An inspiring message for those of you saying – I would love to write a book this summer, how do I turn myself into an author?
If memory serves, it happened on the first day of junior high English class. My new teacher polled the class about how many books we’d each read over the summer. Going around the room, most of the answers did not appear to impress her. Then she arrived at my desk. I was prepared with my tally.
I’d kept a running log of my book purchases from Annie’s Book Stop in Drury Square across from the post office. Annie’s was my favorite place – the smell of loved, worn books, overflowing shelves, and most of all, for an avid reader, the exchange policy. Whenever you finished books, you got to swap them for credits on brand new (used) ones. Swapping old books for new ones became a significant part of my adolescent life. I gleefully kept track of the titles I’d read and told the teacher my number – I think it was around 100.
And that’s how my mom got a phone call that day, reporting that her eldest daughter had a fibbing problem, or at the least, an over exaggeration problem. The teacher told her the number of books I’d claimed to have read over the summer.
“Would you like a list of the titles?” my mother, always my staunch defender, asked matter of factly. She then relayed to my new English teacher the tales of our frequent trips to Annie’s Book Stop.
Making Summer Memories
What are your associations and memories with summer, as a kid and now as a grown-up? What about the past two summers?
How are you?
So many of us, as we’re frequently seeing in social media posts, are “not okay.” How can we be expected to think about our author goals right now?
Picture that book you’re thinking of writing, and the journey you’ll go on to write it. The story of you that is inevitably at the center of that book, can and will, help you make sense of all this. Whatever “this” is for you.
The writing process in itself is a mixture of identifying life’s puzzle pieces, putting them under an electron microscope, and then seeing how they fit together. Even when sometimes some of them don’t immediately fit.
Writing, especially writing a memoir (or anything like it) doesn’t always answer all the whys, but at least it lets them out of the dark confusion of your head into the light for closer examination. I see it every day with my book coaching clients as they navigate the process of writing their book. To say that writing a book, writing a memoir or anything like it, is life changing – is an understatement. Check out some of the journey highlights from the people who have done it – they’ll tell you.
If I didn’t think writing a book would help you, I wouldn’t be helping people do it for a living and I wouldn’t be having this conversation with you right now.
How to Turn Yourself Into an Author
We could review my usual teaching topics, namely, Habits & Book Blueprinting. I talk about that stuff a lot. Type any of those words into the handy dandy search bar on the right side of this page and you’ll get plenty of reading material on those vital elements of writing and finishing writing a great book.
Instead, here are some questions and thinking topics to help prep your book writing mindset to commit to your bigger book writing purpose.
Why YOUR book?
What difference can YOU make by writing it?
What WHYs can your book help answer for others, or at least free into the light?
How can your words offer comfort?
How can your book be a voice, even a small one, in a confused, overwhelmed world?
We can do it – we get to do it. We can take the next step beyond thoughts and prayers and screaming to the heavens “why???” We can turn ourselves into authors, into voices of compassion, empathy, healing, more.
And we don’t have to do this necessarily with a “big idea.” We can do it simply by talking, sharing our stories, and encouraging others to examine theirs.
And if somehow, this act of courage, this act of writing a book doesn’t seem like enough… well, it’s a starting point. It’s a something. And reflected in the eyes of someone who needs it – it might be everything. Work from there, work from that humble, well intentioned starting point, rather than what many of us try to do, and working backward from an international bestseller.
Would love to write a book this summer? Go for it! Why not create some positive, inspiring memories and long-term impact this summer? That might be a nice change of pace right now.
PS: New here? Nice to meet you! Here’s a bit about me and why I’m so passionate about helping you write your book.