I hear it all the time from my students and at the seminars and workshops I lead. The writers that I work with are excited to work with a “real” writer. Most people define a “real” writer as one who is published. Therefore I, with three published novels and innumerable newspaper and magazine articles under my belt, certainly qualify.
Publishing a book is one of the best ways to position yourself as an expert in your field. Not only that but the book demonstrates your expertise in its best and most organized format. And perhaps the biggest advantage of all is that your book allows people to be introduced to your expertise without you doing a thing. Yes, you have to write it and get it published. And you also have to market it. But after that, you can sit back and let people read it on their own time.
One common element whenever human beings gather is the need to talk and share experiences. Often that need turns into something a little more fun, a little more dangerous — gossip. Gossip is often fun but it can also be dangerous because it spreads quickly (because it is fun) and often distorts or even completely avoids the truth. Gossip creates myths in many fields and professions, and the field of writing is especially prone.
Almost everyone thinks they know how to write a screenplay. We’ve all heard someone watching TV saying I could write a better script than that!
The truth is that just about everyone does have a story worth telling. Unfortunately most do NOT know how to write a screenplay.
Most professional artists are very particular about their tools. The screenplay writer is no different. The key to writing is being organized. Before even writing a single word, you must have an inner road map that your characters are going to follow.
Every conference, every writing staff, and every class has always included some writer who asks: “How Can I Become A Better Writer?”
They don’t usually like the answer. “Practice writing every day and read to study the writing of others every day.”
They don’t like the answer for one of two reasons usually. Some people are looking for some quick fix, magic formula that will make them a good writer in three easy steps. Although my suggestion involves only two steps it is pretty obvious that it is a long-term project. The other group of people will sneer at the first because they consider themselves “real writers” but they don’t like the answer any more than the others. They believe they have a gift that simply needs to be unlocked by the magic key that published, successful writers possess.
There are basically three options for getting your book published. You can try to get your book proposal accepted by one of the industry giants like Penguin or Random House but that’s a tough road. Those companies only work with proven authors or those who already have huge platforms and salivating audiences. Having said that, if you manage to get accepted, you’ll end up with a huge implied endorsement and a ton of indisputable credibility.
On the other end of the spectrum, you could self-publish your own book. The nice thing about this approach is that the only person who has to approve your book is you! If you want to publish your own book, go right ahead. In fact, given the advancements in technology, you can do exactly that and order as little as one book at a time. The downside is that the credibility is far lower than with a major publisher.