By Robyn P Murray © 2018

Every writer has his/her own habit of tackling that piece of writing which must meet a deadline whether it is required by an Agent/Publisher or your own goal. Everyone tackles it differently.

Creative writing courses urge you to put down 500 words per day and it will grow then progress to 1,000 words a day and you have a novel by the end of the year. Many writers sit in front of their PC with a blank page in front of them. The more they try the harder it seems.

Let me recount my experience of producing 17 children’s illustrated books, several anthologies of short stories and finally a 330 page book of short stories. One anthology was completed in a fortnight 30,000 words, I wrote night and day. I had the majority of the ‘bones’ of the stories but others I just had a title and it developed. It has gone into three reprints.

I would recommend finding a good writers group of like-minded people who love to write. You set tasks each month and it is amazing how 8 or so people come up with a different angle on the subject. Each person reads their piece and receives feedback and suggestions. Over the months and years it all helps.

You need to have belief in yourself that you can do it. Once I ‘decided’ to go for it and self- publish (I knew nothing about the subject) but I did it. I made mistakes along the way, but learned from every one.

After six years of publishing books I recently got together with a few of my earlier writer’s group and began writing a monthly task of 500 words. Whereas before I left the task to write an hour or so before the meeting, with three words or phrases to include. Now I begin the story the same day of the last meeting, read it every few days, edit it, add and re work it and in the end am proud of the set of 500 word short stories I have written over the last 6 months.

Find your feet, what suits your lifestyle, time available and go for it. If you have the passion to write down something which has been ‘cooking’ for years in your mind and desire to hold your published book in your hand. Write down a goal of a time frame the book is to be completed. Tell people you are writing a book. Go for it. You CAN do it.

I now hold mini workshops for people who over the past 6 years have asked me, HOW DO I PUBLISH MY BOOK. I am happy I have been able to help and allay fears that it is an impossible job. Believe in yourself. Work hard. Learn as much as you can.  GOOD LUCK.

Robyn P Murray Hirst

Author & Publisher of Children’s Illustrated Books and Short Stories

Mangere Bridge, Auckland 2022, New Zealand