2014/10/22/writing-first-book-top-ten-takeaways/

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  5. Hey there,
    I actually saw your comment on a blog which directed me here. I am still wondering if you’ve stopped writing for kids. Tell me from your experience. Was it a difficult process or challenging and fun at the same time? How did the crowd funding work for you? I have merely started out, having self-published a small story for kids and am working on the next one and am thinking of crowdfunding.

    This is a wonderful article and advice is deeply appreciated,Rosanna!!

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