The title of this post may sound extremely obvious, but it's important. I keep meeting people who tell me they want to write a book and/or are working on a book. Most of the time, unfortunately, their talk never turns into an actual book.
These folks, who I'm sure truly do want to become authors, remind me of the people I see packing the classes every January at the yoga studio I frequent. They've clearly made New Year's resolutions to get in shape, so they sign up for yoga and jump in eagerly. But by February, they're gone. I imagine they have all sorts of reasons for why they stopped coming to class. Too busy with work/kids/family. Not enough time. Schedule conflicts. Etc. etc. etc.
These are all excuses. The simple truth is that yoga is HARD, and it takes a lot of discipline to go to class on a regular basis and get into good shape.
It's the same thing with writing. Even if you have a wonderful idea for a book, writing a book is HARD. In addition to the sheer creative effort, it's not like an office job where you have to show up or you'll get fired. It's up to you to sit down today and tomorrow and the day after that and just write.
I once spoke on a panel with a woman who said she approached writing her book the same way she approached training for a marathon. I thought that was a great way to look at it. You can't just show up and run 26.2 miles without training, and a book isn't just going to appear on your computer screen because you really want to be an author.
While the "lifestyle of a writer" can sound idyllic because no one is looking over your shoulder, it also requires discipline and self-motivation. The more seriously you take your writing, the more likely you are to succeed.
Maria Murnane is the author of the best-selling romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life, Honey on Your Mind, and Chocolate for Two. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.
This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2013 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.