In this series, we’ve been tackling common reasons most aspiring authors never get their masterpiece published. As a wife, mom, grad student and former high school teacher, I completely empathize with those who feel they don’t have time to write. I said the same thing until I realized that even with a pretty packed schedule, I could still pull it off.
I’m even guilty of thinking that with a limited budget, there was no way I’d be able to publish my masterpiece. There are actually different ways to get around this, but most importantly you need to know how to manage your money properly.
Just recently, I was also guilty of believing the next myth. I came up with what I thought was an AH-MAZING book idea, and so I did my research and found out someone else had actually written my book idea. This left me feeling like I had nothing new to say, but Author and Clarity Coach Alisha Nicole gave me a revelation that completely changed my thinking.
Now, this brings us to our last myth. I have come across a few people who have fantastic book ideas, but when I ask them about following through and writing about it, they come back with “Oh, I’m not a good writer.” And you know what I say? That’s a bunch of bologna! There are countless individuals who have published books and have no idea when to use a semicolon and have never heard of a comma splice. So, let’s shake that excuse, and move on to what you should do!
Take a course
If you would like to improve your writing, I suggest taking a course at your local college or university. You can take a creative writing course if you would like to hone in on those skills or even a technical writing or fiction writing course. You can also find some pretty affordable classes online at Udemy.
Hire an editor
As a recovering perfectionist, I understand how difficult it can be to slave over your writing, and still feel like it’s just not good enough for anyone else to read. But you know what? If I gave in to that feeling, I would have never published 11 Ways to JumpStart Your Thinking. It would have remained a file hidden away on my computer.
As a writer, our job is to get our message out there, and hopefully touch a life or two in the process. Once we have our story written, then it’s time to hire a qualified editor to help make our story bookshelf (or Kindle store) ready. There are different types of editors. Some editors provide line editing, proofreading, or copy edit editing services.
Line editors are what I like to equate to that high school or college professor that butchers your hard work in that infamous red pen. Line editors will look at your manuscript line by line. They will analyze your work for structure, syntax, word choice, etc. By the time this editor is done, it may feel like you have a new book, and it can be scary for people like us recovering perfectionists. However, line editors know how to really give your manuscript the polish that it truly needs to be bookshelf ready.
Proofreading simply means the editor will provide a light edit. This is usually done in the last round of editing (yes, it’s a good idea to get your work revised more than once!), as the editor will read over everything and check for minor errors, including spelling, grammar, and spacing issues.
Copy editors will generally follow the Chicago Manual of Style and make sure your manuscript follows the proper grammar and punctuation rules. The difference between a copy editor and line editor is that the copy editor will not focus much on changing your style or reshaping your story like a line editor would.
It’s so easy to focus on why we can’t do something, isn’t it? I hope that after going through this series, you now feel your excuses for writing your first nonfiction book have been debunked. If you’d like additional help with coming up a book idea and turning it into a manuscript, I invite you to join me tomorrow for a live, virtual workshop where I will teach you exactly what I did to publish my first book.
Comment below if you have any additional questions about the workshop or about any additional things that are holding you back from writing your first nonfiction book!