Here, I introduce you to my process of designing and building your first book. It’s not biophysics, which I did for years, and it’s not celestiophysics, which I study to this day. And it’s not a silly gimmick. This method of writing your first book is tried and true and it works effectively for many different types and styles of new and upcoming writers. I’ve used it to teach students individually and in groups, both privately and in university settings.
This method details the art of sharing a story from your heart and soul, and designing and shaping it into what will become your first book.
Trust me: if a regular guy like me can do it, so can you.
I’m no genius, so it’s not about having a high IQ or EQ or [Fill In The Blank]Q to understand my method or implement the exercises in this book. You don’t need a degree in English or Literature or Creative Writing to do it. You don’t need a literary agent or manager or a publisher who has heard your great idea about your book and has decided to invest in it. You don’t need to be financially wealthy or have countless hours of time on your hands.
And you don’t have to be a Conan Doyle or Hemingway or Kipling. You need one secret ingredient: YOU.
Here’s another secret: you need a burning passion inside you and day-to-day discipline to complete a rough draft of your first book.
Sounds simplistic, huh?
It’s not. In fact, it is far from simplistic or even simple: it will take a continuous input of strong, positive energy on your part to do this book project. Hard work isn’t hard unless you make it a drudgery. Hard comes into play when you procrastinate or think negative thoughts or dread the process of writing your first book, leading to little or no work done. There are enough excellent resources here in this energy-packed book to assist you in writing your first book.
Are you up to it? Do you have what it takes to dream a story or take one you’ve already thought about for years, perhaps, put it into a logical and telling and gripping format for intended readers, and get it out there so people can enjoy the fruits of your artful labor?
This book is for those of you have or are interested in acquiring these necessary tools and who are willing to use them to design and build a beautiful story . . . your first book.
Every year, thousands of new books are published by many different traditional New York and international trade publishing companies, some small independent publishing companies, and also self-published authors.
According to the latest statistics on publishing, there are now more books published independently by authors themselves than by all the traditional trade-publishing companies combined, and only now are the big trade publishing companies discovering this fact. They have instituted their own “self-publishing” offshoots to attract people just like you. Face it: they know you have the power to do it all on your own, but they prefer you do it with them so they can earn the lion’s share of the profit. Your profit. Oops, I don’t want to discourage you from getting into business with the big publishing companies, as they may very well be the ones that buy your first book and make you a million bucks.
This is a significant metric, the one described above, and you should take note of what it really says: more and more writers out there are doing whatever it takes to write their book(s) and getting them out into the mainstream or to a select audience. And they’re willing to do it on their own. At least at first, with some of them later allowing the big firms to publish their artwork and take over all the marketing, advertising and PR work, which is a whole different beast, especially for a writer/author.
The majority of authors I’ve talked with tell me they started with an idea and then simply got right to it, writing the first draft, editing it until it had a high shine, then polishing it to a gleaming brightness. These authors are in the minority, though. If you’re not one of them, please do not despair or fret. Not everyone is the same. Be patient; with persistence you’ll get there.
Just so you know: I wasn’t one of those authors, either. I had to work my buns off, pull out all my hair, lose the shirt off my back, spin my wheels and go batty before I could write my first book, and that was back in 1992. It paid off, though, and I ended up producing an international bestselling coffee-table book, TOPGUN Miramar, printed in English, French and German and sold in dozens of countries worldwide. It still sells for up to $1,500 in some circles. Yes, it was worth all the effort.
My aim with How To Write Your First Book is to reach people who already know how to tell a great story, whether among family and friends in small settings or in front of a large audience doing stand-up comedy.
With one hitch: they have not yet tried to write it or have failed in first attempts, because of stumbling blocks along the way, personal insecurities, whatever. I wrote How To Write Your First Book as simple and as short as I could, leaving out all the fluff that typically accompanies other writing books because a publisher wants 300 or 400 pages and the author is compelled to fill every one of them. I will not apologize for the repetition here, though, because that’s how we learn things best of all. Hopefully, I’ll not drive you nuts trying to hammer home the most important points of this whole process. If I do and you need money for your visit to the insane asylum, I’ll refund your money 100%.
My aim also is to pack as much high-density information and intel into one small volume that is friendly, conversational, readable and accessible. Oh, and I use repetition to hammer home my points. Didn’t I mention this somewhere above? Same method as our teachers used on us in kindergarten and grade school. Why? Because it works so well. Okay, enough repetition on repetition.
Typical books on the subject of writing a book are often superfluous. A textbook or self-help book should contain only the minimum amount of information and material necessary to get the message across. Nothing more.
Except repetition of key points!
I wrote this book in the spirit of another book I rewrote (edited heavily), Sun Tzu The Art of War. Academicians and historians have their own 300-page versions of The Art of War, all filled with superfluous “insights” and “interpretations” of what Sun Tzu originally wrote 2,500 years ago. I used the best possible translation from one of the original scrolls, and stripped it down to its essence in only 50 pages. That’s what Sun Tzu preached: less is more; the simpler, the better; anything beyond what is necessary is merely a distraction.
How To Write Your First Book is The Art of War for aspiring writers and authors.
If you can tell a story verbally, then you have the unique power to write one or speak it into a voice or video recorder for later transcription. It doesn’t matter how you get the story onto paper, as long as you pull it out of your head and get it into a computer or onto a ream of paper. Just get it out and into the form of a rough first draft, something beautiful you will edit and polish in good time.
Something to keep in mind, too: writing a book isn’t about writing, it’s about sharing your story and getting it down on paper, real or virtual. When you actually write your first book, your conscious self is just the typist, or as I like to say, the executive assistant to a six-year-old CHILD, your Inner CHILD or subconscious. CHILD is an acronym I’ll describe in an upcoming chapter. For now, know that you are embarking on a journey of self-discovery here, and diving into a whole new universe of possibilities and probabilities that will take you further than you ever thought, dreamed or fantasized. And it will be your subconscious that leads the way. Be patient, because there’s more to follow on this unique and mysterious entity.
Allow me to bring you back to earth for a moment: if your conscious self has bones about becoming a great author someday, it is flat wrong. There’s a whole different entity inside you that will become this great author, and you will have the distinction of having assisted this other entity (Inner CHILD). Again, more to follow on this subject, your subconscious.
First and foremost, this book you are reading right now was written by me: I have used the methods described here for decades in my own writing/editing, and have directly produced (as a ghostwriter) or assisted in producing (as an editor) some excellent results: multiple New York Times bestsellers for other people, plus some really good books that didn’t earn status on a bestseller list but made a lot of people happy.
I’ve also taught formal classes and seminars on how to write your first book, plus mentored other bestselling authors in their professional careers.
In short, I know my art and I know how to show others how to tap into it, plus I have a unique method that gets strong, positive results.
There are dozens of good books out there on how to write a book, and they sell well. Most people, especially beginning writers, don’t actually implement them because the techniques do not consider something we have used all our lives: a simple building-block approach to writing. Not one single book espouses this basic method, although some discuss it using large brush strokes.
Those books currently on the market also show you all the ins and outs of design and layout of a book, advertising, marketing, getting PR, contacting agents and book publishers. In short, they seem to hand you the whole enchilada in one little microwavable package. Quite overwhelming, you ask me. It’s all slick and it looks appetizing and it sells books and makes authors a lot of cash. But does it really taste good?
Does it, in fact, work for beginning writers?
Not for me. I tried some of those methods a long time ago and none worked for me, so I designed and built my own, based on what I knew about how human beings learned things and gained knowledge about a novel concept or subject—from the ground up, using small steps and lots of repetition. Lots of repetition. Repetition. As an aside, when I was in the US Army (Airborne Ranger) with the 1st Ranger Battalion, we used to train endlessly, doing the same things over and over again. Repetition. So when we finally got to the live-fire exercises, all our actions and behaviors were automatic. Plus they were smooth and fast. Very efficient.
So if I offend you with my repetition, please ask for a full refund. If Amazon or Barnes & Noble doesn’t give you one, I will because I believe in my approach to writing a book.
More about those other types of books: those authors already assume you know how to start your book, that you understand how to write it, or they just don’t care at all. They make a lot of assumptions and, in the end, first-time writers eventually give up before they actually start writing their first book. I’ve seen this countless times, read it in forums, feedback from my classes and seminars, emails and other correspondence from my students and from other instructors’ students. And people share with me directly all the time when they learn I’m a successful writer/author and editor of many books.
By the way, the difference between a writer and author is simple: an author is published. This is not meant to disparage the term writer at all. We all start somewhere and, in this business of writing, we start out as students, proceed to becoming writers, then go on to publish books as authors.
Most beginning writers are frustrated at the fact that no one shows them how to actually write their first book, how to start with a single building block, add a few more in time, then build things up until they have a completed first draft of their first book.
The greatest failure of all the other writing books out there is the same failure of all the other philosophies out there: no one has considered the human subconscious and the fact it is in direct contact with the Universe. It is the subconscious that guides us and helps us make the right decisions in life, and it is the entity that will write your first book. No, I’m not kidding so please do not dismiss me outright. Hear me out, please.
My philosophy of Subism is all about connecting and communicating directly with the greatest entity in the, well, Universe and beyond via celestiophysics, which is the physics of the Universal bodies and how they mediate and modulate all geophysical and biophysical events, actions, behaviors on Mother Earth.
Don’t worry, this book is not about my new philosophy or celestiophysics. It is about how to write your first book, using the building-block approach to writing and also encouraging your subconscious to assist in writing the book for you.
We are taught that we use only a small percentage of our brain. That’s a big pile of poo. While our conscious self, the “bus driver” in each of us, may use a small part of different regions of its physical brain, our subconscious uses 99.999% of our brain all the time, gathering valuable information from the world immediately external to our physical bodies, processing this intel, making sense of it, and ultimately using it to help us personally in our daily lives.
Life does not produce things that are wasteful. There’s no such thing as appendages that aren’t used for anything, like a third arm or leg, nor are there biophysical systems within our bodies that are ignored, dormant or, again, not used. There are some dormant enzymes and so-called “junk” DNA that appear to be dormant, but these two items are the exception. Besides, junk DNA isn’t junk at all. It has a definite purpose and that purpose is to support the human subconscious and its connections with the Universe.
We’ve been taught a pack of lies about the above subjects, but this book is not about rebutting those lies. I will tell you this: our brain is the most wonderful, beautiful and complex unit in our known Universe, and we’re almost completely clueless about it.
You don’t have to know how to build characters or a story to write your first book. You will learn these steps as you go along, especially if you’re writing a novel. Other books, teachers, classes, etc. try to scare people with the notion that writing a book is hard. It’s not hard unless you make it hard. Writing a good book is a challenge, though, especially if you’ve not done it before. But writing your first book isn’t like going to the moon, so please see it as I and other successful writers and authors have: with the right tools, it is doable.
All you need do is to get the story out of your head first and onto paper, real or virtual. Everyone can tell a story of some kind, and if you can tell a story that keeps people’s attention, you can learn how to write it down in a reasonably coherent fashion so people will want to read it. Hearing something is easy, because it takes less energy. All you do is open your ears to a sound, a displacement of air molecules, and your ears receive and channel the vibrations down to your eardrum, which is attached to a few little bones that further the transmission that eventually gets transduced into an electrical signal that goes to the brain for further processing.
Reading is a whole different beast: it takes energy unlike simply listening to a story.
Here’s another secret: writing isn’t about writing.
Writing is about expressing yourself, whether it’s some deep, hidden secret about something inside you or maybe some cool recipes for things you love to cook. Writing is only a tool of communication to do what you love or wish to do: share your unique information with others.
How To Write Your First Book is only one method of many out there. If you are the type of person who likes to design things from the ground up, first building a firm foundation then using sturdy building blocks to create the remaining structure, then this book is for you. Letters first, then words, then sentences, then conversation. We learn starting out small and then building on the small, creating something larger and meaningful.
How To Write Your First Book uses just this type of approach.
If you’ve tried other methods and they didn’t work for you, please try this one, cover to cover, taking advantage of all the information and diligently performing all the exercises. After all, you paid good hard-earned money for it! Please see it as a sound investment.
If you quit halfway through, you’ll never know if it could’ve worked for you. Once you start How To Write Your First Book, please finish it. But also please indulge yourself 100%, knowing you may just learn something very important about how to write your first book . . . that you are, in fact, capable of doing it, from first page to last and, eventually, from cover to cover.
How To Write Your First Book is for anyone and everyone, regardless of age, gender, race, etc. but it must be read, understood, assimilated and implemented to get the benefits. If you’re not a reader, then please make an exception here and read this book to gain the full benefits, or have someone special read it to you. Think of this book as a short set of directions for building something special to you, maybe a bookcase or, for the truly adventurous ones, a new home.
Everyone has at least one book in them, probably many, and anyone who can tell a good story can write a good, if not great, book.
For the moment, let me leave you with this thought, something that sums up the entire process of storytelling and writing your first book: writing is a million-dollar experience, shoved up your hiney bumper a nickel at a time.
I’m showing you how to write your first book, to bring you closer to that analogy above—a million dollars. But it’s only there in concept. You must do the work to earn it. It’s not simply handed to you. I also like to demonstrate this by showing the difference between freedom and liberty:
Freedom is like having a million dollars and never spending it. Liberty is actually going out there, exercising your freedom, and spending that million dollars. Liberty is freedom in motion. So is writing. Writing is like having a chance at a million dollars. Authoring, becoming a published writer, is actively using your power to make it happen.