Overwhelming is the perfect word to describe my list of books to read. Do you ever walk into a bookstore or library and think ‘Oh my goodness, look at how many novels I have to read’?
This thought really does me no favors, especially once someone learns of my degrees (I currently hold an MA in publishing and a BA in English).
People react in one of two ways. The first usually consists of them bringing up their current favorite book. This could be a classic, a rare and unheard of indie book or a top selling commercial books that I ‘just have to’ read.
That is when the guilt sets in, some English major I am. What happened to reading a book a day Jacque? You failure! And so my list grows.
The second way a person reacts is by beginning a discussion on their book idea, or the novel they are currently writing.
I am going to disenchant you all right now, everyone has a book to sell. EVERYONE!
This isn’t a bad thing, sometimes people do have wonderful books hidden away inside of them just waiting to burst out… but people have entire careers centered around literature and writing it, it’s not as simple as you think it is. So yes, maybe you do have a book, but should you really be talking about it with me yet?
I use ‘yet’ because I generally like to read anything and everything, and I generally like to help people with it. No matter how bad the writing (I think it’s because of how much I generally hate bad writing).
However, I don’t like for my time to be wasted. You can’t just sit at your keyboard and write, no matter how many college papers you passed with this technique. Go over it, fine tune it, research grammar and plot techniques, read about your target market, read the books in the same genre as your book, fact check it, edit it over and over. A novel isn’t something that comes easy, it’s your child and you have to raise it to maturity people. I am just the babysitter, not the parent.
With that said, think of all the millions of stories yet to be written, and the millions that have been! Yup, I better get focused and start now, otherwise I’ll never catch up.