Yes, anyone can write a book and get it published!
Maybe you are wondering if your age, education, location or skills as a writer makes a difference. If so, I have some good news for you!
Anyone – regardless of age, education, economic circumstance, geographic location, or skill – can absolutely write a book and get it published. You do not need any special credentials, requirements, or training.
You still might be wondering if you are the exception. You might be saying, “Yeah, that sounds good, but I’m young or broke or lack writing skills.”
I can relate to those fears and story-stopping beliefs (we’ll talk about the biggest and baddest beliefs holding us back in a moment). But first, let me introduce you to a few authors who prove anyone can write a book and get it published.
Recommended Reading: What Do You Need To Start Writing A Book?
What If I’m Too Young?
Daisy Ashford wrote her first work, The Life of Father McSwiney at age 4! How did she do it? She dictated the book to her father. She didn’t stop there. By age 9, she wrote yet another book, The Young Visitors.
If she can write and publish books, so can you! Never let age (or any other excuse) stop you from pursuing your dreams.
Other authors who wrote books before graduating high school include:
- Flavia Bujor, the French novelist, wrote her first book, The Prophecy of the Stones, at age 13.
- Juliette Davies wrote the first book in her JJ Halo series when she was 8 years old. The series was published when she was 9.
- Check out the screenshot below that lists tons of other teenagers who are published authors.
What if I’m Too Old?
On the flip side, what if you have always wanted to write a book but never made it a priority. What if you wonder if you are too old?
Don’t worry, you are not alone. Your time has not passed.
Let these authors inspire you no matter your age or experience:
- Laura Ingalls Wilder published her first book, Little House in the Big Woods, at age 65. This is the book that led to the TV show Little House on the Prairie.
- Raymond Chandler published The Big Sleep at age 51. This book is considered one of the best detective novels of all time.
- Bram Stoker published Dracula when he was 50 years old.
- Mary Wesley published her first novel for adults at age 71.
According to a study reported by Curtis Brown Creative, most professionally published authors published their first work at age 36.– Curtis Brown Creative
What if I am Not a Skilled Writer?
Did you know that you don’t need any special training or skills to write a book and get it published? Did you know that you don’t even have to be a good writer?
Truth is, you can be absolutely terrible (and yet still be successful).
While I recommend reading and writing great books to upskill yourself as a creative person, you absolutely don’t have to know how to write to be a successful author.
There are actually several alternative routes to write and get published even if you are a terrible writer, hate writing, or without doing any writing at all (crazy, I know).
Here are four popular alternative routes to being a successful author:
- Write poorly and still get published (and paid). More on this below.
- Daisy Ashford Method (DAM for short 😉) – Dictate to another person or use voice-to-text on Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or the Notes App on your phone. You can speak your book into existence instead of writing it.
- James Patterson Method (JPM just isn’t as fun of an acronym) – Collaborate with other authors who do most or all of the actual writing.
- Corey Wayne Method (Also the Jack Welch and Steven Covey Method) – You can hire a ghostwriter on service marketplaces such as UpWork and Fiverr to write your book for you. You can even get someone to make you a book cover and help you place your book on Amazon or other websites to get sales.
Read my blog post 10 eBook Marketing Strategies (Explode Your eBook Sales)
Like I mentioned above, all you need to do is read many traditionally published or self-published works (even bestsellers) and you will clearly know that quality writing isn’t necessary.
Sure, I think it’s in your best interest to write as well as possible, but it clearly doesn’t block anyone from writing, publishing and making money from their books.
Amazon reviews prove it. Here’s just two of MANY examples…
The Brain Goblins That Hold Us Back
Hopefully by now, you are convinced that anyone – regardless of age or experience – can write a book and get it published.
But it isn’t always as easy as it might sound. Maybe other people are lucky, blessed, or just plain talented. You want to know about you. Can I write a book and get it published?
What a simple question, yet so packed with undertones of ambition, hope and drive.
In fact, it’s a question big enough to stop you from writing. Many writers don’t start writing because they aren’t confident enough to believe their book can survive the long, windy road to publication.
Instead, they let the voices of doubt inside of them keep them from pursuing their dreams of being a full-time published author.
Next, let’s explore some of these pesky internal beliefs (aka brain goblins) that stop writers in their tracks.
Writing is Easier Said than Done
We think to ourselves, “This is too hard” and “I could never do it.”
This belief is based in fact.
Writing may seem like an easy task to some but when you sit down and start writing, you will realize why Ernest Hemingway is quoted as say, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
There are a lot of things that go down while writing. It’s a different story when you’re just writing for the sake of creating without a goal to get published or make any money.
Even if your intention is to get published, writing often takes a long time full of hard work. After all, it took J.K. Rowling almost 6 years to write her first novel!
At the same time, a four-year-old wrote a book. So did a 9-year-old. Yes, writing is hard, but it’s totally doable.
Don’t let the difficulty hold you back any longer. Once you start, you will gain momentum to push through to the end. Imagine the pride and joy of seeing your published book. Imagine reading all the positive reviews. Imagine getting monthly royalties for you work – month after month, year after year.
Success from Writing is Not Immediate
There are a few writers that have gained success from their first publication. But that is not the case for every writer – or even most writers. If you expect that you will have instant success, then don’t achieve it, the slowness of success can be utterly disheartening.
You might feel defeated, rejected and like giving up.
Don’t! Almost every successful full-time author living today met with scores of rejection and failure before finally making it.
You may not need experience or skill to write and publish a book, but you most certainly require bulldog persistence.
Perhaps you have heard of Dr. Seuss, otherwise known as Theodor Seuss Geisel. He has written numerous super successful books for children like The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, Fox in Socks, etc. However, his books were not popular right from the beginning. He sent his books to 27 publishers who promptly rejected him (bet they wish they hadn’t) but only the 28th publisher agreed to publish his book.
Working Hard Can be Scary
Many writers get nervous about working hard. They want to write a bestselling novel but the fear of all the hard work, of the time investment, of the blood and sweat and tears of laboring over a story for weeks or months or years, terrifies them.
Especially when they think of the possible rejection and failure at the end of those long months.
What if I do all that work for nothing? What if I fail? The opportunity cost can be frightening.
Yes, working hard can be scary. And, if you do all the work yourself, it can most definitely be a lot of difficult work. Even if you get help or hire a ghostwriter, there are no guarantees of success.
But – and here is a BIG but – you also accomplish something few people have the guts to finish. You also prove to yourself that you can do it. You also learn a massive amount about writing and about yourself along the way.
And, who knows, someone has to make the next big publishing splash! It could very well be you.
Quitting Before Making a Move
Some of us backpedal before we even start. I’ve done that a number of times over the years with my writing (and other life goals). I spent so many years convincing myself that I could never make it when I could have been writing and publishing my books.
Don’t quit before you start. Give yourself the chance to succeed and win. (And simply writing a book is a major milestone and reason to celebrate).
I agree that listening to criticism is extremely difficult. Let’s be honest – it sucks!
In writing, you candidly express everything in front of your audience. Your audience can analyze every word and misplaced comma. This puts you in a vulnerable position.
Many people step back from writing because they are scared of criticism, scared of negative feedback. You may be an amazing writer, but if you’re scared of the criticism and hold back from publishing your book, then chances are, you will never get your book published.
Yet, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can be scared and still push through those fears to write and publish your book.
Many have done it before you. You can do it, too.
Scared of Rejection
Fear of rejection is the extreme version of fear of criticism. This fear usually tells us that rejection by one person is rejection by all people (even if it isn’t logical).
Fear of rejection also tells us that temporary rejection equals forever rejection – as if times and preferences and opportunities don’t change. On top of that belief, some of us view the rejection of our work as a personal rejection of us.
Sometimes as writers we have a hard time separating ourselves from our stories.
However, consider how different people have different preferences. Even if you get your book published, not everyone is going to like it. There are thousands of bestselling books. Odds are, you don’t like all of them. You don’t because every reader has different preferences.
A bestselling book on sewing might be fantastic, but I’m never going to like it. Not a chance. That doesn’t mean it is a terrible book. It just means I don’t like sewing.
It’s the same with your book. Sure, perhaps you can improve your story (who can’t?) and your writing (always a good goal), but rejection doesn’t equal death to yourself or your writing career.
Not Ready to Commit Adequate Time
Writing can gobble up a lot of time. Writing a book in one day and publishing it the next is seldom possible. I say seldom because some shorter books (eBooks, novellas, nonfiction) can be written quickly by yourself or a hired writer.
But this is not the norm.
Most of the time, you need to plan and research your topic properly before writing. Most of the time, you should anticipate that writing your book will take at least a month (if you are writing a full-length book full time) or, more likely, even longer.
The time investment usually comes down to personal commitment and creative resourcefulness.
Take me, for example. I didn’t write for YEARS because I busied myself with a full-time, 40-60 hour a week job while raising my two kids. I didn’t get adequate sleep for a long time. I wasn’t working out.
Then I decided to make a change. One day, I just said, “To hell with it,” I’m just going to make it happen somehow. I knew I had to find a way or I would never give myself time to pursue my writing dreams.
Over the next two years, I quit my full-time job to go freelance so that I could have the time and freedom to write. It was scary, but that’s why I am able to write this blog post right now during the day.
If I can do it, so can you!
Losing Focus Easily
You may be thrilled about writing and publishing your work. You may be committed. But while writing, you lose your focus very easily. Getting all creative and hyped up for writing is certainly the way to go, but it also demands a certain amount of consistent focus.
Focus, for me, comes down to limiting distractions. I put my phone away. I set timers so that I challenge myself to write a certain number of words within a certain amount of time.
Get yourself a strong enough WHY that drives your commitment and focus. When you get distracted, acknowledge it and MOVE ON.
Self-flagellation won’t help. Give yourself grace to be imperfect and take the next step toward your dreams.
Confused About Where to Start
Many writers stumble on the first stage. They are confused about their writing title. They wait too long for the best title, topic, or idea that they miss out on writing. Eventually, sometimes months or years later, they realize they never even started.
Confusion is common at first. We have so many ideas that we don’t know what to write. We don’t know where to begin.
The solution? Just start.
Pick one of your favorite ideas you are passionate about and get going. You can change it later. You can pivot. But you can’t make progress unless you start.
Suggested Read: How to Overcome Writer’s Block (Ultimate No Fail System)
The Magic of Believing in Yourself
Now that we know the fears and limiting beliefs holding us back, how do we move forward to write and publish our books?
Accept and Acknowledge Your Fears
Your fears start to dissipate the moment you authentically acknowledge and accept them as real, reasonable and relevant. Fighting, ignoring or trying to make your feelings go away will only trap you in them.
Be Your Own Biggest Fan
Believing in yourself is the first step towards becoming successful. Whether you’re starting big or starting small, you will only succeed once you dare to believe that you can make it.
The first positive affirmation should come from yourself. Speak kindly to yourself. Talk yourself up. Celebrate yourself and each small milestone.
Be Willing to Work Hard
Commit to working hard. Dive in with full loyalty to yourself and your future goals of being a full-time published author. Accept the hard work it often takes to succeed.
There is not an exact formula when it comes to writing, as it is not science. But one thing is for sure: you have to stay consistent.
Staying consistent does not mean writing for 5 hours straight each day. But commit to your writing at least once a day. Even if you only have 30 minutes a day in the morning, during lunch or at night, commit to it.
Success comes from daily doses of committed action. Stay true no matter what life brings (and life will bring distractions). Plan ahead, keep figuring out better and easier ways to write. Keep going.
Staying consistent is a major key to reaching your goal of getting your book published. Most people who stop, fail. Most people who fail, stop.
Be the person who never stops. Be the person who doggedly chases your dreams.
Open Yourself to Feedback
Allow yourself to hear feedback and constructive criticism. Your first published book may not be the best, but with proper feedback, your second published book can be a massive hit.
You never know, so always be open to improving yourself every day. The best writers are not the perfect ones! But they are the ones that make mistakes and constantly focus on improving.
Never Give Up
If you want to stay on the top, write a bestselling book, and get all your writings published, then you need to hustle! No setbacks should scare you into stopping, and with every setback, you need to rise even stronger.
This is easier said than done, and you will come across situations where you feel like you cannot make it. In those circumstances, stay strong, seek support, celebrate each small win, and focus on the positives.
You only need one YES. You only need one success to snowball into a career.
Never, ever give up.
Yes, anyone can write a book and get it published. It doesn’t matter how young or old, experienced or inexperienced, rich or poor. You can write a book anywhere. You can even write a book in prison.
And if you can do that, you can do anything.
The right strategies, resources and tools can help!
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