Questions for a Life Story Writer

Q: They say you need to write if you know the world will be better off for your effort. What is it about your story that made you believe it should be written?

“I am not so arrogant as to think the world is a better place for my having written a book but I do think England stands proud because of my effort. My story is a snapshot in time about country life in England and as is so often the case much has already changed within the community. That fact alone validates my endeavor and the product.”

Q: Self-belief can be a big problem for writers. How did you stay confident that you were good enough to write your book?

“I never questioned whether I was ‘good enough’ to write a book but I did know I could try. With over 115, 000 books published in the UK in 2007 I knew there must be room for mine.”

Q: It’s easy to procrastinate, to blame writers’ block and to put off finishing your project. How did you keep yourself motivated?

“I found writing to be an enjoyable process, one that I looked forward to. The difficulty of course is to eliminate the clutter from your life during this process. By that I mean chores, worry and engagements that are not absolutely necessary. Stay focused and you will stay motivated. Finally, I kept a copy of another author’s book within eyesight of my computer. It was a dreadful read; however knowing she could get published was incentive enough for me.”

Q:   Who do you think will read your book? What made you think there was a market for it?

“I researched my non-fiction category, my competitors and those books that were successful and more importantly authors who were under contract to write sequels. You must follow the trail so to speak. If you do that you will find your market but you must do your homework first.”

Q:  It does not matter how good a book is or how good your writing is if no one knows about it. What steps have you taken to promote your book? Are you a speaker? Do you have a blog, a website or a newsletter? Do you use Facebook?

“Writing a book and promoting a book take different talents. I found the latter more exhausting as the burden of promotion in today’s world falls heavily on the author. ‘Yes’ to Facebook, ‘no’ to having a blog and newsletter as they take an enormous amount of time, ‘yes’ to creating a YouTube video and a big ‘yes’ to a website as well as linking up to those of other writers. The unexpected consequence of getting published is public speaking. A necessary evil to some and pure enjoyment to others. Either way be prepared and do it. It has opened many doors for me – including cruise ship lecturing.”

Q:  What was your biggest challenge regarding the writing of your book? How have you overcome that?

“The biggest challenge regarding the writing of my book was to keep it ‘tight’ which required constant hoovering up of superfluous words. Once deleted they are never missed. Trust me.”

Q:  I believe that getting feedback is important to help you recognize when your writing is good and to find ways of making it even better. How did you get feedback on your work?

“This is a personal matter. If you have literate friends, and I do, you will want to involve them in the editing process but do so at your peril. The real learning curve however comes from your editor. Nothing can replace a professional opinion.”

Q:  If you were to give advice to someone else who is thinking about writing their life story what would be your number one tip?

“You have nothing to lose but your time. Do it!”