Where Are You on Your Writer’s Journey?

Balboa Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. These are the words of Valerie Haynes Perry author of Write the Book You Want. For more information, check out her website and Facebook.

Recently, I had the opportunity and pleasure to participate in an event at Laurel Book Store in Oakland, California. Luan Stauss—the store’s generous and community-minded owner—and Teresa LeYung-Ryan—multi-genre author and master platform builder—completed our trio. Luan covered the considerable moving parts required to run a bookstore; Luan showed how to build a platform and attract a fanbase; I reminded writers that in order to benefit from Luan and Teresa’s expertise, first you had to write a book!

SKU-001058233Like coming up with a one-line book pitch, determining your location on the journey of writing a book can be surprisingly challenging. Inviting that pristine one-liner can feel as demanding as writing a whole book. Fortunately, the answer lies in identifying and maintaining clarity about your intentions for your book. After responding, it then becomes a matter of moving forward on your path.

I arrived at this clarity while traveling a path that has led to publishing seven books. I love to write so much that I focused on developing a solid body of work. My decision was to write the best books possible; be dedicated to ongoing learning and improvement; read a lot along the way; and write the books I want to write. After publishing three novels and a collection of short stories, I paused to answer this question: How can I show other authors how to let the sheer joy of writing sustain them throughout the entire journey? That’s when I turned to writing what became a “writer’s trilogy.”

Now, ask yourself: Where am I on my writer’s journey? How do I honestly feel about where I am? Am I making this process harder than it needs to be? Does it need to be hard at all—can it simply be so gratifying that the concept of difficulty has no meaning? Can I let go of these questions long enough to trust where my own, unique writing leads me?


Valerie Haynes Perry talking with writers at Laurel Book Store on Sunday, August 28th, 2016.

You must come up with your own answers—program your own literary GPS. But I can tell you one thing: It’s all a matter of moving forward—taking steps.

Using Write the Book You Want—Be Your Own Coach, Valerie motivates serious writers to finish their books and encourage other writers. Write the Book You Want is the third book in Valerie’s writer’s trilogy. It’s preceded by Listening Out Loud—A Friend to the Serious Writer and Write, Read, Listen—Your Handy Writing Coach. Valerie also loves to write fiction. Her first three novels and collection of short stories are Tanner Blue, Painted Deserts, Members, and Music for the Dream—Seven Short Stories. She’s working on a new novel—a western of all things!

Balboa Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BalboaPress, by tweeting us @BalboaPress, or by emailing blog@balboapress.com. We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. Balboa Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space. 

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