One of my dreams is to write a book and have it published.

Stop. Let’s start with the first part of that. Write a book. Writing a book isn’t easy, and it isn’t quick. I’m no expert, but that much I know.

First, you need to have an idea of what your story is going to be. The characters, the setting, the plot. You have to have some idea of where to start, or you’ll never get started.
Now, ideas for stories are not my problem, I’ve got several. I’m sure some of them are terrible, but a few at least probably have potential to be a novel, maybe even a series of novels.
I’ve even started writing down thoughts, character descriptions, and for one, the beginning of a detailed description of the action I picture in my head.

So. I have my idea. I’ve started writing stuff down. What’s next? It’s simple. Keep writing! Write when it’s sunny, when it’s raining. Write on lazy care-free days, and write on busy, barely enough time to breathe days. Write on days I don’t feel like writing. Write until I’ve written that story from beginning to end. Simple, but not necessarily easy.

[Warning: We have reached the end of what I think I know. Starting now, I pretty much have no idea what I’m talking about.]

And then? What’s after that? Most likely – write it again! Would the story be better told from a different perspective? Do the characters doing what they do and saying what they say make sense for the type of person they are? Are there any inconsistencies that need to be fixed? What unanswered questions are there that need to be answered? And don’t forget spelling and grammar!

Have people read it, and most likely rework it again.

And then somewhere around here I imagine I would probably feel comfortable enough to start trying to contact publishers, and working on the second part of my dream. Getting published isn’t easy either. I’m sure lots of people would recommend starting this step sooner. Or later. But at some point, it has to happen. So. Research publishers to find ones that might be interested in my type of story. Research tips and best practices from people who have successfully published a book, and learn from people in a similar spot as me. Write letters. Send letters. Wait. Hopefully receive a reply. Most likely, repeat, repeat, repeat. Maybe get some feedback and rework the story again. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

And maybe find a publisher who likes your story, probably rewrite it again, and then get your book published.

[OK, enough of me talking about things I know nothing about. Moving forward, I should have at least a little knowledge of what I’m posting.]

Now, let’s back up a minute. I said one of my dreams is to publish a book. I said nothing about a novel. What about a book of short stories, or poetry. I’ve written a few short stories. And quite a few poems. I’ve certainly thought about it. And done more than thought about it. I’ve actually taken several of my poems and organized them into something that might resemble a book of poems. I’ve asked a few people to read it, and the ones that have read it said they liked it.

So, what am I waiting for? Good question. I’d like to add some art to it, either my own, or hopefully work with someone who can draw better than I can. But still. What am I waiting for? Even if no publisher likes it and I have to start over again, so what? It would still be a start. I’d learn things about the world of publishing that I don’t know (which wouldn’t be hard at all, seeing as I know practically nothing).

There’s taking your time and making sure of your next step, and then there’s wasting time. I’d better get started, and keep moving.

There’s the dream, and then there’s the reality. And what if I do manage to get a book published? Who want’s to be a one hit wonder? (Or a one hit flop, depending.) More writing!

Good thing at least one of my dreams involves something I enjoy. The trick for me is to stay focused. Speaking of focused, maybe I should get back to the reality of my dream.

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