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"The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step," says an ancient Chinese proverb -

You have talked to your boss or

You have talked to your parents, sisters, brothers, and other relatives or

You have talked to your co - workers or

You have talked to librarians or

You have talked to printers, movie directors, literary agents, graphic artists or

You have also talked to your students or

You have talked to members of your organization(s) or

You have talked to local and national newspapers or

You have talked to everyone you know or

Who else?
You have talked to bookstore managers.

You have attended writing seminars and conferences.

You have visited every library both those within and beyond walking distances.

You are now convinced you can write a book.

You are now convinced that you have a book in you.

You are now finally convinced you have a viewpoint, a message to share with others.

There are questions to answer. Take a look.
Question No. 1: How do you finally get started in writing the first page of your first book?

Question No. 2: How do you finally get down to writing the first chapter?

While I was addressing the members of Norman Galaxy of Writers at Norman Public Library on July 6, 1996, a middle - aged man in the audience told a story of how he has been trying to start writing his book, but continued to postpone it.

"How do I finally get started?" he asked me.

"Don't expect to write your book in a day," I told him.

"You get started by getting started, even if it means writing down a sentence for the first paragraph for your first chapter. It could be replacing in the body of your manuscript, the definite article, "the" with the indefinite article, "a" or vice versa. Replacement of any of these could add a different meaning to a sentence. "The man and a pan" is not the same as "A man and a pan". In the former sentence, while "the man" is specific, "a pan" is general and in the later sentence, while "a man" is general, "a pan" is also general. On the other hand, it could be writing down a word or a phrase, or a whole sentence or an inspiring thought.

"How do you know?, he continued.

"My wife and I, just yesterday, we finished putting a sentence together for this wonderful book I am writing," he said.

It could be replacing the word, K - A - T - E with C - A - T - H - E - R - I - N - E or replacing A - M - A - S - O - N with A - M - A - Z - O - N or it could be deleting one or even more pages of your manuscript to make room for meaning and clarity. You don't need a special writing table. You don't need a special writing pen. You don't need a special writing room before deciding the chapters of your book.

I AM TRYING......

How many times have you heard people say: I am trying to be so so and so?

If you are a teacher, you are a teacher.
That's what you are.
You are not trying to be a teacher.

If you are an attorney, you are an attorney.
That's what you are.
You are not trying to be an attorney.

If you are a surgeon, you are a surgeon.
That's what you are.
You are not trying to be a surgeon

If you are a nurse, you are a nurse.
That's what you are.
You are not trying to be a nurse.

If you are a motor mechanic, you are motor mechanic.
That's what you are.
You are not trying to be a motor mechanic.

If you are a poet, you are a poet.
That's what you are.
You are not trying to be a poet.

If you are a writer, you are writer.
That's what you are.
You are not trying to be a writer.

If you want to be a university professor, you act like one.
If you act like one, you increase the chances of becoming one.
If you don't act like one, you don't become one.

If you want to become a football star, you act like one.
If you act like one, you increase the chances of becoming one.
If you don't act like one, you don't become one.

I told him also that it is time people start to believe in what they do, it is time people start to believe in what they are. The sooner we all do, the better we make this world a better place for all of us.

It is time school teachers start to believe in their head teachers and the head teachers in their school teachers. It is time school children start to believe in their school teachers and the school teachers in their school children. If is time wives start to believe in their husbands, and the husbands in their wives. It is time parents start to believe in their children, and the children in their parents. It is time people start to believe in the religion they practice. It is time writers start to believe in what they are writing.

It is about belief. It is all about self-confidence.

Belief that as an inventor, your invention could be a contribution to civilization.

Belief that as a teacher, you will do all you can to impart your knowledge to those entrusted to your care.

Belief that as a surgeon, your knowledge and skills will contribute to saving lives.

Belief that as an attorney, you will do all you can to satisfy your clients.

Belief that as a footballer, you will contribute your best to your team.

Belief that I can do it.
Belief that you can do it.
Belief that he can do it.
Belief that she can do it.
Belief that they can do it.
Belief that we can do it.

Belief that as a writer, your writing will make a difference in the lives of others.
Belief that as a writer, your stories could be interesting.

Belief that as a writer, your book could be what curriculum experts have been looking for.
It is all about belief in self.
It is about belief in others.
That's what it takes to build a nation.
That's what it takes to build a society.
That's what it takes to build a better world.
It is all about self-motivation. That's a part of what it takes to write a book.

Worried about rejections? Tired of rejections? I won't worry about rejections. Do you know that Iron Weed by William Kennedy was rejected 33 times before it was accepted by a commercial publisher? It even went on to become a best-seller.

Write a book and look for a publisher. Otherwise, self-publishing might be your best option. Your book could be as controversial as The Final Exit by Dr. Humphrey Derek or Kaffir Boy in America by Mark Mathabane. The days are gone when writing seemed to be a preserve of those with journalism degrees. Not anymore.

No Society is Perfect
Nigerian society is not perfect. The American society is not perfect either. What does this mean for you and me? There is a lot to talk about and consequently, a lot to write about. Take a look.

War in Mozambique;

bribery and corruption in Nigeria,

business opportunities in post-apartheid South Africa,

the United States criminal justice system,

domestic and youth violence,

teenage pregnancy,

drive-by-shootings,

abortion, gay and lesbian issues,

health care reform,

gun control, international terrorism,

and domestic terrorism in the United States etc.
People need to know about the stock market. Can you explain the stock market in a language a lay man can understand ? If yes, then, write a book. Can you identify a need? Go to the local library and look for books already in the area. Talk it over with the librarian. Check Books In Print for similar titles on the same subject. Visit your local bookstore and check the books on the shelf.

Stop procrastinating. Stop giving excuses.

Set a goal and write that book. Visualize it. Build a dummy of it and put it under your pillow. Feed your subconscious mind with positive affirmations and then go to sleep with the positive expectation that your dreams will present you with ideas that could lead to personal development. Affirmations are thoughts and thoughts, like electric charges could either be negative or positive. Affirmations when positive, could help in turning your dreams into physical reality. Affirmations when positive, increase your energy, motivation and expectancy levels. Affirmations when positive, enhance your creativity.


You have to motivate yourself from second to second, minute to minute, hour to hour, day by day, week by week, month to month, year by year, That is part of what it takes to get motivated and stay motivated. That is a part of what it takes to write a book.

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