Now that I'm getting out and meeting people at book signings, I'm constantly hearing how they wish that they could write a book. I say, just do it, don't wish for it. Anyone can write a book. Now, getting it published and sold are something else, but the first step is to get the book written. It can never get to those other stages if it is a bunch of ideas floating in your head.
I think there is a great reward just from writing the book, even if it is never published. If someone makes a quilt, are they disappointed if it doesn't make the front cover of a quilting magazine? No. They are proud of their accomplishment and feel they have something to show for the time and love that they put into it. Writing a book is the same thing.
I must confess that I used to spend a lot of my spare time playing computer games. I finally realized, though, that after I finished a game I had nothing to show for all that time spent. Once I got hooked on writing, I found it to be just as addicting and satisfying AND I had something to show when I was done.
It doesn't matter if the book can't be read or understood by anyone else. The first draft of The Dragon War Relic is pretty laughable (and not in a good way), but I learned so much from the process. In fact, I'm kind of curious to go back and read that first draft, but I'm afraid I might become nauseated.
Once I had hammered through my first book, then a lot of the writing advice and books that I had read started to make sense. When I read them before writing, they helped a little, but I couldn't understand a lot of what they were talking about. Afterwards, I would reread some of them and they would suddenly become clear.
So, don't wish to be an author, be one. Don't worry about it being perfect. What would happen if an Olympic gymnast decided they would never do the parallel bars until they knew they could do them perfectly? They would never learn.
Next time, I'll explore some ideas on writing strategies.