Where do you start?
My assumption is that this is something you are already doing. You have been writing and you have a body of work you want to publish. If you are not writing, you are not a writer. This is not for people who say “I really want to write a book about…” some day in the undefined future.
Writing may be cathartic therapy for you. It may be sharing the weirdness of life. It may be the best part of self-examination. You may like telling stories. There are unlimited reasons, but you write—and you write regularly. For some, quality means quantity is limited. For other people it’s more like non-stop streamofconsciousness. Often, writing is an outgrowth of teaching and preparing classes, seminars, sermons to be taught.
In a real way, writing is who you are
If this is not true, I would question why you are even thinking about self-publishing. One little story, teaching, sermon, anecdote, or tutorial is rarely enough for you to even seriously consider self-publishing. For this is hard work and must be taken seriously.
This is for people who have done a lot of writing. You may have a lot of the book written, or a completed book. You want to get it published so you can share what you have written. This is for the rabbi who is constantly writing teachings, columns, blogs, and the like. This is for the teacher who is constantly writing handouts, lesson plans, and curriculum. This is for the conference speaker who wants to leave his thoughts with the audience. The storyteller has stories that will explode out of existence if not published. The list goes on.
So, this is the free lunch
Nope! For me—even with my skills, training, and background [40 years or so]—it takes work, perseverance, and a willingness to take risks and simply put my stuff out there for the world to see. I’m certain that is different for you. I’d like to hear your stories. This is not simple or even easy, but it is fun. You need to find your routine. I write two to six hours a day, six days a week as my normal practice. When I was teaching full-time, I wrote an hour and a half every morning.
You will need to develop your own routine. But as I mentioned, I am certain you already have done this. You will need to do some additional reading, studying, and practicing as you turn the corner into professionalism. It is not instant success. This would be the type of thing to start in your first year of college or grad school—hoping you will have become a producing writer by the time you graduate.
Reality orientation: But let’s face it, children don’t normally have the foresight to do something like this—in most cases. In fact, there is little cause to inflict the kingdom or the world with immature work. By the time you are considering doing something like what we are discussing, you are commonly well on the way to maturity. It takes experience [and character] to produce anything worth sharing. Both are requirements. I’ve been too short on character to produce anything of merit until very recently [the last decade or so].
It also takes time to learn how to write, how to communicate clearly, how to convert the vision you’ve been given, adding the nuts and bolts required to work in reality. I’ve just begun this—passing from production worker to craftsman has been painful (at least within me it has). This is grown-up work (no matter what your actual physical age is).
It’s a great life!
- What Kind of Training Do You Need to Publish a Novel? From the writing side (advancedfictionwriting.com)