Often, when people find out I have books published, they say something like, “Oh, I used to really like writing when I was at school. I should try and write a book.”
And I always say something like, “Well, you should totally do that then. It’s awesome.”
So here the thing. I don’t know what it’s like to not be a writer. Even when I wasn’t a published author, I was a writer. It’s something I’ve done since before I can actually remember—my mum still has the mouse poem I wrote for my nan when I was four—so I can’t actually remember ever being at all daunted by the idea of writing a book.
Editing one, yeah.
Publishing one. Hell, yeah.
Promoting it in public without giggling because holy crap, I wrote a book and people actually want to read it!!!! Um, I’ll get back to you when I’ve mastered that.
Anyway, in my admittedly totally unreasoned opinion, as long as writing is something you enjoy then there is no reason for you to not do it. It’s cheap. You only need a pen and a notebook, but, really, who doesn’t have a computer these days? It’s easier than ever before, thanks to the internet, to connect to other writers, to critique groups, to beta readers and editors and publishers.
For years and years and years I’d worried that what I was writing wasn’t good enough. I was too scared to submit it anywhere to find out. But, guess what? When I finally got my act together and summoned up the courage to approach a publisher, and they liked it, right on the heels of my surprise and delight came actual regret: Wow. I wish I’d done this ten years ago.
Basically, if there’s a story inside that you’d like to tell, then tell it. Don’t wait for permission. Don’t wait for someone to tell you to do it. Just give it your best shot, and see what happens.
My advice about writing is simply this: If you want to write a book, do it.
There’s a big difference between writing a book and actually having something that’s ready to be published, but why not take that first step and see where it gets you?
What have you got to lose?