Someone on Twitter recently asked me how I got into writing books, what was the process for me? I responded that I committed full time hours to it and worked with many professionals – from authors to editors to literary agents – as I revised the book. There’s more to it than that, of course, but Twitter allows only certain amount of characters to explain that process, so I’ll expand on the answer in this blog post.
When I initially started to write books, I placed the typewriter on my lap (this was before the computer era) and I began typing away. I did not bother studying about character or setting developments, first or third point-of-views, plots, or any of that fancy literary stuff. I just felt that I had a good story that was better than some of the junk out there and figured all I had to do was get it down on paper, turn it to an agent or publisher and voila, a book is born!
Well, over time, I realized the process was a little more sophisticated than that. Especially as English was my second language, I really needed the assistance of professionals in this field to get my story in order and tell it in an authentic and beautiful way.
Aside from commitment and working with professionals, the process also requires persistence. I recently visited Greenfield Village (yes again. I love that place so be prepared to read more posts about it) and as I rode in one of Ford’s Model T’s, the driver told of why Henry Ford named it the Model T.
Ford started production in 1903 with the Model A, then moved to Model B and C, progressing through the alphabet as he experimented with various models. Some were not production models, only prototypes. It wasn’t until 1928 that Ford offered an improved car that became the Model T.
The Model T was his first automobile mass-produced on moving assembly lines with completely interchangeable parts and marketed to the middle class. This car was so affordable that it changed the way Americans lived, worked, and traveled. More than 15 million Model Ts were built in Detroit and Highland Park, Michigan. After the Model T, Ford started all over again with the letter A.
So the process of executing anything, whether a car, a book, a building, or a lifestyle needs 1) commitment 2) working with professionals and 3) persistence.
It’s not a complicated recipe, but it is a long-term process. Here’s something to keep in mind – the strongest trees in the forest grow the slowest.