The Crimson Five series

Things You Do Not Need to Write a Book

 A gorgeous office, a cute coffee shop, a fancy computer program, a literary agent… or permission from anyone. I wrote my first two unpublished books with a pencil on notebooks like these, and then retyped the chapters onto a Word doc on my ancient desktop computer.

I wrote all three of my published (or soon-to-be published) books in my living room (with my laptop propped up on my lap) sitting in an old green recliner.

I had no fancy office—or any office for that matter. But I still got my stories written. In the early years, no one knew what I was working on, except me. I liked it that way. I didn’t want anyone telling me that my dream was foolish or out of reach.

If you have the notion to write a book you don’t need much. Just an idea, a notebook & a pencil or a computer, and the obscene desire and determination to make your dream come true. If you have those things, the rest will follow. Just believe you can do it and you will.

When I started writing seriously, I had no idea if my writing was good enough. I had no idea if I would ever get a literary agent. I had no idea if my books would ever sell. And I certainly had no idea if anyone other than me would read them or like them!

In fact, back then, I would have given anything for real feedback… someone (anyone who knew what they were talking about) to tell me that I had even a speck of talent and should keep going. But at that point I had never even heard of critique partners or writing groups. I had no idea they were even a thing. So, I just kept writing. All in hopes that the stuff above would happen.

I wrote and wrote and wrote because I truly loved it. It was my thing. It made my heart happy. I loved my stories and that was enough. I didn’t have connections. I didn’t know any literary agents. I didn’t even know how to write. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart. My writing was bad. Really bad. Like, when I read my early work now, I am positive that the fifth graders I write for have more skill than I did then. But I didn’t let that stop me.

Why?

Because I really wanted it. I wanted to be an author. I wanted to see my books on bookstore and library shelves. I wanted to write stories that kids read. I wanted them to love those stories as much as I did. So, I kept writing with just my notebooks, laptop, and a crazy determination that I could do this.

Now, as of a few months ago, I have an office. I have a desk, a prettier chair, and walls to hang pictures. Pictures of my book covers! And let me tell you, that reality has not sunk in yet. At all. But today as I write my sixth book, one that I hope will be published one day too, there are still things I do not need. I don’t need this office. I don’t need a coffee shop like you see in the movies. I don’t need Scrivener. I need the same things I’ve always needed:

…an idea, a pencil & notebook, and a laptop. And, an obscene desire and determination that I can do this again.

If you have these things, just know it is possible. And there’s at least one person out there who believes you can do it… me!

So, let’s hear it! Are any of you writing a book? If you are, yayyy! Is it for adults? YA or Middle Grade? Nonfiction? A picture book? Romance or whatever? Let me know. I miss my cheerleading days and I’d love to cheer for you!

Pop the Bronze Balloon is up for pre-order: Click here for details!