7 Really Bad Excuses for Putting Off Writing Your Book

Posted

173 Comments

Posted in: Writing

Whats Your Excuse?When you first started telling your friends and family you were going to write a book, you were as excited as they were, weren’t you?

Pumped with adrenaline and the fire of fresh ideas, you saw yourself flush with creativity. Soon you’d be hunched over your keyboard, laboring away, anticipating interviews, autograph parties, and royalties—the spoils of a bestseller.

Weeks later, when the only headway you’d made was a lot more thinking and dreaming, you told yourself that was part of the process.

So when people asked how that book was coming, you justified saying not only that you were “working on it,” but also that the work was “going well.”

But now it’s been months, and no matter what you’re telling anyone else, you know you haven’t really started yet. You’re afraid. You’re worried. You’re overwhelmed.

Is It Time to Come Clean and Admit Defeat?

Won’t you feel better with the monkey off your back? Just tell everyone it didn’t work, wouldn’t come together, and that you’re on to something else?

No more pretending, justifying, stretching the truth.

Well, I’m all for honesty. But I’m also all for never giving up on your dream. So how about I show you how to rekindle your initial passion and accomplish what you set out to do in the first place?

Let’s take on 7 of the excuses that have kept you from becoming a successful author and sharing your message with the world. My goal is to leave you with no excuse to keep procrastinating.

 

The Sickly 7

 

1.  I don’t know where to start.

This is going to sound simplistic, but start anyway! Celebrate the small win of creating your title page, then formatting your header with your name, title, and even the position of your page numbers.

Now dedicate your book to someone. Keep it simple. Don’t write a paragraph, and don’t wax cheesy. Less is more. Make it poignant. It could be as simple as For Dianna. She knows why.

Now find a verse, an epigram, a pithy quote, some truism that fits your theme, and give it its own page.

How about a paragraph of Acknowledgments? Sure, this will change once you have a publisher and an editor and an agent, but you already have a few people to thank. Keep this brief and simple too.

Then write your prologue or introduction. Surely you know enough to accomplish that. And that’s all you need worry about for now. That might be only a page or two.

And what have you done? In less than half a day, you have written fewer than 500 words, yet you have 6 pages done.

Sure, the cover page, dedication, and epigram consist of only a handful of words each. But the point is getting started, isn’t it?

If that progress motivates you, you might even be inspired to get the first couple of paragraphs of your first chapter down. Regardless, you’re rolling, and tomorrow you’ll be eager to get back at it.

And should anyone ask about that book you’ve been talking about, you can tell them, without guilt, “I’m making progress. I feel good about it.”

And remember, there are blogs all over the Internet (like this one) that offer a step-by-step guide to writing a book.

Starting looks and feels overwhelming. But if you attack it a small step at a time, you’ll find it’s much easier than you think.

 

2.  I don’t want to do all that work, only to fail.

The alternative is to not do any work, which is a shortcut to failure. Think about it. That’s one way to guarantee you’ll fail to catch a publisher’s eye, have your writing accepted, land a contract, or get a royalty check. Just never write anything.

Don’t be a quitter. Go for it. I can’t guarantee you’ll succeed. But I can guarantee you’ll fail if you don’t try.

 

3.  I’m afraid of success.

OK, forgive me, but shut up. I’ve heard this ridiculous excuse one time too many. Seriously, you’re afraid of success? I don’t say this to brag, but I’ve been fortunate enough to be insanely successful as a writer, and let me tell you: there’s nothing to be afraid of.

The fact is, 99% of writers are not successful, so if you really are afraid of what success might mean for you, the odds are against it. But should you happen to become as blessed as the fortunate 1%, you’ll find that having means will not change you—it will just show you who you really are.

If your motives were selfish, if you were going to leave your spouse, if you were going to feel guilty and turn to addictive substances, then you probably will—and in big, expensive ways.

But if your motives were selfless, if you were generous, if you valued your spouse and cared about your health and the well-being of others—that will still characterize you, just now writ large.

 

4.  I don’t have enough time.

You have the same 168 hours per week that everyone else has. Sure, you may suffer different circumstances, face different responsibilities, and carry obligations others might not.

But I believe we make the time to do what we really want to do. Notice I didn’t say find the time. You’ll have to make it, carve it out from your 168-hour allotment.

Many writers write only after:

  • They’ve organized and cleaned everything in the house
  • They’ve eaten
  • They’ve run all their errands
  • They’re caught up on Facebook
  • They feel like it

If you think your schedule is going to magically drop 2 hours of writing time in your lap every day, wake up. Examine your schedule and start carving. What has to give? Some favorite TV shows? Movies? Nights out with friends? An extra hour of sleep each night?
I’ve always had to schedule writing time. If you have a book and a message in you, you’ll have to do the same.

 

5.  This is too hard.

If it were easy, anybody could do it. Are you admitting that even the idea of writing a book has whipped you before you’ve even started?

Of course it’s hard. Lots of things in life are hard, and we have to allow ourselves to be bad at them before we become good. Babies crawl before they toddle and they toddle before they walk. And while they’re learning to walk, they fall.

Same with riding a bike, learning to swim, dance, cook, becoming a carpenter, a painter, and—I suspect—becoming proficient at anything.

Give yourself permission to be bad at first. But don’t quit because it seems too hard. Don’t even put it off.

 

6.  It’s not what you know, it’s who you know—and no one knows me.

I’ve got a short answer for this one: Believe it or not, there was a time when no one had ever heard of Stephen King, John Grisham, Jodi Picoult, or J.K. Rowling.

What made them household names? Their writing.

They didn’t quit. They didn’t put off their writing.

Do you suppose they ever wondered if anyone anywhere would ever read what they had written? You bet they did.

I’m sure glad they stayed with it, aren’t you?

 

7.  No one cares what I have to say anyway.

I do. If you’ve read this far, you must be desperate to write your book and see it in print someday.

Why? Because you’re passionate about it. You have a message, a story, something to say.

That makes me curious, because I do too.

Your story is important. Your message is important. Even if you fear someone else has said it before, your version—your viewpoint—is unique. If you don’t write it, who will?

So what are you writing? Tell me in the Comments below.

  • Jodi Ritchmond Armstrong

    Thank you for the “sticky 7”. I needed to read them because I’ve told myself ‘I have so much to say, but not sure how to start’. I’m writing a memoir about the day my husband was killed by a drunk driver and the experiences that occurred several days and months after. I feel I have more than one book that can be categorized into year 1, year 2, etc. see, I have already written it all, in a blog, my journals…now it’s putting it all together. I’m excited about the project and very passionate about helping others find healing through my tragedy.

  • Elizabeth Herendon Dyer

    I have written 12 children’s book that are waiting to be illustrated and I am still working on a memoir, a fantasy story, a self-help journal and a novel. My problem is deciding what to work on first!

  • Roslyn

    I have written various books and am midstream others.

    • Pick the one your most passionate about, Roslyn, and give it your all.

  • I’m so very new at this. When my adult kids told me they don’t know much about the 60s, 70s, that got me thinking. There was a lot going on in those tumultuous years, and so I decided to develop a story of characters dealing with different levels of those times from a fiction perspective.

  • Caroline Cairn

    I am terrible with my writing and tend to work in spurts. Some days, I will write for hours, my ideas will fly and my energy won’t drop. Others, I will procrastinate and find all kinds of excuses not to carry on my story. I need to be more disciplined.

    • I hear you, Caroline. But don’t stress too much over the procrastination. Remember that during that time your subconscious is also working on your story.

  • Lee Button

    I had a completely different book in mind when I signed up for the Guild. The discussions and training sessions have led me to write a memoir. I have more confidence in that project because it’s my story. This blog has prodded me to keep at it.

  • Stephany Hughes

    I’m starting a memoir based on 22 letters written to me from my father when I was in college.

  • Sharon Dunlap-Gakin

    My novel chronicles the shattering and reconciliation of a family hit with the death of a child by a family member driving a car. It begins 10 years afterwards. Should I explain the accident in a prologue or weave it in to dialog throughout the story?

    • Sounds a lot like mine, which releases May 31. Mine deals with the death of a child in a truck accident. I cover that in the prologue. Of course, it finds its way into the story dialogue as well. You have to do what works for you.

      • Sharon Dunlap-Gakin

        Thank you. Using a prologue sets the scene better than ever.

  • Sharlene McCorkle

    I’m working on a new blog, all new for me! Still working on my manuscript and making a change for a scene with backstory. Since that backstory is in the second chapter, not by the main character POV and only goes four months back, I am making that my opening scene. It actually flows much better. So that’s the editing part for current, and working forward as well, still in the home stretch to the end.

  • Karen Keil

    Of those, my struggles are with 5 & 7 but my story is a tale of what can happen when one group demands of another unending reparations for crimes done to it. It follows the quest of members of both to stop two murderers from doing something meant to violently change the balance of power.

    • Sounds intense, Karen.

      • Karen Keil

        I’d like it to be. The challenge is getting the writing to the same level of intensity both in layers of story.

  • “Okay forgive me, but shut up.” Oh you.are.the.best! Truth. Love your tips and encouragement. I’m finishing edits to my first book, Choosing Real, and sending it off to the editor this Friday. Such a focused, incredible process. And you’re absolutely right- we all have the same hours in the day- it’s how we choose to spend them. Cheers to the process.

  • Karen Crider

    I’m working on a second novel called, The Foxes Have Holes. It is a Christian story on homelessness, a sequel to the first novel, The Birds Have Nests.

  • D. Holcomb

    I have first-drafts of four-and-a-half novels. I’m rewriting the first one. Doing research for a month, which I probably should have done prior to writing, but hey, ya gotta start somewhere, right? Great post.

  • My Two Cents

    Really. Thank you for this.

    I have taken a leave of absence from my book as the plot had reached a brick wall. For a year I have written all kinds of boring articles on everything from HVAC to rifle scope reviews. Writing for pay, even if it’s peanuts, has required that I learn the nuts and bolts of my desired profession. :)

    A few weeks ago I got an inkling of a possible detour to get me around the brick wall in my plot. I still haven’t picked back up to writing the book, though.

    You have inspired me today. It may be time to hang up the ghostwriter hat and resume my passion. God bless you for caring for those coming behind!

  • His Truth Revealed

    Love this! I’ve written and self-published Countdown Zero Hour, which assesses current events and how they correlate to five end-time prophecies. It’s currently on Amazon.

    I’m currently working on a book about Israel and its direct impact on our future. Will be complete this summer.

    All these excuses – I totally understand. I am, however, committed to the grind. I’ll either be a successful author or die trying. Hope it’s the first :-)

    Diane Watt
    His Truth Revealed Ministries
    http://histruthrevealed.org

    • Me too, Diane. Go for it!

      • His Truth Revealed

        Thanks, Jerry!

        It’s really cool that you’re so accessible. It helps those of us still finding their way.

        Since beginning my writing journey, I’ve faced more discouragement than I could imagine.

        But the bottom line is, I LOVE to write. It’s easier to endure the lows when you’re doing something enjoyable.

        Instead of focusing on “making it,” it’s often more relaxing to simply focus on the craft and process.

        Diane

        • Yes, Diane, we have no control over the ‘making it’ part, do we? We can only do what we can do. The rest is up to God and the market. :)

  • Rebecca Hricko

    I’m not currently working on a book, but I do have a blog. It is hard to get started on my posts every week, but nothing happens unless I do it. I may write a book someday, but I am definitely not ready for that yet.

    • It’s good to know where we are, isn’t it, Rebecca?

      • Rebecca Hricko

        Absolutely, but it did take me such a long time to get there. There are days where I think that the biggest mystery to me is myself.

  • Wenke Adam

    I loved this post! I’ve been through all the 7 excuses and several others. But I never really gave up. Now I’m writing a memoir based on childhood experiences, I grew up on the building site of an oil refinery, steel pipes, towers and tanks were my playground.

  • Adrian

    Mr. Jenkins, I think this is one of the best you’ve ever posted. Especially the part about never giving up your dream, no matter how horrible you think it is. Because I know this. The things you do, they can heal. It’s the things you don’t do that will never heal. It’ll haunt you for the rest of your life, wondering what something could have been.

    Also I like the idea of an epigram. I noticed in your Red Rock Mysteries there was always an epigram, and that inspired me to use them too. When readers finish the book and look back at the front pages, they see the epigrams and think, “Ohh…that’s what it meant.”

    So right now, I work on contest writing and short stories. Before this I was writing my own book, but I realized I was making a major mistake by starting my career with a 300 page-long book. So I’m setting up my field, testing my strengths…you know. The beginner’s path.

  • Heather

    I struggle with #6 and #7, although I have 2 YA sf books out there. It’s easy to fall into the doubt trap. It helps to have authors like you who are generous with advice and encouragement. Thank you!

  • Keith Heron

    I recently finished a newsletter, it will be part of a blog. The blog will include identifying and cataloging photographs. The photographs are of two sister cities, Binghamton, NY
    and La Teste, France. The photographs were taken by a former French teacher who
    helped establish the program. This will entail some writing and research on my part,
    but I’m looking forward to it.

    • Sounds like fun, Keith.

      • Keith Heron

        I seem to write better with a goal in mind. Thank you for the motivation.

  • Judy Peterman Blackburn

    I really liked this post. So which excuses have I used?… Oh yeh, all seven. I’m currently working on short stories, I have several going. And I am rewriting my historical novel. Thank you for all I’m learning here and in the Guild. It’s been terrific. :)

  • Brent McLaughlin

    “A Conversation with God” in 3 parts maybe 4.

  • William

    Good Evening Jerry, I hope and pray this finds you having a great evening this day! I have been receiving your resources now for a little over a month and have begun on my personal autobiography and also written several devotionals. Reading your lists of excuses really helps me stay focused and encouraged. Thank you my friend for sharing your experiences and expertise with me and many others searching for flight with sharing our stories. Much blessings to you and yours, Inspiring writer, Russell Pierce.

  • E.S. Connor

    People really says number 3??. I’m afraid of not been able to pay the bills because if I’m writing maybe I’m not taking classes that potencially will help me to find job for other 5 years!!! E.L. James fenomena is not happening again any time soon pals!!!

  • Janet

    Jerry, I self-published a memoir (Surviving Sanctity, available through Amazon) in February after 15 years of ‘writing’. I am having trouble getting traction on feedback. I sold an initial 20+ copies but have not heard many reviews — this makes me hesitant. I’ve been told for years that I am an excellent writer, but now I feel like I face radio-silence. I have six children’s book manuscripts and a book of poems finished but am afraid self-publishing would lead to the same radio-silence. I am halfway through a novel and have a book of reflections on 26 Chinese words, but the silence on the memoir makes me wonder if I am really any good. Any advice?

  • Marcia Furrow

    Just today, I completed the second round of editing on a 365-day devotional that parallels the Chronological Bible. It is entitled “How Gracious of God: Experiencing God’s Grace from Genesis to Revelation”. Each day pulls out an application of God’s grace, summarizes the passage (what it says), then has a brief summary of what that looks like today (what it says to me), ending with application questions (what it means to me) in 300 words or less. It has been quite an adventure over three years, and now I look for a publisher.

    Next on the list, taking two of my “Summer Challenge” 10-week blog series, and rewriting them as Bible studies — “Contentment” and “Spur One Another On”.

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Laurie Kehoe

    We’re working on the sequel to “A Dream of Dragons,” but my drawback has been waiting for Michael to do his part. So while I’m waiting, I decided to work on short stories for the Writer’s Digest Competition in between our working on the book together. Our biggest excuse was time but we are finding our way out of it. And our biggest help has been the Guild!!!!

  • Kathy K. Norman

    PRACTICAL HEALING IN A TOXIC WORLD describes how I recovered from a chronic illness that has no known cure by making three primary lifestyle changes.The book is written from a memoir perspective that covers my journey from being traumatized by the diagnosis of fibromyalgia to being astonished by recovery. Because my struggle with chronic illness impacted both my physical and spiritual life, the book shares practical information about ways to cope with chronic illness from the point of view of a woman of faith.My husband/coauthor,Victor D. Norman, M.D.,is a family physician and medical educator who gives a physicians’ perspective on the information shared in each chapter. Check out my website for more info: kathyknorman.com

  • Evelyn Kraemer

    I am a middle aged special needs mom writing a memoir about my son who was predicted not to live past birth, but God had other plans. He is now 10 years old and has exceeded all expectations surviving his rare diagnosis of dwarfism. I have been writing the memoir for four years and have completed the first draft. As you shared, I have a lot of carving to do. After attending a writers conference last year, I also started a weekly blog which receiver over 1 million hits. (www.miraclemann.com/blog). On your list, I need to work on #4. It’s amazing how quickly the day goes but I need to take your advice make daily time in my schedule.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Evelyn, look into the app Anti-Social. It allows you to turn off social media for as long as you need to when you want to work without that distraction.

  • Jerri Sisk Harrington

    I am writing the story of a family from Ukraine who is trying to make a home in America. The story is told from the point of view of Sasha, a woman brought to Washington DC by her cousin, who was raised by her parents.
    The cousin hopes that Sasha will draw out his young wife who is becoming isolated by her fears of everything beyond their own living space. Sasha comes to her new home eager to explore, learn the language and become an American. This causes conflict with her cousin, who believes Sasha is abandoning her culture and her cousin’s wife who is threatened by Sasha’s confidence.

  • Lynnette Jalufka

    Thank you for the great article. I’m working on the third draft of my medieval fantasy. I never realized how hard it is to edit a novel was. It’s very time consuming, but I’ve set a deadline to get it done.

    • That’s great, Lynnette. And the fact that you didn’t mean to give me a smile with your third sentence (ironically about editing) makes it all that more poignant. Now read it again–and edit it–and you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. (It reminds me of the letter a publisher received from a college grad applying for a job, who said she specialized in proffreading.)

  • Elizabeth

    That got me laughing, particularly “I’m afraid of Success”…so good.

    I get lost on emails but I’m learning to manage my time better and I’ve learned something really interesting: writing is like painting, you go back and check and create details, and look for synonyms… and whether you are saying what you think you are saying.

    I think the mistake I was making was to decide the copy was done because I didn’t know how to improve it–and that may be true for people that are well trained on editing, but that wasn’t true for me and I have improved much more than I expected, so much so that a well known editor told me that he could not improve my copy–he wasn’t saying that it was too bad for any improvement, he said that I had only a few typos and only two or three grammar errors; POV was correct and he says he loved the story; but this time, before I sent it, I used Autocrit, Grammarly and worked on the copy just like a painter, and next time I’ll even have my husband do a proof reading for me, so that I can correct even a minor typo or grammar imperfection.

    How’s that for some good news?

    • Love it, Elizabeth!

      • Elizabeth

        Thank you. That was the good news, and here is the bad one: I have to do all that with every chapter, every page, every sentence (just kidding, actually I enjoy the results…I end up with a total different copy and even the story changes, but I also have to spend time looking up words, ouch!
        …But what is life without some extra work? Alow me to answer: Paradise! But we are not there yet…:) Thanks for all your help.

        • Jerry B Jenkins

          I do a heavy edit and rewrite of my stuff every day. All writing is rewriting.

          • Elizabeth

            It was a great thing to know that this should be true for all writers.

            Somehow I was under the impression ( and I am writing this because I think I am not alone) that writing was something that could be perfected to the point that editing was no longer necessary, so I was aiming at that goal and I remembered asking you about that and your answer had removed the myth and, of course, helped me to refocus, and I’m starting to get a grip on the editing process.

            I am posting this, like I said before, for others that have this myth. Fortunately for me, I continued to take classes and I have been very fortunate to have found excellent teachers here and abroad, …and priviledged to get some laughs along the way, as well.

            Thanks for reinforcing this point. Always good to remember.

          • Elizabeth

            Did a quick search and found out that most successful writers work from 7:30 AM until seven at night, seven days a week…that tells me that editing is heavy and crucial. I think that one of the things that helped me most was to find out that successful writers write convoluted pieces as well; the editing sessions were a wonderful treat, as well.

          • Jerry B Jenkins

            Now there’s some faulty research. Would love to know that source. As you might imagine, I know a LOT of writers, but I know zero who work that long each day–in fact very few who work even half that long–and only two who work seven days a week.

            But yes, rewriting is crucial and brutal, and we all do it.

          • Elizabeth

            Well, Dean Koontz says he does, but I don’t know any of these writers. I just type author’s name such as “Jerry Jenkins’s schedule” and You Tube gives me an interview to watch.

            I think we have a video of you on Disqus and if I am not mistaken you work about 5 to 6 hours a day, but to be honest, I’m not trying to memorize author’s schedule, but it does astonishes me because writing requires concentration.

            But to be honest, the first interview I watched came to the screen without me searching for anything. I was listening to Christian music when this interview popped-up, and since it was Dean Koontz, I was interested, then the next one was James Patterson. He implied he works little but when you see his desk and the folders with different books and titles, which he explains that he writes or rewrite with his collaborators, you can tell that he works systematically, he is organized and work pretty much the opposite way I could work (my desk is cluttered and before I can write I have to get rid of everything that bothers me). Then there’s King, he writes scary tales. He works pretty hard too.

            I let you speak for yourself. How many hours do you work? And, is it all editing? I remember now, you write, then the next day you edit what you wrote the day before and after you finished editing then you start writing again and edit the next day. Correct?

            But I also have to remember that some of those authors write many books per year, but after all each one of us have our own journey, and no two are alike. I just thought it was an interesting trivia.

            For me the greatest hindrance is lack of feedback, but once I get feedback then I can spend my time with ‘gusto’ and become more productive because I know where I am going and what I am doing, but without it I know I may write many chapters that I can’t use and that is truly a waste of time no matter how many hours I work.

            I once read that you have 38 people that read your work. Is that right?

            I am all ears. :)

          • Jerry B Jenkins

            Yes, Koontz and King are two who write every day, but I don’t know of any others who do. Even when I was writing five books a year, I rarely wrote more than five days a week or longer than eight hours a day.

            Today I work from about 6 a.m. to noon, the first hour or 90 minutes rewriting what I wrote the day before, but I only do this when I’m on deadline, and I’m down to 1-2 books a year. So I write fewer days than I don’t write–at least books-wise. I write almost daily as far as blogs and keeping up the Guild Forum, etc.

            38 people read my work? No, no, no. In fact, I rarely let ANYONE read my work except my wife, one of my brothers, and one friend in my personal accountability group. No one else, ever, besides my editor at the publishing house, and not till I’m done, as a rule.

            That’s just what works for me. I don’t want any input till I’m finished. That would jar me out of my fictional world and make me worry about what someone else is thinking.

  • Jennifer Mattern Johnson

    I am writing a self-help book on the power of choice.

    • Good, Jennifer. Now get it to where someone will pay you to be published so you don’t have to pay to be printed.

  • Connie

    I actually have my second children’s book written (yahoo!) – it’s being edited so I still have some work to do, but I’m getting there.

  • Writing is arduous. I find it more difficult than some of the grueling tasks I performed in the military. I will complete my book even if I write 1 hour per day. Jerry, Thank you for all the encouragement and the occasional kick in the pants,

    • Arduous is right, Cherrilynn. That’s why I love writing the most when I’m done. :)

  • Taffy Wagner

    I am writing a memoir based on my son who has a major mental illness. I want people to see the person, not the label.

    • The tricky part, Taffy, will be the takeaway value for the reader. You have the difficult task of educating them without scolding them, and then inspiring them so they’re uplifted.

      • Taffy Wagner

        Thank you, Jerry. You’re right! It is tricky, but I think I have a handle on that, based on feedback I have been getting. The hardest part for me is ending the book, as the title will be “The Song That Never Ends,” and it is still an ongoing story. I am working on an ending that leaves the reader with hope but is still realistic. It’s hard.

    • Casey Drew McCollum

      That sounds like a loving mother! I have been bipolar, but my mom has helped me. I am down to one pill at bedtime and graduated college. But my mom has helped me with room and board.

      • Taffy Wagner

        Thank you for your comment, Casey. It sounds like you have it pretty much under control. I wish you the best!

  • Earl O’Farrell

    Earl Thomas O’Farrell, ofarrellet@yahoo.com
    You’re so right on your seven excuses. Especially the book I just completed, A Spiritual Adventure. It has been a lifetime project which started back in the 70’s and I just completed—the writing part anyway—last year. It’s a long story, but I went through all seven of those excuses, so many times I lost count. But, like you said—You can’t give up. You’ve got to shake those excuses out of your mind—along with the would be critics and friends—accept the situation, and concentrate on yourself and your belief.
    ofarrellet@yahoo.com or http://earlthomasuniversepublications.com

  • I have self-published two devotional type books; I’m a simple person and write from personal experience about the love of God and how He’s involved in every day, ordinary activities. I relate to #6… getting someone to notice. I had a publishing company want to publish my book, but it’s so incredibly expensive. I think most people think one just signs up with a publisher and, voila… it’s done. But for unknowns like me, that doesn’t happen.

    I’m new to your blog post and appreciate your input. The encouragement is helpful for new beginners like me. :)

    bestillandknow.lena@gmail.com

    • Everybody was an unknown once. :) Strive to get to where you’re paid to be published and not paying to be printed.

      • How does one do that? How do I get connected/contact someone who want to pay me and not the other way around?

        • Jerry B Jenkins

          You start by learning to write with excellence. It’s not easy, and no one can guarantee it’ll happen for you, but it’s what I teach at JerrysGuild.com, and we’re opening registration again next month. Would love to have you join us.

  • So, I’ve used many of those excuses over the years of working on my book. I have overcome many of them but the truth of the matter is there is still another barrier that I am working on overcoming. I am writing a memoir and as I have learned how to write it I realized it needed to have more emotions and details. I was just listing the facts. As I am writing I am actually reliving the events of my life an the struggles that we went through. The emotions can be so overwhelming and daunting at times that I need to take a break. My problem is that sometimes I take a looonnnggg break when I should take a quick short one and pray asking God for strength and His wisdom to write what He wants me to write. I am learning this and have made some big breakthroughs in moving forward.
    I pray that one day soon this project will be completed and that God will receive all of the glory for what He has done in my life.

    Thanks, Jerry, for the reminder of the excuses we use and how to overcome them.

    • Good thinking, Juanita. And remember, it was Robert Frost who said, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” Let them feel what you feel.

  • Sandra J. Scott

    Thank you for your encouraging words! Although I’ve started my manuscript and is approximately 60% done, I still get moments of writer’s blocks upon starting a new chapter. Your words concerning “just sit down and write something – anything (paraphrasing!)” helps every time. At the very beginning of writing my book, I stared at that blank page in mind-gripping horror, wondering if I could ever become a New York Times Best Selling author — and why bother to try! But again, the philosophy of typing anything on the screen pushes past that terrifying blockage — and I’m off. However, with each new chapter (although I have an idea what the chapter should be about), I still sit there with that same writer’s block — that is, until I type that very first sentence (whether I will eventually keep it, revise, or throw it out). Thank you for your selfless desire to help others like me, who haven’t quite made it, but can dare to dream that it just might happen despite me. :)

    • Thanks, Sandra. Another trick for talking yourself through writer’s block is reminding yourself that no other profession allows itself that myth. Imagine yourself in ANY other job, calling your boss in the morning and saying, “I won’t be coming in today–I have worker’s block.” You’d be laughed off the phone and told not to come in–ever again.

      Sure, there are days when we just don’t feel like writing. But we have a job to do. And there’s always something that can be done. Research, planning, plotting, editing, correspondence–something.

      • Sandra J. Scott

        Thank you, I never thought about it that way! I’ve been the corporate route – been there, done that, hated it! Now I have the ability to work for myself, be as creative as I want, and I love every minute of it – writer’s block and all! I just thank God for people like you who gives people like me the desire to push on – no matter how frightening the unknown future can be. Writing is exhilarating and scary at the same time. I love it!

        • Casey Drew McCollum

          This blog as been helpful to me. It gives me perspective about writing in the midst of life. I enjoy hearing Jerry and the others, and also hearing about excuses being myths.

          • Jerry B Jenkins

            Thanks, Casey.

  • Steph K

    I had been stuck on the same chapter for weeks as motherhood keeps me fully occupied. Then today my Bible study passage coupled with your aptly-timed blog set my rear back in the writing seat. Now I have repaired some pitiful POV mistakes made forward progress in my story!

    Following his older brother’s drowning, Gray leaves behind his grieving family and cushy life in Chicago, defecting to a small town in Colorado. The seasoned locals who take him in suspect he is escaping some wound of the past but come to accept him as extended family nonetheless. They have no idea he is hunting for the clue his brother left for him about the family empire, a clue that could prove his brother’s death had been no accident.

    Meanwhile, Lauren can’t wait to get away from home for the summer where her parents have smothered her for far too long. With a new heart valve and a spirit of adventure, she descends upon southern Colorado determined to be the best camp counselor Aspen Cove has ever had.

    As Lauren’s and Gray’s paths collide, they must work together to survive the summer and help each other’s hearts to heal.

    • Good, Steph. Sounds like you have your priorities straight. Don’t ever let writing take precedence over family. That way, when you DO write, you’ll do so without guilt and be most productive. And you’ll NEVER regret the time you give your family..

  • Ann Coker

    I’m not familiar with this term: “just now writ large” (last phrase of #3). What does it mean?

    • C’mon, Ann, I’m a pretty highly paid researcher. Google “what does writ large mean?” and you’ll get about 484,000 results in 0.54 seconds. :)

      Your invoice is in the mail.

      • Ann Coker

        Okay, the student only showed her ignorance in trying to catch the expert in a typo. Webster didn’t help me much. I went with “idioms” as a Bing choice and found two good quotes. “The man was no more than the boy writ large.” (George Eliot) But more appropriate: “The genius of the story is that it’s about ordinary life writ large.” I await my invoice and dunce cap.

        • If you make your own cap, I’ll eschew the invoice. :)

          • Ann Coker

            Agree on terms provided.

  • Casey Drew McCollum

    I am writing a Bible in 30 days. I have 95 pages and some preparation work. This week has been slow, but i did a lot last week. You have encouraged me to get back at it.

    • You’re writing a Bible? Tell me more.

      • Casey Drew McCollum

        Well, I am on my second book. My first book was for introducing people to the love of God in Christ Jesus. This is part 2 of it, where we see exactly what God tells throughout his entire book. It is an aid to travel through the Bible in 30 days. It is nearly four chapters, a page, and forty chapters a chapter. It is five sets of writing using the common writing styles, notetaking, mla, chicago, apa, and cse.

  • Vicki Zimmerman

    A few yrs ago, I wrote a book (for my sisters!) about our daddy, his life, and the impact his life had on mine.
    It was less a well thought out book, more a memory for us of Daddy, after he was gone.
    As a surprise for me, one of my sisters had it self published, thinking, I believe, that it would hit the best sellers chart, and the rest would be history!
    Needless to say, the book fell a little short of her dreams.
    She never recovered her initial investment in having it published.
    At one point in time after it was published, I did take it to an editor, for his opinion.
    He was helpful, offering insight as to what was good, what could be improved, and the parts that needed to be chucked altogether.
    I just cant seem to get into starting it over, and it has been on the shelf since the editor gave it bsck to me with his suggestions.
    Im not there yet, but your emails, and this blog are stirring my interest again, and for that, I just wanted to say a sincere “Thank you.”

  • Rachel Curtis

    I am trying to write a book about a girl who is pulled along into a missionary adventure with an elderly friend in the 1930s to go to a Navajo reservation set in Arizona. The girl doesn’t have a relationship with God but through hardship and Grace, she finds her Way.
    It’s been 4 years since I really touched it. Trying to get pumped about it again.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      You shouldn’t have to talk yourself into it. Your reader will feel what you feel, only magnified exponentially. if you’re passionate about your story, he/she will be too. If you have to be motivated to get back to it…

      Maybe resurrect it, recast it till it comes alive and draws you back to the keyboard everyday. Then you’ll know it’ll be something your reader can’t put down either.

  • Debbie Ewald

    An opportunity to meet with an editor at the upcoming Northwest Christian Writer’s Conference was my kick in the pants to start my book, a teen devotional based upon the Gospel of Matthew. For a very reasonable fee, I will receive a professional critique. I will submit the first 15-20 pages to her this month and then meet with her at the conference in May. This is a huge step for me, and one that I am glad I took.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      I hate to burst your bubble, Debbie, but if you’re paying for an opportunity to meet with an editor, ,especially if that editor represents a publisher, you are likely going to find your manuscript has been “chosen” or “accepted,”which will be the case for anyone who has shown a willingness to pay for a critique–because that shows they are willing to pay to be printed as well. Don’t pay to be printed until you have exhausted your efforts to have someone pay you to be published.

      The language will make it sound like you landed a deal or won a contract, when the fact is, you will be paying to be printed, rather than being paid to be published.

      Legitimate traditional publishers send editors to writers conferences to meet with writers or free, and if reps are there from vanity, subsidy, self-, or indie publishers (where you’re paying rather than the other way around), that’s clarified up front.

      Merely by paying to go a writers conference should qualify you for a handful of meetings with agents, editors, and other publishers reps without having to pay reading fees or for critiques. And beware anyone who “awards” you with a “publishing” contract or tells you your book was “chosen,” if you are expected to pay ANYTHING toward its release–editing, production, publicity, etc.

  • Heather Hemsley

    I am writing (or.. WAS writing XD) a medieval book about a man who isn’t Christian, but finds God’s grace. I was super excited on this book until I “got bored” and “didn’t have enough time.” Reading this, I knew I had to stop being lazy. So I’m going to try to carve out time!! *party* Thanks Jerry!

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Thank you, Heather.

  • JustMe

    I have started, stopped, and started over again several times to write about a young family fighting to break the cycle of abuse when they accept Jesus as Lord. It has many of my poems in it; I have been writing poetry since I was about 13. I just can’t seem to put it all together.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      What’s been the issue?

  • Kim Armstrong

    Several years ago I started writing my Sunday morning Bible lessons. Then I worked up to messages for women’s ministry at my church. A collection of these messages/lessons has become a 320+ page book. I didn’t and still don’t feel qualified but I have been called. If I follow after that calling, then I walk in obedience. Oh and it doesn’t hurt to join a great writers guild and learn as much as I can about the art of writing.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Thanks, Kim. May you never feel qualified. My 189th book releases the end of next month, and I have the gall to try to teach what I’ve learned, but I sill don’t feel qualified either. I think that’s the only attitude to bring to the keyboard. Once we think we’ve arrived, we’re in trouble.

  • Mikey Mike

    I have been in and out of the hospital for the last month (most my adult life really,) having 4 surgeries. My hands, among other parts, are severely disabled. I have 2 versions of voice-to-text software, on hand just in case, that I know how to use, but I’ve refused to give in to the temptation to use them so far. I feel they stifle my creativity. I have racked up over a 100,000 word count the last thirty days, working on three manuscripts, five short stories, and one none-fiction, how-to article. I didn’t say what I wrote was all good, but I’m certain some of it is. I am looking down the barrel of even more surgery in the next week, but that will not prevent me from writing. My point is, if I don’t cop out and I’m able to “get ‘er done,” what on God’s green earth is your excuse? And it’s an excuse, not a reason. If Jerry’s words haven’t motivated you, I hope mine have. God bless and happy writing.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Thanks, Mike. And don’t be too quick to toss out Dragon Naturally Speaking. I use it on occasion, especially for correspondence and for keeping up with Comments like these (though I’m not using it right now). It has really improved over the years, and it requires fewer tweaks and fixes when you’re finished. I find that by watching the copy appear on the screen, it’s similar to keyboarding it.

      Disclaimer: I am not an official endorser, so there’s nothing in this for my recommending it (maybe I should look into that, eh?).

      • Mikey Mike

        I have used Dragon over the years, and it has improved. When my disabilities caused me to no longer be able to write with a pen, I felt my creativity suffered a little in front of a keyboard. I know someday I will be forced to use voice-to-text, but I fear my creativity will again suffer, so I put it off as long as I can. I also like to listen to music while I “write.” While not impossible to run tunes through headphones while speaking to “the dragon,” it can be a little disorienting.

  • Thank you for this encouragement and motivation. I’m glad to say my first book will be released in the next few months and with that goal attained, I am looking to start work on the second. I will be referring back to these posts to keep me going.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Thanks, DeWayne.

  • Elizabeth

    What is this about Dragon Speaking? I saw a few programs, such as Narrator but since it does respect punctuation it was useless to me. Is that what we are talking about? Am I missing something here?
    I would like to skip the 92 to 100 emails from Disqus but I guess I can’t. Then there’s the word “knuckle”, I like that too but I dind’t see it anywhere? Hope someone can share the answers with me. Thank you.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Dragon Speaking is a dictation program.

      You’re saying there’s a similar program that doesn’t “respect” punctuation? What are you saying? None of them assume punctuation. They insert what you dictate.

      What are you saying about Disqus emails?

      And about the word “knuckle”?

      Tell me specifics and I’ll try to help.

  • Elizabeth

    Oh, okay. ‘Narrator’ reads your story and saves you editing time plus makes you aware of flaws (well, if it worked, but it doesn’t respect puntucations. I didn’t know you were talking about dictation, I just got part of the answer through the DISQus email and when I looked up the program on Amazon I wans’t sure whether it read the copy for the author or not).

    Now the word ‘knuckle’, someone commented that she really liked your idea and using the word “knuckle” made it even better, or something like that. Now I don’t know what idea of yours she was referring to (from a blog perhaps). I was just concerned that I could be missing something.

    Disqus emails: I receive sometimes 100 emails, it depends how active you, as a teacher are with your students and the other teachers who uses Disqus as well (sometimes more).

    I read them bc I can find information about what has been discussed, just like the topics above, but it takes a lot of time, so very recently I visited “notifications” and check if there’s anything for me and then skip about 100 emails from Disqus(there are also other channels announced there), but as I opened one or two I found the items above….:) Thanks.
    I located this blog. I’ve read it already more than once.

    Those above emails, I guess, were part of students’ questions, not some material I have missed. :) :)
    Thank you again

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Wow, I wouldn’t trust any app that purports to do my editing for me, even if it detects certain errors. That feature could be helpful, but I wouldn’t trust it to know my intentions, for instance. Maybe just use it as an aid or backup?

      I think the word in question was not ‘knuckle,’ but ‘knuckly,’ which was the way John D. MacDonald once described a character–and which I found brilliant. I saw the character fully in my mind.

      As for your getting Disqus email notifications, that’s clearly a setting that needs to be changed. Can you imagine how many I would get if I were notified of every one? See if you can find a way to filter those, and if you can’t, we’ll put a techie on it.

      • Elizabeth

        Oh, sure. It is a back up( for instance it may marked up the word “it” as passive and it may have nothing to do with that).
        I’m becoming a “ferocious editor” myself, but the point is well taken. Thank you.

      • Elizabeth

        Narrator Program only reads the copy by a professional, however without respecting punctuation the copy sounds like a joke, so it can’t be used. The programs out there used by the military is perfected but it cos thousands of dollars and it is used mostly by corporations (but anyone could buy it).

  • Elizabeth

    I get much help from your team, and I do appreciate that.
    They face problems head-on, and it is a real blessing.

    I can’t change the setting. There’s a box to be unmarked but if I remove the check mark it will automatically unmark all others and I’ll receive nothing, so I’ve been reading the emails until a few days ago.

    So, yeah, if they could find a way… it would be just another blessing.
    Thanks

    • Support

      Hey, Elizabeth! You can adjust your notification settings from Disqus.com. Go to their website and click the ‘Log In’ button in the top right, and sign in with your username and password. After signing in, click the gear icon in the top right and click ‘Edit Profile.’ On the left of the screen, click ‘Email Notifications’ and uncheck the box next to ‘Subscribe’ and hit ‘Save.’ You can also go click ‘Web Notifications’ on the left and customize when you would like to be notified. You may wish to uncheck all of these boxes. If you have any other questions, feel free to email Jerry@JerryJenkins.com, and someone from the team will get back to you. Thanks!

      • Elizabeth

        Okay, this may work. I didn’t want to to click on unsubscribe bc I thought it would remove me from receiving lessons/ communications. Done, let’s see what happens. Thanks. Wishing you all a great day.

  • Elizabeth

    Your Prophetic words about Apps.

    Can’t believe this. To my mind the word team is a collective word, therefore singular, but I put this under Grammarly scrutiny because it seems to me that I make quite a bit more than my share of mistakes when I write to you (no kidding)…well grammarly didn’t flag when I used it as a plural noum to test it, so not convinced that it was a plural noun (on the back of my mind I knew it was singular, collective noun so I changed my phrase, but it was disconcerning to me that grammarly didn’t recognize “your team face” as wrong. I must say that the program must have not been working properly bc I just can’t believe the program would make such a mistake.

    On the other hand, I remember you saying something about having an impression that the sentence or the story is not right and to go with that impression and review…well, so I did but my confidence on electronic correction went down a notch…:)

  • Joshua

    Thanks for your post. And all other things you’re doing to share your wealth of knowledge with me. Do you have periods when you have like two or three book ideas you are nearly equally passionate about? How do you manage situations like this? Do you put two off for a later time ans settle with finishing one or you work side by side?
    Joshua

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      In my 20s and 30s I actually worked on more than one project at the same time, but that soon became beyond me. And even then I had to admit that I was never equally passionate about the projects, just full of energy.

      I would urge you to invest up to alf a day–or whatever time it takes–to prioritize your projects. List them all, then start determining which you would eliminate–from the bottom–if you were going to end up with the single one most important to you.

      Just keep weighing them all against each other until you land on the one you would choose if forced to take only one with you to desert island for six months–the one you’re most passionate about and that would keep you at the keyboard everyday.

      That’s the one to work on till it’s finished, wholly setting the others aside during that time. Then go back to your list and go through the same exercise again. That way, you’ll always be working at your capacity on your top priority.

      • Joshua

        Thank You very Much. Would try that!

  • I’m writing blog posts, Sunday school lessons, sermons, a collection (Book? Blogs? not sure) on a Christian struggling with depression, and also a NF book about a cat-loving, schizophrenic mom and her trying-to-be-normal teenage daughter. I also enjoy helping others improve their writing by teaching them through editing their writing. I love to write but have little confidence in having any significant impact. Feel like I’m just a small, lost fish in a sea of writers.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Interesting thought, Kari. This illustration is so over-used it’s become a cliche, but in the event you haven’t heard it, it may have value:

      After the tide rolled out, a young boy was found tossing stranded star fish back into the water. Someone said, “You can barely put a dent in the tens of thousands of star fish on the miles of sand here. What difference are you making, really?”

      The boy looked surprised and said, “Difference? Life and death for each of the ones I CAN get to to.”

      • I have heard the story, actually. Good reminder though.

  • Robert Murphy

    Thanks for the post, I’m finding that the more progress I make with my writing, the less of an excuse these are. I finished the second revision of my book and it’s pretty much where I want it, so I’m setting it aside and drafting some short stories to help me develop the characters. After that I’ll go back and polish it up.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Then what will be your plan for getting other eyes on it and then getting it to potential publishers?

      • Robert Murphy

        Actually I haven’t really thought about it. I have considered sending it to our former pastor who could give me some good insight, but what are some options?

        • Jerry B Jenkins

          You haven’t thought about anyone else seeing it? I’m confused.

          • Robert Murphy

            Right now I’m just focusing on the writing aspect and when I get it to a point that I’m satisfied with, will start thinking of who to send it to. I’ll probably pick people who I think are in my target audience for their feedback.

          • Jerry B Jenkins

            Good idea.

  • Elizabeth

    Jerry, I don’t know when or if I can find the article about you having 38 people reading your work, supposedly that article was written by you, but perhaps it meant an editing company that you had. Does it sound familiar? Did you have an editing company that worked just on your books? (I’ll check wikipedia I think I read this article there) If not, then…

    …I guess we truly can’t trust everything we see on the net , can we?

    Anyhow, it is good to know that people can work at a reasonable pace and still write more than one book a year.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Elizabeth

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      It would be interesting to see, but its certainly not something I ever wrote, because I’ve always been VERY private about who sees my work before my publisher does.

      No, I’ve never had an editing company. I’ve owned two writing guilds which have employed many good editors, whom I trust, but my personal writing is quite a separate thing, and no one but my publishers have ever worked on my books.

      No, we sure can’t trust everything we read on the net, sadly. It’s always good to double-check sources, and when you can go directly to the original (as you are now), that’s ideal.

      As for how many books a writer can produce in a given time, that is entirely a function of personal pace. I got my start in newspaper journalism and am an unusually fast writer. That doesn’t work for everyone, and I have slowed over the years–partly by choice.

  • Elizabeth

    I really want to find that page because I have quoted this number to people in order to encourage them to get a second opinion on their writing.

    I’m looking for that statement and when I find it, I’ll send the address to you.

    Sorry about the misinformation, I was just repeating what I read, assuming it was true and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having 38 people reading anything if they can help, but I never knew how can anyone find that many volunteers …. :)

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Yes, I’d love to see it (I’m always fascinated by where misinformation comes from). And you’re right that getting input on writing is generally a good thing, but it can also be confusing and depressing if it is from a) people without a clue, b) contradictory, c) either all flattering or all negative.

      You’d be surprised how easy it is for successful writers to get volunteers. I asked for people to read an Advanced reader Copy of one of my novels and compete to review it as widely as possible (they would win free copies or something), and they weren’t required to praise it, of course. I had nearly a thousand request copies.

      • Elizabeth

        I knew I had saved that page, however many pages saved from the internet are no longer active. I still have quite a bit of files entitled “Jerry Jenkins” to go.

        Now, take for example Facebook, I had to open an account because I wanted to send a question to James Patterson and that was the only way I could, but I used my grandmother’s info. because I am not about to place my personal information on Facebook.

        Someone may have used your name to place this information as well, now that is not right and it is not the same as using your grandmother’s birthday but I’m just saying that we have no ways of checking (sometimes we do) the info. that is presented to us.

        I’m going to do a google search “Jerry Jenkins’s schedule and editors and see what I come up with (perhaps you already have done that). Today (granted I have a hairdresser appointment) I hope to finish this search and find out about that page. I garantee you that I read that.

  • Elizabeth

    You’re look Jerry, I can’t even get my editor to read my copy. :)
    the bad part is that he got paid already. :)

    Now for the ones that read my “dream” chapter, please don’t think that this is the way I write most of the time (this was my most cumbersome chapter and the worst one, and I finally realized I don’t need it to ruin my copy and I trashed it out) :)

    Oh well…I shoudln’t say that; I got someone from the forum and she is an exceptional editor (I’m not giving up her name because she will be floaded with copies and I need mine to get done)

    …The bible says that to the one that has , more will be given and this is a very scientific principle that operates even at a molecular level; so in a sense, I can understand why you got over one thousand volunteers. (I was going to say that you dont’ need ot rob our nose on that, but I have promised myself to stop joking, so , delete, delete)

  • Stormi Miller

    My current story has the premise that all teens are possessed. I constantly hear from parents of teens that “their teen is crazy, they’ve lost their minds”. When I ask what they are doing, I hear perfectly normal things. I almost want to start a support group so parents can see that their teens are normal. Sure, there’s a few out there that are actually crazy, but most teens are normal for the hormone levels coursing through their bodies! It doesn’t matter how many books on raising children you read, they still become teens and are caught in that confusing time between childhood and being an adult that make them seem like a completely different person!

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      So you’re being funny when you say the premise is that they’re possessed? Or did you mean to say your premise is that all teens are NOT possessed?

      Regardless, your theme is well-taken and is the epitome of an example of the type of a message where trying to persuade your audience can easily come off as preaching or trying to change their minds–which could be met with resistance. The secret is, rather than implying “You’ve got it all wrong, your kids are okay,” and avoiding the defensive posture, “But you don’t know my kids,” you might do better taking this tack:

      “I thought my kids were from another planet, that I was a bad mother and would wind up with a prayer list full of Prodigals…” Then go on to tell how you came through it and the lessons you learned, realizing it was all a normal process, they were great kids at heart, etc, etc. Your readers will get it and you won’t ever have to turn the spotlight on them and make a bunch of applications. Resist the urge to explain. Give them credit. If the shoe fits, they’ll wear it.

      • Stormi Miller

        I do mean the premise is that they ARE all possessed. They are possessed of perfectly normal teenage hormones. They are caught between being an adult and being a child, and finding their way through it. It occupies their mind and their hearts, and makes them into someone we don’t recognize for a while.

        • Jerry B Jenkins

          If that confuses me, it’s going to confuse an editor.

          You hear from parents their teens are possessed. But you say they’re telling you normal things.

          So your premise is they ARE possessed?

          • Stormi Miller

            Yes. Possessed by hormones.

          • Jerry B Jenkins

            Just make that clear in your proposal and you should be good to go.

  • Amre Cortadino

    Dear Jerry, Hi! :) I listened to your podcast w/Jane Friedman and have all but signed up for the online course ($37/per or $370/annual). And I’ve all but pulled out my remaining hairs! Not to make this all about me but… how much mentoring time does someone get when they sign up for the online course? I know I lack confidence, but I’m wondering what a mentor would say? When my book was on Amazon/Goodreads, I received mostly 4.5-5.0 star reviews – and that was before I had my book edited (yes, I put the cart waaaaay before the horse! ugh!).

    Also, if I take the course, does any work I send still belong to me (my intellectual property)?

    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond! I appreciate it, and very much value your opinion! GBY! :)

    Amre Cortadino

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Good to hear from you, Arme! We’d love to have you!

      As for what you can expect from the Guild, why not check out the free webinar I’m conducting Friday (at noon and 7 Central Time) to get all the details? We already have more than 15 hours of recorded material waiting for your perusal, and you can access it 24/7 once you’re signed up.

      Then there’s Office Hours, where you can cal in with live questions and talk to me, and if I don’t get to your question, you can pose it in the Forum, and I’ll get to it there. You can submit the first age of your manuscript for a Manuscript Repair & Rewrite, and even if yours isn’t chosen, you can learn a ton from watching what I do with others.

      There are Live Online Workshops, several already archived and new ones every month; me with Master Classes, the Fiction and Nonfiction Jumpstart Courses…and much more.

    • Amre Cortadino

      Thank you so much for your response and the info below – I appreciate it! i am looking forward to the mentoring aspect of the Guild, so hope it’s what I’m looking for.

      So, to access the webinar, do I just get connected by accessing jerryjenkins.com?

      BTW, we have the same birthday! I love that time of year, even if it means we’re becoming “gold-er!” :)

      • Jerry B Jenkins

        I’ll find out from the team how you eat get into the free webinar tomorrow and have someone get back to you.

        Same birthday, eh? Mine is the same day AND year as Bruce Springsteen (I sure hope he dyes his hair (otherwise, he’s a freak of nature). Jason Alexander is exactly 10 years younger than I. Mickey Rooney and Milton Berle have gone on before. And Julio Iglesias is older. And now you. :)

      • Support

        Hey, Amre! I’ve registered you for tomorrow’s webinar at 12 pm Central. You should have received the confirmation email with the link to join, but feel free to email wecare@jerryjenkins.com if it’s not in your inbox and we’ll get it to you. Thanks!

  • Michelle Smith

    I just published my first book Prodigal Pursued, my memoir, last month! I’ve had short stories published previously. I also wrote and shopped two novels a few years ago without success. It’s so exciting! Now I’m working on a companion book, a small “manual” on staying on the road to freedom.

    • Jerry B Jenkins

      Congrats! Who was the publisher of your book?

      • Michelle Smith

        Palm Tree Publications was the Assisted Publisher. I guess that’s a fancy way of saying self-published with help? But PTP is awesome and I’m so glad I went with them. In all honesty, I doubt my book would’ve been picked up by a publisher. The full title is Prodigal Pursued: Out of the Lifestyle Into the Arms of Jesus: An Ex-Lesbian’s Journey.

  • Jay Warner

    At one time or another I’ve used all the excuses you list. For several years now I’ve been 50 pages away from finishing a historical novel I’m writing about my grandfather’s involvement in arctic exploration in the 1920s. All the research is done, and it’s largely based on his diary, the official government report on the expedition, and other historical information. I just have to finish it. Time to stop making excuses and just get it done. Thanks for the kick in the rear.

    • You’re welcome, Jay, but I’m curious–which a novel when the true story sounds so dynamic?

  • Kathryn Howard

    I am a new blogger (kathrynsjournal.wordpress.com) and I’ve been “working” on a novel for… ahem….6 years. I read your post and it inspired me to press on. I broke down on number 7 and bawled for a bit. Thanks for that one esp. I have a lot of “excuses” but mostly I am overwhelmed. It’s all scrambled on a cloud and I have family issues that are complicated which make me question the plot (it is somewhat autobiographical…in a “faction” kind of way.And involves my mother who is entrenched in a cult…you see?)But, I am determined to get it done. Thanks for being an encourager out there in this crazy world. You are doing a lot of good, Mr. Jenkins. The enemy wants us to shut up and sit down. But too bad for him. Well done, sir.

  • Mireya Millar

    my colleague required IELTS Application Form Online a few weeks ago and located a website that has an online forms database . If you are wanting IELTS Application Form Online also , here’s a http://goo.gl/MULvcJ.

  • Misti Abrams Gil

    Thank you, Mr. Jenkins. I used to blog a lot, but one day my words just dried up, and I quit writing. That was in 2010. In the last 6 years I’ve written poems but no blog posts or articles at all. Then about a year ago, I felt very clearly that God wanted me to write a non-fiction book about what to do when you feel like God has let you down. When he’s disappointed you and you’re angry about it. In it I will share the story of my daughter dying after months of praying she wouldn’t. I’ve started but am just on the first chapter. After years of putting down the pen (or keyboard), I’m finding it difficult to find a clear direction. My vision is to be as transparent as possible, to help readers feel like they’re not alone in their feelings and to give them hope of a deeper walk with Jesus that can be birthed from wrestling through suffering with God. I’m just not quite sure how to get there. BUT. . .I have begun, and I am writing. That’s a huge step in the right direction. Thank you for your faithful encouragement and teaching!

    • Thank you, Misti. And I’m sorry for your loss.

      The key here, it seems to me, is to boil your idea down to one sentence that can serve as your guide as you write as well as your elevator pitch if you ever got a chance to tell a potential buyer what it’s about.

      In this case it seems your theme is that we can be honest with God. That should help you with your sentence and also broaden your audience to people who are angry with Him for any reason–not just yours. You can start with that story, because everyone can sympathize even if they can’t imagine or empathize. But then you can turn it to other potential reasons to be mad at God and encourage readers to simply tell Him. It’s not like He doesn’t know. :)

      • Sonya Tormoen

        That’s great advice (PS just found your site and benefitting greatly immediately)

  • what can I say, it’s a fabulous wake up call and a timely kick in the butt to get going’ thank you Mr. Jenkins.

  • Lia Martin

    I’m absolutely guilty of them all.

  • Shivavani

    Reading you on writing is a big motivator. Though I have written manuscripts, I haven’t published them as it feels like there is nothing new on this earth to say. Everything is just an evolutionary cycle. Yet as i ponder on your ideas, i am contemplating. In gratitude