How to write a book

I keep coming across these articles, “How do I become a writer?” “How does one write a novel?” and they are often answered by these successful types; begrudging, following ten years of waiting to be asked; along the lines, “I get asked that question all of the time and the truth is, I’m just hell of a lucky … meeting deadlines … no excuses in this day of word processors for spelling or grammatical error” … (No room in their spirit for courage or conviction) so let me tell you.

Forget pride, forget publishers, forget money; hold your pen in your hand and stream thoughts onto page. Denounce success, clasp fear and put one foot in front of the other: with every ounce of I am carefully place your thoughts, feeling and emotions onto every page.

Textures born rhythm, tonal and hindsight awakening foresight; relive with little courage to tell the tale in your own words; narrative falling into place developing structure, collective thought – grounding, only your reader will believe in. Keep one foot in front of the other; pick back up that pen and write because that’s all you are.

Forget MacBook’s or egos, or scarves, for swanning around is not how it’s done; leave him behind to go on about writers block and metaphor – the kind of man who has a beautiful daughter but there doesn’t seem to be any genetic link. He has confused a love of reading with writing.

All of your confidence gashed over coffee on a daily basis. Allow loneliness to take you in, you won’t be involved in much else for a very long time.

Asking for help and advice, she is going to divulge tidbits about, “writing what you know” and shroud them in “iconoclast” and “vision” attempting to bring you down,  “99% of all books published sell fewer than 100 copies.”

You are spiralling incalescence from thought to the tip of your pen. You are a writer. You are flying!  She will again spur you, “all characters require obsession” but she does not know, she goes home at night and her husband does not fuck her anymore.

Boycott punctuation, screw spelling, omit conditions of xyz, these people confuse experience for existence. Naivety as passion exposes the frauds of formula.

One foot in front of the other, let haters hate spur you on – drink too much coffee, and forgo possession into cash exchange franchise. Champion your own cause, only you will make it happen. And remember, half of your favourite bands probably can’t read sheet music so why do you need a degree in English Lit?

Maturing: textures and notions, leading to an understanding, veering on grounding a moral compass, meet moments of worthwhile, “I wrote that paragraph and I feel it will mean as much for my reader as it does me.” counter balance to inner fear.

It’s your understanding, its your life, your world you are building where thoughts inhabit characters, and my only tip is that you do not allow them to speak the same, else familiarise yourself with those characters in soap operas who not only wear the same makeup and have their hair styled at the same salon, but share exact volume and unnatural focus.

And just then, when you are finished and ready and more than a year has passed; take a week off as reward – there are easily three more years to go.

This is your humanity and its non negotiable, you are majestic to your audience while you live and breath as narrator, interpreting and embodying each one of their souls; both character and reader.




“I am a writer, around 54 copies sold so far.”

Paul Cathcart, Author of ‘Persona non grata with diabetes.’