I’m delighted to welcome Catherine Yardley with a guest post for my stop on the blog tour organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
Here’s Catherine’s post…
How do you write a book? One word at a time.
I opened the box and held it in my hands. My book. It’s hard to describe that feeling. Getting that first draft down, the endless edits, all those highs and lows. All of that before you even send your baby out into the world. That’s a whole other stress ball.
It’s no wonder that many people feel writing a book is an insurmountable task, never mind getting it published. But it’s not.
People are impressed to find out I have written a book. Never mind when I tell them how many more I have written. Yet most things in life are hard at the beginning, every journey starts with a single step, and every book starts with one word. I believe that everyone has at least one book in them. We all live rich lives. Everyone has a story to tell. Have faith in your worth and who you are.
Ever since my book came out people ask me how I managed to write a book. The real answer is discipline. Write about what you know. Come up with an idea and then write, just a little, every day. Momentum is important. If you write three hundred words a day then that is the equivalent of sending someone an email. Don’t stop, don’t reread what you have written. Keep going until you have finished. You need around eighty thousand words for a full-length novel. That may seem like a lot but it can be done when you break it down into manageable chunks.
Good ways to fit in writing is to get up earlier or go to bed later. To do it on your lunch break. To sacrifice Netflix bingeing (though it is perfectly okay to write while watching television, everyone has their own process). If you have children I find writing when they are napping, or getting them to do crafts or watch television can give you an hour or two. If you have anyone who can take your children for a few hours so you can write then do not feel guilty at all. It is not wasted time. You are pursing your dream and it is good for your children to see that.
It is possible that what you have written isn’t great. Maybe it was a good idea that wasn’t executed well. Maybe you don’t yet have the skills to make it pacy. That’s all okay, because you learn how to write by writing and reading. The first draft I ever wrote was shockingly bad. We have all been there. Rewrite it. Read it through and make notes.
Once you have done a few drafts and can’t think how to make it better ask a trusted friend who will be honest to read through the manuscript. If they say yes then buy them something nice afterwards. It’s the least you can do.
If writing a book is something you have always wanted to do then do it. Don’t make excuses and don’t think it’s silly. There is no feeling quite like holding your book in your hands.
Thanks so much, Catherine.
A family torn apart by their father’s infidelity are forced to confront the past thirty years later. As Natalie’s younger sister, Amanda, prepares for marriage and impending motherhood, her plea for the family to reunite uncovers pent-up tension and animosity. Can they forget the past and become a family again?
Natalie’s life begins to unravel as their father starts to creep back into their lives and family tensions resurface, affecting her relationship with her boyfriend, Rob. Will the couple find their way back to each other, and can a family that has been torn apart ever heal their wounds?
Can you ever walk away from someone you love, or do some fires never die out?
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Catherine Yardley has been writing since she was in single figures. She is happiest when she is reading or writing. She writes women’s fiction because she believes women have the right to have their stories told in all of their messy glory. She is represented by Susan Yearwood She lives in London with her husband and their children. Ember is her debut novel.