How To Write Your First Book…

Google the title of this blog entry and hundreds of pages of blogs, articles, and books pop up to show you how to become an author.  And, if you are anything like me, you’ve tried to read them all, so I won’t add all the advice that you can get from a Google search on this blog. I’ll just tell you how it is for me—hopefully giving you a bird’s eye view of my journey will add insight into yours.

Without further ado …

I was working in an assisted living facility in Mechanicsburg and attending nursing school when I decided to seriously give my writing a chance. I believe it was March, but it could have been April, all I know for certain was that my first clinical semester was coming to a close and I was complete wreck.  I was so stressed out, anxious, and exhausted, I couldn’t give you an accurate timeline of events, because I had no idea whether I was coming or going in those days.

I ran on autopilot. “Just keep going,” I remember saying to myself often, “Julie, just keep going!”

However, I was stuck! I’d get home from work around midnight and sit at the computer until 2 a.m. struggling to complete my assignment for the next clinical day. I’ll never forget sitting at my small desk in the middle of the night, crying my eyes out. My son, who was about fourteen years old, came out of his room to go to the bathroom and overheard my tears. He came over to me, wiped my eyes , and then asked me the most important question ever posed to me.

“Mom, why are you going to school to be a nurse when all you do is write?”

Out of the mouths of babes, right! That question floored me and I spent the rest of the semester wondering the same thing.  My first novel, “Strawberry Mansion” was a collection of tattered notes stored in a shoe box. It took a lot of prayer to get it together because the story was semi-autobiographical and connected to a lot of old pain. It took me a long while to gain the courage to write it but when I got started, really started, I couldn’t stop. I wrote every day or every other day and I filled up note books until I got a free day with my laptop to spend at a bookstore. I can’t describe in totality the feeling of completing your first book. I’ll just say that it lies somewhere in between a cataclysmic orgasm and giving birth to a human being. Hell maybe I can describe it 🙂

The process gets a little easier as I began to crank out books rather consistently, but it’s not a cake walk, and it’s definitely not for the weak willed writer. You cannot finish a book without self-discipline and commitment.  You can read everything you want on the subject, but it will not get done until you do it. BUTT IN CHAIR AND HANDS ON KEYS.


Until next time Julia Press Simmons Author/Publisher

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