By: Julie Berry
When I first started working on my book, I believed I could simply write and the words, ideas, and awe-inspiring stories would easily flow from my fingertips, through the keyboard, and onto the page. But then reality hit, and I felt like I was a lab rat lost in a very confusing maze.
I did not make much progress on the book until I had an outline, and that outline did not occur in a workable form until I began consulting with an editor. Therefore, my biggest recommendation to any first-time author would be to prepare an outline for your book under the supervision of a knowledgeable editor. Once my outline was ready, the book flowed much more easily, and I was able to go back and add more to the story by following the outline as I continued to write.
Fear was my biggest obstacle to writing. I put off getting started for months because I talked myself into believing that I could not accomplish writing a book. I did not want to fail, and so I came up with excuse after excuse for not being serious about writing. I finally realized that by not writing, I was disobeying God’s call on my life. I knew without a doubt that He had not only called me to write the book but that He had also cleared so many things in my life to make it happen. Over and over, God put people in my life or put me in circumstances that affirmed the writing of my book. So, the most important thing I learned through this entire process was that when God calls you to ANYTHING, He equips you to complete the task. In fact, I truly believe that one of the primary reasons why my family journeyed through this whole experience with my son, Jacob, was to allow our story to be shared with others. My hope is that this story will not only bring hope and encouragement, but also give praise to the omnipotence and provision of God.
Writing, I also learned, is not for the faint of heart. It takes diligence, commitment, patience, and self-discipline. Writing was a much more involved process than I ever thought it would be, but that only made completing my book that much sweeter.
I am a very opiniated, somewhat stubborn person. However, I learned that working with Lucid Books had to be a give and take relationship. Despite my initial belief that I knew everything there was to know about writing, I soon realized that was far from the truth. At times, I remained firm about certain stories or wording that I wanted to be in the book, but more often than not, I acquiesced to the much more superior knowledge and experience of my editor. Being willing to receive their input, constructive criticism, and correction improved my book immensely, and I learned so much. As authors, we have a unique vision of what we want our books to look like, but an author must work with their editor to be truly successful.
I have always loved to write. However, although I had an article published in an earlier book, I did not write my first book until I was 55. Please let that be an encouragement to never give up on your dreams. Listen to God’s call and trust Him to enable you to put the words on the page. I’m excited to write my second book one day soon!
Julie Berry’s book Why Do I Have Asperger’s?: A Mother’s Memoir of Love, Hope, and Perseverance shares the journey of a family as they trusted God in the midst of what seemed an insurmountable diagnosis. Order a copy of her book.
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