Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Novel Approach to Birthing Your Book

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
~ W. Somerset Maugham

Somerset Maugham may have been talking about fiction. But, for me, that statement applies to the birth of any book. And it's no surprise that I love that quote, given how perfectly it supports my first "rule" for birthing your book...

1. There are no rules.
This is the one rule that never changes. No matter what you’re writing or revising, the only unqualified certainties are that flow is fluid, your creation is unique and your book writes its own rules. Truly, there is no universal right or wrong way. There is only your way, the way of your book.

• Can you surrender to the higher wisdom of your story and its characters?
• Can you follow your book wherever it takes you, even if that direction seems to make no sense?
• Can you trust that your book knows its story/theme/content better than you ever will?
• Can you, as does Isabel Allende, give up your need to know why you've been called to a particular story or book? She says she rarely knows why she's writing a book until months after it's been published.
• Can you forego control and let your book and your muse be in charge of your creative journey?

If you need help birthing your book and you're in New Mexico, check out my upcoming workshop, Birthing Your Book...Even If You Don't Know What It's About.

And if you're not able to make it to the workshop, check out my super-discounted rates for private coaching -- part of my moving-to-LA celebrations!

Rule for birthing your book adapted from The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write. (c) 2008 Mark David Gerson

Image of Somerset Maugham from Somerset Maugham's Ten Best Novels of The World

1 comment:

Kevin Lehmann said...

Touche! Mark. I'm with you . . . let the book be your guide. Good advice.