Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

Book Ideas for Young Writers

Bonus: Writing every day is the hardest part of being a young writer. I’ve created a quick video training to show you exactly how to overcome this (click here to download).

You’re just getting started as a writer. Or you’ve been doing it your whole life. But you’ve never published a book. And you want to; you need to. You’re just not quite sure how to begin. What would it actually take?

No publishers are knocking down your door, but you feel like you’ve got a book in you. What do you do? Do you wait? Do you try to get noticed?

Maybe not. Maybe it’s time to get started now. Maybe you’ve already got everything you need to write your first book.

Here’s a list of ideas for writing your first book, both conventional and unconventional, that should help you get started. I’d love you to add to it.

FREE TRAINING: I’ve put together a free video to share my best advice on how to start a writing habit, so you actually finish the book you start. Click here to watch it now.

Writing ideas for first-time authors

  • Build a platform with a blog and let the publisher come to you.
  • Self-publish an eBook. Who knows? Maybe you’ll end up like Amanda Hocking, earning herself a traditional book contract after selling 1.5 million books on Amazon.
  • Work on your book proposal. While I’m not a fan of waiting to be picked, writing a book proposal requires real work, and it can pay off. Getting an actual book deal still carries with it a lot of legitimacy.
  • Write a 1000-word electronic manifesto and give it away for free when people join your mailing list. (Here’s mine, along with a bunch of other bonuses and the training I mentioned above.)
  • Do something remarkable — an article, publicity stunt, a bike ride across the country to benefit charity — and earn the attention of an audience or a publisher. Then, tell your story.
  • Write and publish a novel, one chapter at a time, using Amazon Kindle singles, Wattpad, or sharing with your email list subscribers.
  • Write a print-on-demand book through a provider like CreateSpace.
  • Start a website on WordPress or Tumblr and use it write your book a chapter or scene at a time. Build a tribe through your subscriber list and then eventually publish all the posts in a hardcopy book, then sell it to your list.
  • Finance your own self-publishing project by crowd-sourcing through a Kickstarter project. Anne Jackson did this with her poetry book project.
  • Don’t write a book. There are too many unread books in the world. Instead, write a short pamphlet to spread an idea. This, as you may recall, was how ideas got around long before the Internet.
  • Write a short book of poems or stories. Long projects are daunting. Start small.
  • Write what you know. Maybe it’s a memoir of your a family or a how-to book about getting started with your favorite hobby.
  • Keep a journal. Then, rewrite the entries in a much more polished book format, but use some photo copies or scans of the journal pages as illustrations in the book. You could even sell “deluxe” editions that come with photocopied versions of the journal. (A little personal, but people would love it.)
  • Write an article that tells the absolute, brutal truth about the status quo. Call out a dysfunctional norm, something that’s wrong with the world that we all know but don’t talk about. Be bold, be honest, and demand action.
  • Write a series of letters to yourself 10 years ago. What would you say? Use this as a manuscript for a book that you pitch to a publisher or publish yourself.
  • Go non-traditional. Be the next William Faulkner or Ernest Hemingway. Be terse; go all stream-of-consciousness. Think outside the box.

So there you go. Those were some my best ideas for how to get started on your first book. And getting started is important. But finishing is the part that really matters, and it’s the hardest part.

Click here to learn my personal system for how to keep writing — every day, whether you feel like it or not — so you can finish every book you start.


Photo credit: qisur (Creative Commons)

About Jeff Goins

I help people tell better stories and make a difference in the world. My family and I live outside of Nashville, TN. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus. To get updates and free stuff, join my newsletter.

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  • http://www.identitales.com Esther van der Wal

    Nice little list there Jeff. I especially like the 1000-word manifesto (1000 words sounds doable) and the journal idea. Stream-of-consciousness writing is awesome too, but I’d be afraid of publishing that blurb of words and thoughts.

    To add to your list: polish up some of your best, long email conversations. Either include your side only, or consult with the other person whether you could use some of their stuff. I tend to write long emails that help me explain my thoughts and feelings. Very personal, indeed, but some publishable material might come out of it. What do you think? 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      totally doable. give it a try, esther!

      i love the idea of using emails. i do that a lot with blog posts.

  • http://twitter.com/denizz_d ddenizz

    Thanks for the great ideas!

  • http://www.myoneresolution.com/ Don McAllister

    Blook..that’s funny, never heard that term before. Great list of ideas!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      yup. not a typo. blog + book = blook. google it! :)

  • http://chriscornwell.org Chris Cornwell

    I like that you said the “pamphlet” idea. In fact, that is what my first book is essentially. In a nutshell it’s a 21-day jumpstart guide to quiet times. How to start from scratch basically. 

    Some other very intriguing ideas there Jeff…

  • Nate

    I needed that Jeff! I’ve really wanted to get started, and I think the free eBook manifesto is the starting point. Thanks for always giving me added inspiration. 

  • Al Pittampalli

    I think the idea of a “how to” course, delivered by autoresponder is something that has been largely unexploited. People love structure, and if you have a topic you have expertise in, offering it to people in a step by step (an e-mail each day) program might be in demand.

    • http://davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

      Al, I agree. I just recently finished an e-course like this and it was a very unique, refreshing experience.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      love that idea, Al. i’m honestly working on something like this right now.

  • http://davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

    I really like what Michael Hyatt did with his life plan book. It’s simple, short, and interactive. I’m working on one that includes some worksheets and ways to implement the “how to”.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      i like that resource, too. can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  • Keith Jennings


    One of the most refreshing “discoveries” I’ve made as a writer involves writing through multiple personas and people.  I have ghost written everything from book chapters to thought leadership articles in A-list publications FOR OTHERS. 

    I absolutely love the freedom and creative challenge of morphing into someone else – finding their voice, their personality, their rhythm – and writing something that readers are convinced the “author” wrote.

    I also love the idea of writing under pseudonyms, although I’ve yet to explore this personally.

    For a “young” writer, both of these avenues offer the freedom and flexibility to explore different voices, topics, genres, styles, etc. without being creatively pigeonholed or perceived by others to be to unpredictable and flighty to be a “serious” writer.

    I continue to enjoy your blog!  Thank you for what you do for us!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins


  • http://www.leighkramer.com/ HopefulLeigh

    I never thought I’d post fiction on my blog- it’s my haven from the characters in my head- but recently I decided to explore ultra-shorts.  I’ve been blown away by the positive feedback and now I think it will be a monthly feature.  Perhaps when the vignettes are complete, I’ll throw an e-book together.  For now, I like building suspense about Lurlene’s story a few sentences at a time.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins


  • http://somewiseguy.com ThatGuyKC

    This list is fantastic. I’ve got the first two planned. Already got the blog and am thinking of emulating the short book “template” used by The Domino Project and Blaine Hogan.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Awesome! Good luck, friend.

  • http://levittmike.wordpress.com levittmike

    A great way to gently help us get off the sidelines and get on to writing!  Have a great week!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins


    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      thanks, mike. you too.

  • http://www.eileenknowles.blogspot.com Eileen

    I laughed when you clarified what “young” meant.  Confession time:  I didn’t click on your tweet the other day because it said young writers.  So glad for the reworded tweet tonight!  Great advice.   Love the idea of the free ebook as a way to ease into the whole publishing thing.  Thanks.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      you should do it, eileen! my ebook was instrumental in building my tribe.

      • Allie

        I think all your ideas are perfectly legit. But you can’t guarantee that only intelligent people will visit your site. Keep up the good work. I am inspired.

  • http://twitter.com/BethMacKinney Elizabeth MacKinney

    I loved this post, Jeff. When we were kids, that’s why we wrote. Just for the fun of it. Just for the thrill of it. Here’s an extra for your list: start a blog with humorous children’s ministry skits for free use. (I did this one.) 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins


  • Luv024


    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins


    • RoseGenx

      Oddly enough, that was my first thought too :P Rowling has taken over the world….

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

        indeed. much to my chagrin.

      • Anonymous

        i thought the same thing too!!!

    • Or not…

      J.K. Rowling to take over the world much? thank god i’m not the only one that thought that…

  • Elisabeth

    How come you’re so brilliant!? Thanks (again) for sharing your wisdom with the rest of us instead of hoarding it. You do what you say we should do: serve your audience. I’m all over it. Definitely will have something “published” one way or another some day or another.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      i’m just awesome… kidding! i’m learning right along with you. it’s a fun time to be a writer.

      • Elisabeth

        Ha!! Well, I do think you’re pretty gifted and it is a great time to be a writer.

        • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

          thanks. you’re too kind. :)

  • http://twitter.com/HopeScribbles Elisabeth Allen

    This is a great list of ideas! I especially like the idea of writing a short pamphlet to spread an idea. That’s one of the things Martin Luther did – and look at how the Reformation grew and spread partly as a result of the pamphlets he wrote!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      yep. this used to be the ONLY purpose for books.

  • Anonymous

    Hi, Jeff. I stumbled upon your site here…literally. I run a website for writers and am an aspiring author as well. I wanted to take the time to let you know that your posts caught my eye, especially this one, and I was taken aback by your lack of arrogance and genuine wanting to lend advice to others. I had to bookmark your site and “like” your Facebook page, so I wouldn’t lose it. I look forward to reading more. Thanks for sharing.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      thanks! i’m glad to help.

  • http://www.bappydood.com/en/ Miss Lego

    Thanks for the advices…I’ll keep it in mind.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      you’re welcome

  • http://mcrumph.com MCRumph

    I do lament the demise of the pamphleteer.  I kicked around an idea for making a super hero with that name (his sidekick would have been Letter Press).

    I guess it all depends on what you want to write, but I think most of these are closer to the end of the process.  My advice would be:

    1-Read the very best writers out there (and not just in your specific genre).

    2-Have something real to say.

    3-Write 100,000 words (not necessarily all on one thing) and then start your novel/whatever.

    But then again, I am shooting for something very specific.  The first two novels, and two dozen short stories I have written may not have been bad (or good for that matter), but they were only stepping stones.  I am more concerned with getting it write, than just being published.

    Good Luck!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      I LOVE your attitude. Thanks for the comment. I like #1, as well. Great advice.

  • Poop

    Stumbled on your page. These are the shoes I’m in right now. I don’t know where to start, and I have all these amazing (or so I like to think lol) ideas, but no sense of direction. This helps, thanks!

  • http://www.kellenfreeman.net Kellen

    Those are some awesome ideas, some that I think I might start using shortly.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      awesome. good luck!

  • Martin

    I’m an older college student who is taking no writing classes, but who has had to write training manuals (restaurants) in his previous job. I’ve reached out to writing professionals and the advice I have been given is to write for small publications. I have a student newspaper where I got a letter to the editor published on my first try. Since then I have tried to write for small town newspapers and my college paper. Get published any way you can and if Blogs are the only you can publish, make sure friends and family read them. You need to establish a readership and parental pride can be a huge market. Good luck to everyone, I hope to read your articles and books soon!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Martin!

  • YesterdayNowTomorrow

    Well, I took your advice and began. Not sure what I’m beginning but as long as I’m doing it. Thank you for the post, definitely motivated me to get my ideas out there. 

    This is where I will be, I would really appreciate if anyone could take a look.


    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins


  • Tiffanyhill27

    Thanks for the inspiration and advice!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      my pleasure

  • Hawk Girl

    Along with the journal idea it might help to write about a very personal experience, good or bad, how it effected you, what came of it, how you dealt with or are dealing with it. Always a good way to write something short but readable and usually loveable.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      good call.

  • Lia London

    All good advice–though I had to chuckle that you said to go unconventional, and then cited two classic authors every English major must read.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      They were unconventional though

  • ProcrastinatorNo1

    How about write a working progress book on a website such as Wattpad? As in, upload chapter by chapter and gain a big following, and then it can act as a platform for gaining fans when entering the official publishing world. Though the only downside is that the only successful books there are Y/A novels.

  • http://www.herbalcoolingtea.com Ben Sanami (FB Liangcha)

    Write a “how to” book

    • Sarah Pittman

      A how to book on what?

  • Phillip Jackson


  • Bella22

    ginger minger

  • J. R.

    Been reading so many of your posts lately that I feel like I’ve been put in front of the best dinner buffet ever.   Gonna have to pace myself better, I’m afraid . . . lol

  • Sarah Pittman

    I’m a girl only 12 years old, i want to write but i do know were to start. If you have ideas for me let me know and flow me on Facebook. 

    • Meredith McClelland

      Hey Sarah. I’m only 15 and writing a book and I think its so fun. Git gives me time to think about life and ideas for my book. Enough of me though. I think that I have a great idea for you. Image its a dark stormy night  and three kids are running along a ravine in between two sets of mountains. All of the sudden time stops and they find themselves in the past. what will happen next. Sarah I think that you should write about this. I seems like it would be an awesome story. Just use your imagination. 

    • Dee Tanner

      Hi Sarah. I was 11 when I started writing my first book, so I know what being a young writer is like in a way. In the end I have settled for writing the things I love. Fantasy. I’m 14 now and am well under way with my first proper book. Just write what makes you happy, what you can never stop daydreaming about or something like that. I love angels, so of course I’m writing about angels! Well, I hope it helped a little. Good Luck!

  • Sarah Pittman

    I know, i know 12 is a young  to write a book but i love it so much. I don’t want to do it to be popular, and i think thats the problem with some people who don’t like writting but like the fame.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      I agree, Sarah.

  • Sarah Pittman

    I love this poem. Tierd of trying, sick of crying, yes i’m smilling, inside dieing.
    Life is fading just like love, the only thing i need is a hug. :'(

  • http://twitter.com/PhilViana Phil Viana

    Great article

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Phil!

  • meredith

    Hey Jeff. I’m writing/typing a new book write now. I really want someone to read over it. I was wondering if I could get your e-mail

  • Meredith McClelland

    Hey Jeff. I like your ideas a lot. I was wondering though could you read some of the book I’m writing right now. I’m having a little writers block too and I need some help. Also I was wondering if I could get your e-mail.

    • Lola


  • http://www.facebook.com/weslly.johannes Weslly Johannes

    Salam, Jeff..
    May I translating this article to publish on my blog?
    I will put your name and link to this post also.
    Thank you..

    I’m sorry, my english are bad.

    Weslly (Indonesia)

    • Jeff Goins

      Hello Weslly,
        Yes you may!
      Jeff Goins

  • Reemah13

    Writing has always been an interesting thing for me. All my classmates like my book but it was half-written so but they want me to write more but I think its too much dramatic. i like to write what I want to write. I was thinking on historical Family-complications. My friends say they’re boring stuff but I want to change their opinions but I dont like writing those as well but I think I need change by the way I can get alot of Facts about history and all from my history book and Im only fourteen. I just want to know the opinions of people here as well :)

  • Roy Eynhallow

    Hello, Jeff!

    Thank you for the awesome advice! I am a beginning writer and this is just what I need. I have just started building my platform and hope it becomes as good as yours six months down the line :) Going back to work, to write that manifesto !

  • http://twitter.com/ranaizhar Izhar ul Haq

    Nice Ideas, I have written one book but still unable to publish it. Will use these tips to do so. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/wwwel7lcom yasser

     nice article, i just finished bookmarking it for future reference. i would love to read on future posts. how do i configure the rss again? thanks!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Go to google.com/reader. Set it up. Then, add goinswriter.com/rss to it.

  • Parking Meter

    my head got eaten by a giraffe and my legs are stuck in a fish bowl… what pickle should i eat now?

    • definitely not

       the hippo flavored one

    • HannahTimothy11

      Hahaha, Parking Meter, that is funny!

  • hannah

    or just write… writing comes from the heart if you love it enuf then when the time is right you’ll know when to publish, its about the words not the cash and fame

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  • Virginia

    Where do you go to get MAGIC book ideas??

  • Robertkisiely

    I’m thinking of writing a book about highschool drama…

  • Old Spice Lover

    Are you ron weasly? If so, say hi to harry for me!

  • Memoirs, Ink

    Memoirs Ink is looking for original, well-written personal essays, memoirs, or stories that are based on autobiographical experiences. The narrative must be in first person, other than that, the contest is open to any type, genre or style of story. Stories can be funny or sad, serious, artsy or fragmented. We are interested in pushing the boundaries of memoir and also in just regular memoir that doesn’t try too hard–so long as it moves us. This contest is open to any writer, any age, writing in English–that means Canadians, Brits, Australians, Ugandans and anyone else anywhere can enter.

    1st Prize: $1,000
    2nd Prize: $500 
    3rd Prize: $250
    Entry Fee: $15
    Late entry fees require an additional $5. 
    Deadline: August 15, 2012 (postmark)
    Late Deadline: August 31, 2012 (postmark)

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    Link for more info: http://memoirsink.com/writingcontestguidelines/

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    Max word count: 3000 words

  • http://twitter.com/LettersofMelody Melody Michelle

    For the past few years, I’ve been working on defining my identity as a writer. This post gives me a lot of hope that I’m on the right track! Thank you so much for sharing :)

  • http://theannoyinglife.com/ Kevin Martin

     Thanks for making this list, Jeff. I’ve been thinking about writing a book lately. I like writing and I blog a lot, so I’m going to take a stab at writing a book and see where fate takes me.

  • Haley Nak

    I actually already have a “blook” :P  I currently just published the sixth chapter!  It’s http://17hnak.blogspot.ca/  This is a great article!  Good advice!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002551670494 Sam Ndex

    Great list of things I can take into consideration.  I have a Blog Book Series i have on my word press take a look at the posted ideas so far and help by giving me feedback :)
    writerinparadise.wordpress.com Its called shadow.

  • LuisGonzolis

    to tell you the truth it sucked there wasnt any good ideas in here for YOUNGE writers o try again.

  • Benfriedrich

    Thanks for this. I’m 24 and just published my first memoir! Yes, I was able to find enough material to fill an entire book. 

  • Rubish

    Rubish page

  • http://twitter.com/kungislove Kungis Love

    Loving this LIST!!! 

    Start co-blogging with a friend about our story!! I’m super excited!! Weird considering I have my own blog

  • fruitninja

    I find that to start some of my books i write down my thoughts about certain things that affects different aspects on the way of living, like friendship or my daydreams which i quite often have as a “child.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/jack.torrance.1612 Jack Torrance

    Okay, I’ll give it a try.  But if trouble comes out of me writing my manifesto, I’m gonna be be mighty upset. 

  • melvis dingbat

    I feel embarrassed to read this. I feel like these ideas are for stupid people who don’t have any talent e.g. someone who doesn’t use predicate nominative pronouns correctly. That said, I feel much better about my own career as a writer having read this.

    I don’t mean to be a troll.

  • youngwriter

    hello, i read this article to find eyes of how to write books. instead i found a list of things to get a publishers attention, the old way. i wanted IDEAS ABOUT WHAT KIND OF BOOK TO WRITE :) please add this.

    • Guest.

       Ahem. *Directly quoted from the article*Here’s a list of ideas — both conventional and unconventional — that I’ve brainstormed, and I’d love you to add to it.

      Writing Ideas for First-Time Authors

      Build a platform with a blog and let the publisher come to you.Self-publish an eBook. Who knows? Maybe you’ll end up like John Locke, selling a million books in 5 months.Work on your book proposal. While I’m not a fan of waiting to be picked, writing a book proposal
      requires real work, and it can pay off. Getting an actual book deal
      still carries with it a lot of legitimacy. For more about this, get this book.Write a 1000-word electronic manifesto and give it away for free. (Here’s mine.)Do something remarkable — an article, publicity stunt, a bike ride across the country to benefit charity — and earn the attention of a publisher. Then, tell your story.Write and publish a novel, one chapter at a time, using Amazon Kindle singles.Write a print-on-demand book through a website like Lulu.Start a website on WordPress or Tumblr and use it write your own blook. Build a tribe through your subscriber list and then eventually publish all the posts in a hardcopy book. Sell it to your list.Finance your own self-publishing project by crowd-sourcing through a Kickstarter project. Anne Jackson is doing this with her next book project.Don’t write a book. There are too many unread books in the world. Instead, write a short pamphlet to spread an idea. This, as you may recall, was how ideas got around long before the Internet.Write a short book of poems or stories. Long projects are daunting. Start small.Write what you know. Maybe it’s a memoir of your a family or a how-to book about getting started with your favorite hobby.Keep a journal. Then, rewrite the entries in a much
      more polished book format, but use some photo copies or scans of the
      journal pages as illustrations in the book. You could even sell “deluxe”
      editions that come with photocopied versions of the journal. (A little
      personal, but people would love it.)Write an article that tells the absolute, brutal truth
      about the status quo. Call out a dysfunctional norm, something that’s
      wrong with the world that we all know but don’t talk about. Be bold, be
      honest, and demand action.Write a series of letters to yourself 10 years ago. What would you say? Use this as a manuscript for a book that you pitch to a publisher or print yourself.Go non-traditional. Be the next William Faulkner or Ernest Hemingway. Be terse; go all stream-of-consciousness. Think outside the box.

  • GarrettDenney

    Jeff, this was a great post. Just bumped into it on your “Top Posts of 2012″ post and clicked through – glad I did!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins


  • http://www.corynikkel.com/ Cory Nikkel

    Superb work, Jeff!

        What about visualizing yourself doing it? Taking the time to see yourself as a creative genius who has the ability to write words that catch the eyes of millions of readers–then make it happen by putting fingers to keys or pen to paper. We all have a story inside of us to tell!

  • Ycee

    I want to write but cant figure the topic

  • Rrattus10


  • Ziv363


  • Carole Anne

    Am I too old?  I AM 70  iS IT TOO LATE?  I have forgotten so much, you know, proper english.  But I have a desire to write.

    • Mia

      Hey, Carole Anne, that is never to late to write! You can be 100, and still have  million best selling novels out. I think you would be a great writer! Write while you can!

    • MaiahGreene

      I don’t think anyone is too old to write if they want, not if they are forced to.

  • Mia

    Hey, Carole Anne, that is never to late to write! You can be 100, and still have  million best selling novels out. I think you would be a great writer! Write while you can!

  • haabra

    hello ron weasley

  • ruis2002

    I purchased the John Locke ebook through your link. It sounds intriguing. Are you familiar with Donna Kozik’s Book in a Weekend program? She also recommends writing a “short and powerful book”, and offers a free book writing planner to help writers get organized. I’ve never written anything more important than a term paper for my lit classes, but I’m thinking of starting small, maybe with a vegetarian cookbook for Kindle (I’ve been a vegetarian for many years now). It’s probably not as platform-building as a manifesto, but I don’t really know what my “platform” should be, so I think I’ll just write a cookbook, or a how to book, or both. To get these rusty writing joints lubed up at least. :)

  • WriterMummy

    What a great list of ideas! It’s difficult to make yourself heard in the noise of new writers and it’s great to look at things from a different angle.

  • HP van Duuren

    It’s my experience with print-on-demand that you can also prepare a special automatic Thank You Note for the readers that buy it, and that some readers actually write you their Readers Feedback by email,
    Something that can help with giving you new ideas for possible future
    Upgraded Versions or other projects.

  • SerinaLoraine

    I love the SWITCHFOOT quote found in your book “You Are A Writer: So Start ACTING Like One.” I’ve loved Switchfoot since I was a kid in middle school (I’m now 24, still a kid), so I immediately recognized the quote to be from their song “Hello Hurricane.” It’s great to see and recognize another Switchfoot lover out there! I definitely look forward to buying your book and taking your advice; I also aspire to publish my own book(s) one day.

  • SerinaLoraine

    Lol…okay correction: “Needle and a Haystack” atleast I got the album right!!!

  • MaiahGreene

    Thank you for that list! I am trying to write a book, but I don’t know if I am too young to? I am 12 years old? Do you think I should continue on my book and try to get it published or do I just stop completely, because I have this very great topic. I have only done the first page of the entire book. What should I do?

    • Elizabeth

      Your not to young to write I started writing at 11 so a website to start would probally be wattpad.

  • disqus_pl58WhEG8f
  • Roxy

    I am 13 years old and I have some very good ideas to publish some sort of book. Be it online or not. It has a very deep plot that takes place directly after the thousand years of peace after the the battle of armageddon. I do not want to start out with a small-time poetry book, my writing/reading is at college level. My mother is writing a book, and I want to write a bookso I would have a little bit of money for me to go to medical school. What are my options in terms of what sort of book I want to write and how would I do it?

  • Gavin Brady

    @Roxy I am 12 yrs old and im trying to write a book because my mom wrote a book and I thought, hey, why not? Im in 7th grade pre ap English and reading so i can write better than a lot of people my age. My only idea is a kids twin is a genius and invents a device that allows him to go inside video games, but if in the game you die, you also die in real life. I hope its originally awesome!

  • Roxy

    Gandy, my mom is writing a book too. She said that she doesn’t want me to read it until she finishes, but it has to do with the differences between being born with insanity or being inherently evil. I read at the 12th grade-college level lexile, I read at my 18 year old brother’s reading level. I hope that you will finish and publish this book before college, that way you have money for college. Remember to have either your mom and/or your dad read it before you send it for publishing, because having an adult read it will create it so they can help detect plot-holes in the story. I have not created a name for this book, but it will be a three book series and I have the whole story written. I just need help deciding what the main character will do when he figures out about why he was in the human clan but has a very dangerous bloodline. He figures out about his family when a certain someone speaks to him and tries to manipulate him.

  • Jose

    Hello Jeff, Do you recommend any particular editors? It’s so hard to trust one that I have never used before. Thanks Jeff

  • A passionate writing teacher

    There are several reputable websites and publishers that young authors can submit to: Launch Pad: Where Young Authors and Illustrators Take Off! matches young authors with young illustrators, and they received an award by the American Library Association. Stone Soup is a print magazine that has been around for a long time- they are excellent. Merlyn’s Pen is perfect for the teen-aged young author.

  • mafa omo

    I love this; thank you very much. now I can start my own book. God bless you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • vitorruas

    Recently I was extremely low on money and debts were eating me from all sides! That was UNTIL I decided to make money.. on the internet. I went to surveymoneymaker dot net, and started filling in surveys for cash, and surely I’ve been far more able to pay my bills! I’m so glad, I did this!!! – gabi

  • Rajbir Dhadda

    I will start my book now

  • Deborah Dills

    All my friends tell me I should write a book about my life, and in particular, my recently (Jan. 20th 2014) finding out I was adopted-and never told about it, I am now 56 years old, and my birth mother was from Strasbourg, France, and I was born in Germany on a military base, with no father listed on my certificate. He was an American G.I, I also found out, Through DNA testing, I have found a first living cousin, who has told me his father and my birth mother weer brother and sister, but his dad changed his last name because he was in French Foreign Secret Service as a spy, and got out and became a naturalized u.S. citizen. My cousin also told me that the family was told by my birth mother that I had died of a disease, which really wasn’t questioned back then because children did die of diseases like small pox, measles, etc. When I called my cousin in CA, he knew immediately that I was the his relative, because my birth mother did say she had given birth to a baby girl. He also thinks it wasn’t her idea to say I had died, but her mother, the matriarch, French, a very religious Jew, who was old fashioned and embarrassed that her daughter got pregnant and not married.

    To add to my story, as no one can truly believe, my husband of 33 years walked out of our marriage and me in September 2013, with no notice to me at all, just left,and lives in a big rig truck. Only 4 months later, I was told by my brother, Dave that he was cleaning out our dad’s apartment and found my adoption papers, He called me late one night and told me to sit down, because he had something “very serious” to tell me-, and that I was adopted, Half of my adoption documents are in German and half in French with my given birth name changed by my adoptive parents through the French courts. All of this took place between 1957 and 1959. I now have my own naturalization document dated May 23, 1962, from Roanoke,VA , stating that that my former nationality was France, Talk about an identity crisis knowing all this so late in your life, I am having one.

    Let me know what you think about my story. After watching the movie : Philomena, it sounds so similar to her’s but my birth mother never came to look for me.At least the ending is my birth mother passed away while living in Israel, and think she is now watching over me.

    • Sophie Eliza

      Wow. Just wow. Your story is amazing, you should definitely write a book about it! Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction is up to you, but I would choose fiction. Not only do more people read fiction, so you would have a bigger target audience. It would leave room for imagination as well, so you could make it even more interesting- if that’s possible! I would definitely read that book, whatever you decide to do, so put pen to paper and start writing!

      • Deborah Dills

        Thank you so very much for your “pep” talk, and I am now writing whatever I can, with the title of my book called “My Journey, My Life”, The first chapter is called “Utterly Crushed” about my husband of 33 years walking out on me and our sons, and another chapter is called “The 50+ Year Secret” about my finding out I was adopted. Another chapter is called “My Teen Years-Let the Battle Begin” pertaining to my toxic relationship with my adoptive mother, who abused me, and I eventually had to leave and join the U.S. Navy in 1979, at age 22 years, to get away from her. Her second husband recently spoke to me a week ago, filling me in a lot of reasons why she acted towards me the way she did, Also in my book, I want to discuss the fact that my two sons, with my husband and me, had significant problems growing up, and still suffer from, things like -learning difficulties, behavioral problems, ADD/ADHD, but my youngest son, age 23, suffers from major depressive disorder, social anxiety disorder, alcohol and drug abuse, and recently went into a mental hospital, and is on disability now. He is being referred through his psychiatrist, who is giving him medications to stabilize his moods, to go to a major university in Seattle for genetic testing because he thinks he suffers from a genetic mutation called “fragile X syndrome. In fact, both sons will be tested, because they both have had similar traits all their lives.

        Because I was not only in the U.S. Navy for 10 years myself, I was a Navy wife for over 20+ years, with my husband retiring as a Lt. CDR, and feel that my training of being alone for so many years while he was out to sea , has given me not only the upper edge on many women who have been suddenly left, but the gumption and strength to deal with what life has thrown me -especially during the past 10 months, All I can say is I don’t have to make anything up in my book, because I live it every day. I’m not a religious person either, but feel that someone or something is guiding me and my sons towards a new life, a calmer life now.

        Thank you again for all your support:-)

        • Ashley Lyons

          Please write it. I was kind of on the edge of my seat reading. Good luck with it if you decide to do it.

          • Deborah Dills

            Ashley, Thanks so much for giving me a boost, and I have already completed my first chapter called “Utterly Crushed” about my husband walking out on me, without a hint that anything was wrong, or he was unhappy in our marriage,This chapter delves into my feelings of being so sad, angry, hurt, and felt like he punched me in the stomach or hit me with a brick, and now realize that no one ever deserves to be treated the way I was. Here is the first page of my chapter “Utterly Crushed” . PLEASE WRITE BACK AND TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK OF IT. IF YOU WANT TO READ THE WHOLE CHAPTER. I CAN SEND IT TO YOU VIA MY PERSONAL EMAIL.

            “The day of September 16th,2013, is so clear to me, and can remember it like it was yesterday.On this day, my husband of 33 years was leaving me for good. Both our sons, ages 22 and 30 and I drove him to the airport in our minivan.He got out, grabbed his bags, and stood there on the sidewalk ,without so much as a word to any of us, and then we drove out of the airport parking lot. He was flying out to his new job and life as a big rig truck driver in Missoula, Montana, running away like he was on fire. No, I love you’s, going to miss you’s, take care of yourselves, nothing at all, but a blank stare from him as we drove away.

            Once the boys and I got back to the home we rent in town, we yelled “we are free on this man!” Free of his anger, free of his disrespect, free of his lack of remorse, that he left me, his wife, sleeping on the living room sofa for 6 months, while he slept in the master bedroom with our dog,Free, and it felt good, because in the weeks before he left, my husband was acting very weird and aloof, indeed. One instance was the
            day of my birthday, on August 21st, when I woke up to get
            my morning coffee, and there on the kitchen counter, was a piece of computer paper on it, with a hand written smiley face in black marker, and the words, “Happy Birthday, Debbie”! Wow, after 33 years of marriage to this man, I got this birthday card? How could he be so cruel to me? What did I do to deserve this treatment? It was so hard to describe this to anyone, and when my sons saw the birthday paper, all we could do was shake our heads and laugh, because it was like a bad joke, and it looked like the art work of a four year old.

            A few hours later, from taking my husband to the airport, I moved the master bedroom furniture around, because I didn’t want any reminders of our married life at all. I threw out all the bedding on our bed, went to the store, and bought all new sheets, pillows, and a feminine lace dust ruffle, along with pleasant smelling candles, cotton scented air freshener, and fresh flowers near my nightstand, which were carnations. I then laid down on the newly made bed, and breathed and smiled to myself, because the master bedroom was mine alone, and I
            could do whatever I wanted to it. I felt safe, and was relieved that he didn’t take our dog, Jo Jo to live in his big rig truck with him. Although he weighs 80 lbs, he loved to snuggle up in the blankets close to me. My dog was the best comfort to me in the weeks and months ahead, licking the tears from my face, as if he was telling me it was going to be alright now.

            Many days, I would just wake up,drink my coffee, and turn right around and go back to bed, under the covers, crying and grieving, that my 30 + year marriage had died such a horrible death, without a clue to me that anything was wrong, and nothing was ever said. I still thought I was in love with my husband, so it made it so much worse that I still had the desire for him to come back. As the days passed, my elation that my husband had left me the way he did, turned to tears and inconsolable crying for hours and hours. I was exhausted from crying so much. My face was swollen, and eyes all puffy, and didn’t want to go anywhere at all. I couldn’t even choke down much food for days, or could only take one or two bites of a cracker, a tablespoon of yogurt, or a small piece of chocolate, which usually would make me feel better, but didn’t. I would hide from my sons, who still lived with me, in the master bathroom, crying in the bath towels, so they couldn’t hear me, drying my eyes, and crying some more. I lost about 7 lbs, over the next few weeks, but didn’t need to lose any weight at all, as I was already petite, and wore a size 4. When I did make an appearance at the grocery store near my home, some of the women who knew me that worked there, told me they could see I was losing some weight, but they also knew why, as I had told them about my husband leaving me”.

            • Ashley Lyons

              Oh wow I’m sorry that happened to you. I hope you found a happy ending. Keep it up with the book.

              • Deborah Dills

                Thank you again, and it has now been a year since my husband left me, and am moving on slowly but surely towards a happier life without him. In fact, one of my old college boyfriends from 40 years ago, just found me on Facebook, and we now talk all the time and hope to meet each other soon, as he lives in Charleston and me al the way across the country in Washington state. So, I guess that is a happy beginning:-)

                • Ashley Lyons

                  Good for you

                • Kishor

                  All the Best….looking farward for your book “My Journey, My Life”….for sure you have one reader…

            • Kael

              I want to read more of your story. It’s just so interesting. Though I am sorry that happened to you.

              • Deborah Dills

                Thank you, and I am trying to move on little by little each day, I guess things do happen for reasons we don’t understand, but maybe one day I will. What I am learning more about is “me”, who I am, what makes me happy, and how to make others around me happy too.

                If you want to read more from my first chapter “Utterly crushed” here it is:

                Utterly Crushed –

                There are many songs of lost love, and found some to listen to on my laptop computer, because I was feeling very melancholy, lonely and lost too. One song in particular was called “Goodbye My Lover, Goodbye My Friend”, and felt that my husband was my best friend and lover, the one who I shared many decades with, shared the same values, and had children with. We had been through good times and bad, thick and thin, and were still standing through it all. The time we met while we were both serving in the United States Navy in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, were
                the most fun, and also where we were married. Even though there were months and months apart, while he was out to sea on a nuclear submarine, I knew he was coming back to me, if only for a short time home, before going back out to sea.

                After the songs were over, the reality of this horrible event that happened to me set in, and the uncontrollable crying resumed, crying into my pillows. How could I have not seen this coming? Did I do something wrong, or could I have avoided this catastrophe? Within the next few weeks, my viewpoint changed, and my thoughts of lost love for him turned to anger and deep pain, and the feeling that my husband used me, abused me, and threw me out like I was garbage, because I kept asking
                myself, “how could this have happened to me?” I am a good, kind person, one who gives and gives, without question, who loves with my whole heart and soul. In fact, my heart felt like someone stabbed it, because it hurt so painfully in my chest. Now I totally understood what a broken heart really felt like, and I would never wish it to happen to anyone else.

                Every day was a struggle to get up, showered and dressed, and tried to find some answers and solace by reaching out to my girl friends, who all lived out of the state of Washington, where I lived, but whom I kept in some contact with as often as I could. Being married to a man who had no friends around him at all, except me, and because we moved around the United States so often while he was a career military man, and IT

                consultant, made it hard to keep close ties with friends of the past. I would often call myself the “wandering Jew”, like Moses, who wandered the desert for 40 years, but our sons and I wandered the U.S. for 33 years, from duty station to duty station, or state to state, east coast to west coast, and back again, with no family nearby, nor roots, and no close relationships that we formed. It was because of my outgoing
                personality, that I kept in contact with some of the people along the way, or would send them holiday cards or birthday wishes. My friends would tell me they would just “pencil” in our new location in their address book, because they knew we would leave there within the next few years to somewhere else.

                **There is much more that I have written to this chapter, but it is about 9 pages total, and I have to copy and paste ti to this platform, so let me know when you want more to read, and I will send it to you.



                • Deborah Dills

                  Utterly Crushed-
                  Continued -Page 3 of 9

                  I logged onto one of my favorite places to go, and that was Facebook, and looked up old acquaintances to see who I could stumble upon. That’s when I found one of my girl friends, whose husband was on the same submarine as my husband’s in Virginia Beach, VA, and we finally spoke over the phone,reconnecting and laughing about old times. It didn’t surprise my girl friend at all, when I told her my husband had walked out on me, because she told me she would cringe and shake her head when my husband would talk to me, and felt he didn’t appreciate me at all. She and other friends felt the same way, and were right all along, but never told me how they felt. It wasn’t their place to tell me, and they knew I was so in love with him, so they swallowed their opinions. I was so enamored with my husband, but wish my closest friends had said something to me about their true thoughts.

                  I decided during the weeks ahead, that since I was a single lady now, I would do my best to look and feel the best I could, under the circumstances. As a 56 year old, who is petite and in good physical condition, I felt that maybe I would meet a man who would think I was attractive enough, and ask me out on a date. All I wanted was to make my pain and feeling of rejection and abandonment go away, and even signed up on several online dating sites to just talk to someone of the opposite sex, and ego boost of sorts, because I was feeling lower than dirt itself. But time and time again, the dating sites and the men on them around my
                  age range were obnoxious, insulting to women, and me, and decided myself, that I wasn’t ready to date at all. I didn’t trust anyone, especially men. When I told my girl friends what I was doing, and decided to cancel my dating site subscriptions, they told me they knew all along, that I wasn’t ready to date, but wanted me to come to my own conclusions about it. Now I could breath again, knowing I did the right thing, and was beginning to feel that I was in control too, of my life, and needed to focus on me, as a free, and single woman.

                  The hardest part of it all, was how to begin my life again. My married life began at 23 years old, and had only experienced most of my adult life with my husband, who even though was gone most of the time, due to his military and corporate careers, was there for me to lean on, to bounce things off of, or knowing he was there for me, a protector of me, my best friend.Finding books and blogs to read about life after divorce and how to begin your life again, was most helpful to me, along with talking to my friends who knew me. They would say to me, that although I had spent 33 years with my husband, I was still young, and energetic, and could start over again, better than before. Their advice was to take it slow, breath, eat, sleep, and try to find a new focus and direction to my life. They would tell me to enjoy the freedom to come and go as I pleased, leave the toilet seat down, go for long walks with our dog and my sons, who lived with me, cook and eat what and
                  when I wanted to, and smile, meet new people and eventually, I would feel better. Would I, or could I ever feel good again, I wasn’t sure of anything at the time? All I wanted to do was to wash that man right out of my hair, stop thinking about him, to stop the pain, and the best way to do this was to stay busy, and focus on loving myself as a person, who was stronger than I ever knew or thought I was.

                  **More yet to come—–

                • Kael

                  I notice tragedy is great way to rediscover yourself and what you want out of life. Tragedy can be such a fantastic teacher.
                  Keep up the good work dear. And keep your head up, it will get little bit easier as time goes on.

                • Deborah Dills

                  Here is a poem that I found that was posted by the author of “Runaway Husbands” about rediscovering yourself-and loving yourself -again.

                  LOVE AFTER LOVE by Derek Walcott

                  The time will come
                  when, with elation
                  you will greet yourself arriving
                  at your own door,
                  in your own mirror
                  and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

                  and say, sit here. Eat.
                  You will love again the stranger who was your self.
                  Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
                  to itself, to the stranger who has
                  loved you

                  all your life, whom you
                  ignored for another, who knows you by heart.
                  Take down the love
                  letters from the bookshelf,

                  the photographs, the
                  desperate notes,
                  peel your own image from the mirror.
                  Sit. Feast on your life.

                  ** Yes, my life has been tragic, and know I haven’t really been loved my entire life, but I will learn by living alone with my sons and dog, what makes “me” happy, and “if: I meet someone who will respect and love me for who I am, then all the better.

                  Thank you so much for all your support to me:-)

                • Deborah Dills

                  I would love to here about the type of book you want to write about. Please let me know, and maybe I can help.

                • Kael

                  Right now I have such a pile of ideas of books I started and stopped over the past few years. Though I thinking maybe I can write my experience of my depression and all interesting characters I’ve meet along the way. Funny how quickly you realize how crazy everyone you meet is. Just most people know how to keep it more under wraps than others.

                • Deborah Dills


                  I think your writing about your depression and how you coped with it, is an excellent topic. My youngest son, age 23 has suffered with Major Depressive Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder all his life, and just now, while living in Bellingham WA, it was finally addressed, with him being on “mood stabilizer” meds like Zyprexa and Depakote along with a new one, to control his heart palpitations and lower his blood pressure.

                  I can definitely understand your meeting many characters of people along the way too. It it just astounding to me how these people are, how they treat others, and sleep well at night. Many of these people treat others like garbage, are disrespectful too, yet they want others to respect them, This is the way my husband is and was to me and his sons, and others-arrogant, self-centered, and narcissistic (really they are socially and emotionally stunted).

                  Please keep writing to me, and maybe we can put our heads together and finish compiling our memoirs:-)

                • Kael

                  I think I might of been on Zyprexa for short time. You start to forget the list of meds (so many) doctors have tried you on.

                  Funny how the more you learn about your mental illness (“of the week”…doctors keep changing it on me), you start picking up stuff you never notice about people like why they act a certain way. People are definably interesting creatures.

                  I wonder how certain people sleep too. Best when they think they are in the right to act that way. It’s so sad. I honestly feel so bad for them being that delusional that they can treat anyone how they like. They are ones that truly need the help.

                  That would give me bit of a push to actual write down all my story.

                • Deborah Dills

                  My son, Brian, age 23, recently wanted to die, and walked out of the house on June 6th to go jump off a highway bridge, but I called 911, and the local police found him walking and picked him up, and took him to Peace Health hospital here in Bellingham WA where I live. The psychiatrist, Dr. Frank called me up to discuss Brian’s mental history, and not only told me he was putting him on “mood stabilizing” meds, but also wanted him to have genetic testing for “Fragile X” syndrome,( a form of Autism) because he felt that many of Brian’s symptoms of delayed development, low IQ, extreme anxiety and depression might be the cause. Brian had the blood testing done and they came out negative, so that’s the good news. But, his family doctor also detected high blood pressure, and body shakes, so Brian is now on high blood pressure medication.

                  Because I recently found out I was adopted, makes me feel strongly that adoptive parents need to tell their children they are adopted. Now that I know I have a living first cousin and am in contact with Gerard Launay, he told me high blood pressure and heart attacks are in the Levy family genes. My birth mother, Jenny Levy, also was on dialysis so that is also important for me to know since family medical history allows us to know more about ourselves, and what we might be susceptible to.

                  I hope you do start writing and just pour your heart out too. Just write and write, and don’t worry about if it has perfect punctuation or sentence structure either, as that can be edited later.

                  Please continue to write to me, and I enjoy hearing from you:-)

                • Deborah Dills

                  I agree, and am amazed at human behavior too. It’s only now that my husband left me, with lots of quiet time on hand, that i can sit back and evaluate not only “what’s his face’s” behavior but others as well. Astounding that people and what I am finding , men who are my age of 50+ can treat women with such lack of feelings, emotion, compassion, etc. Many of these men are self centered, egotistical, narcissistic, with much of it between their legs.

                  I raised my sons pretty much by myself, as my husband was gone out to sea or on consulting assignments in another state. Plus, we lived in the south, in places like SC, VA, and TX, and my sons, ages 31 and 23 do say “yes ma’am, and no sir” to adults and open doors for women. I get many compliments on my boys because of this. but here in Bellingham many people think it’s condescending to say Yes Ma’am to them. Oh well, that’s their problem.

                • Deborah Dills

                  I haven’t been on any meds myself, but my sons, Aaron and Brian have-who at age 5, my youngest was on liquid Prozac, and then Zoloft, plus Adderall, and Ritalin, and my oldest son during his high school years was on a shitload of meds like Carbatrol Neurontin, Depakote, and then his thyroid took a hit, and his was on Synthroid too for hypo-thyroid too (I think all these meds burned his thyroid out, but he isn’t on any of these meds now.

                • Kael

                  I know my mom’s medication for long time messed with her thyroid really bad. Her thyroid right now is slowly recovering now she’s off them.

                • Deborah Dills

                  This is great news to hear:-)

                • Kael

                  So how’s everything going so far? Sorry I been dealing with one of my college course for past few days.

                • Deborah Dills

                  Hi there. Thank you for asking. I haven’t written anything in a while because I have been kind-of sad lately. After speaking with my adoptive mother, Norma’s second husband, Arthur the other day, and crying in his ear over the phone, he understands my pain and feelings of not only abandonment, but the trauma of how Norma treated me growing up, smacking me in the face for instance, and actually had to run away, and join the United States Navy (May 1, 1979-I went to Orlando, FL for my boot camp training). Arthur explained to me that Norma, my adoptive mom, was not a happy woman herself, and only married my adoptive father to get away from her mother, Esther. Norma had a very promising career back in 1952 as an Opera singer, and made her Metropolitan Opera debut with Tenor, Richard Tucker, So….. I cannot change the past at all, but trying to understand it, including my relationship with the husband who left me a year ago. All of this will be in my book.

                  I did find out recently how to actually get books published–without the expense of an editor/publisher. LULU will help anyone publish what’s called E-Books, and the cost is very minimal. Many people just like reading books on their E-tablets or computer, so this could be the way for me to go. Also what I found out, is my book is not a memoir, but my biography about my life.

                  Enough about me, what course/courses are you taking? What college are you going to?

                  Please write back and stay in touch with me. Would love to hear about your life, and what you plan to write about for your book.

                • Kael

                  I just got certified as a veterinarian assistant recently. And I decided to go SUNY Dutchess. I’m right now a science major . And I’m hoping to go to Vet School. Basically fun way of watching my sanity go (not that I had any to begin with).

                  Right now just taking 3 courses right now; Art History, Medieval History, and Wellness & Fitness (basically gym class all over again). I dropped my 4th one recently, Chemistry, because even with a tutor (and math center), I still wasn’t doing well in the class. Sadly, I got the professor, who has no experience with teaching or knowing what level chemistry we are. Yeah so I plan to take it again next semester with a different professor.

                • Kael

                  Working on my book will have to be on hold after I get my 2 research papers done.

                • Deborah Dills

                  I understand your school work comes first. I am proud that you got certified as a vet assistant. I love animals especially dogs, and have a “Bone-Mouth, Horse coat, Traditional Shar Pei, named Jo Jo. He is chocolate brown in color, and has so many allergies too, including what all Shar Peis are allergic too-Corn, Wheat, and Soy, plus fleas too, We feed Jo Jo the brand of dog food called Blue Buffalo, which contains no grains at all, and not soy or soy lecithin that many dog foods have in them to enhance flavor. Jo Jo breaks out in hives, and itchy spots and get either a shot of steroids or pills, plus antibiotics, and Benadryl to control the breakouts, He’s a good dog too.

                  Please just keep in touch, and write back when you have the time.


        • Brandon Everett

          I’m only 12 so what do I know? I know that you are an awesome inspiration to us young people. Growing up in the 21st century is hard. So just thank you for that.

          • Deborah Dills

            Your age doesn’t matter at all when it comes to putting down your “thoughts, ideas or dreams and aspirations”. Begin by starting a log of ideas about who you are, what matters to you, where you want to go in life, and maybe write your own “Bucket List” as a outline of sorts.

            For starters, buy a spiral notebook, then when all is quiet, think of whatever interests you, write down those ideas, and then write, write, write and don’t stop for an hour. You will be amazed at what you’ve written in an hour or so. It doesn’t have to be written perfectly, or punctuation or spelling perfect either on you first or second or third drafts.

            Don’t compare yourself to anyone else either. I am 57 years old, and have lots, and lots of experiences adventures, and stories of not only my life but those of my family, and friends.Not only did I take Ballet for 10 years, but lived in Israel, on a Kibbutz as a teenage, but joined the Navy at 22 years old, married for 33 years to a military man and lived all over the country and out, have 2 sons, who still live with me, and one is disabled, And then finding out I was adopted at my age.
            My journey is still continuing, and am now in the process of writing two chapters, one called “My Early Life”, growing up as the daughter of a Rabbi and the next chapter called “My Teen Years-Let The Battle Begin” about my life with my abusive mom, Norma, and our battles both verbally and physically that I had to eventually leave and join the Navy.

            If you want to write back please do. I would love to hear what your planning on writing about.

    • Cecilia

      Write a book. Now.

      • Deborah Dills

        For now, I am just writing my thoughts down on paper, and will see what happens next, At least it is therapy for me too. Who knows, it could become a book.

    • Charlotte Hyatt

      Yes write it, it is a great story! Did anything ever seem strange or weird to you looking back with this knowledge? Do you look like any one in your family? How do you feel about the truth? Have you learned more about the story? Do you have unanswered questions?It is a great plot for a memoir and a novel too:).

      • Deborah Dills

        Thank you for your support;-) As for anything that seemed out of whack, or strange to either me or my brother, David, NO. As for- did I look like anyone in my family? I looked like my adopted mother, Norma’s mother, Esther (Merrin) Bedrick, who immigrated in 1921 from Russia and came into the U.S. via Ellis Island, But talking to the relatives of my adoptive mother, Norma, who are still alive,’THEY ALL KNEW I WAS ADOPTED! In fact, when I got the rest of the adoption documents sent to me from the German Conuslate here in WA state where I live, some of the documents that were there were from relatives of my parents stating they would make good parents, were upstanding citizens, with good moral character, and religious Jews, (and my adoptive father, Abraham, was in fact the Jewish Chaplain on the U.S. Air Force bast in Chateauroux, France, My birth mother, Jenny was also a Jew from Strasbourg, France.

        As for any unanswered questions I might have, pretty much they have all been answered, especially since I just found my first cousin, Gerard Launay, whose father, John,Launay, AKA- Joseph Levy, was my birth mother , Jenny Levy’s brother, Joseph Levy was born in 1913 and Jenny in 1921, I now have both of their French birth certificates.

        I have since talked with my cousin Gerard, and he said that his knowing my birth mother, Jenny, and financially supporting her after his father, John died, he is almost positive that the story that she told the family that I had died of a disease, was probably not her idea, but her mother, Hedwige Julich Levy’s idea, Don’t forget, this was back in the 1950’s, and Hedwiige (or Heddy as she was called) was a very religious French/German Jew,, with 19th century standards of conduct and behavior, who was probably totally embarrassed that her daughter, Jenny had gotten “knocked up”, and wasn’t married either. The best way she knew, was to have Jenny just make me go away, yet she put me up for adoption.

        Gerard Launay did tell me that IF the family had known that I was alive, he thinks that his parents would have either adopted me themselves, or at least gone looking for me with my new adopted family-Abe and Norma Sheingold, Jenny had signed the adoption contract, so she knew who adopted me and, so she could have looked for me back then via any calls into Jewish organizations of Rabbi’s.

        Besides finding out I was adopted in January 2014, my husband of 33 years walked out of our marriage, I hadn’t stopped crying for 10 months until I found my first cousin, Gerard, who lives in Sonoma, CA. I must say, between the two major events in my adult life happening within a few months apart, I was in total disbelief, and shock, Also in my book, I will discuss my horrible and contentious life with my adoptive mother, Norma, who abused me both verbally and physically, slapping me in the face, and controlling my life beyond reason, that i had to join the U.S. Navy just to get away from her., My brother, David , who lives in NY, told me she was totally abusive towards me, But, I recently spoke to her second husband, Arthur, and he and I spoke a few weeks ago, and filled me in on the reasons why my mother treated me so badly, I understand now that not only did she marry my adoptive dad, Abe, to get away from her mother, Esther, who never gave Norma her kudos for any of her accomplishments she achieved-like being a professional opera singer, who sang in the NY Metropolitan Opera, but Norma was in a horrible marriage to my dad, Abe, from day one. Just like me, my mom, Norma, stayed in our marriages way too long and both our husbands sucked the life out of us too. I don’t have any more ill feeling towards my adoptive mom at all. I guess that comes with my own growth and understanding as an adult.

        So, I am putting some thoughts down on paper right now, chapter by chapter, a little at a time, and maybe one day, there will be a happy ending. My cousin, Gerard Launay is trying to get things organized in his life, so my sons and I can move in with him at his large home in Sonoma, It will be my own-Under the Tuscan Sun, and a new life after such a horrible one with my husband who abandoned me,

        Thanks again and best to you

  • Jijim

    I don’t mean to be rude, but this is awful advice. I thought it was a joke at first.

  • Deborah Dills

    Jeff, I am writing to you asking if you know any good publishers as I am working on my book, and want to have some people in my back pocket, so to speak.

    Let me know your thoughts on this. Thanks:-)

  • Ashley Lyons

    To Deborah dills- I have a story in mind for myself. Can I seek for your adavice on it?

    • Saurabh Shah

      heyyy ..

  • Did

    Fuck you

  • Emma

    Writing what you know doesn’t always work. If J.K. Rowling had stuck with what she knew, we wouldn’t have Harry Potter. If Stephen King had written only what knew, we wouldn’t have many amazing stories. Same goes for many other famous writers.

    • iguanapoop

      You must write what you know, or rather it should be don’t write about something you know nothing about. World building as JK Rowling and Stephen King have done is different. Don’t write about living in Saudi Arabia if you’ve never even read up on it. you must do research and not just write out of your ass. Don’t write about a little diner in Austin, Texas and put it on a corner where the streets don’t intersect.

  • Saurabh Shah

    To ashley – wht kind of story u have…???

    • ashley

      To – Saurabh- I have one crazy storyline. I love drama. I’m not sure If I want to share it with everyone. I would share it. I’m second guessing myself.

  • Guest

    He is targeting young ambitious first time authors and people who are against the information stated above in my opinion are wrong. For someone who its trying to help others and encourage them to be more productive and to actually start their own book, he has done a great job with the guidelines. Your advice was much appreciated.

  • humantrafic with a twist

    I love everyone’s input. great information. I was a bit overwhelmed with writing a book. the information helped me so much. I really just want to share my experience, spread the word about what we know and never talk about. I want to demand changes.
    In a nutshell:
    I met my husband online 12 years ago. I came from south Africa. I was a single mum for 8 years when I met this man online. I had already had a tough time growing up. My dad was a gay man all his life, married my mother and was hoping to hide it. He had 12 kids, some sons who he sexually abused. I knew there was reasons for his situation, eg society and living in a country and society where being gay was ‘un godly’ my dads own words.
    then I met this man when I had already purchase my first house, getting ready to purchase my 2nd house. my daughter was in a private catholic school, I worked as an executive assistant, great job, just perfect after what I have gone through.
    this man came and saw my lifestyle. I was only consumed with having an American fiancé. then came to the USA, on a fiancé visa, required 90 days to get married or go back. I had no problem, however until I arrived in the USA, he deceived me and my daughter, had no place for us to live, no bed to sleep, no ring, no money, no wedding, law suit as soon as my fiancé visa expired 90 days later, I worked and had gone through so much lies and cheating and financial problems that he had. then 3 months ago he just upped and left, put me in a worst position then what I was when I arrived here, as if that was not good enough.
    he exposed my daughter to porn, abused both of us emotionally, spiritually, sexually and financially.
    My goal is to demand changes.

  • http://nevertoolatetowrite.com T.O. Weller

    Hi Jeff! Great list of ideas.
    I’d also like to suggest trying out NaNoWriMo. It’s a great way to try your hand at something big, like writing a novel for the first time, while finding support and community as you do it.
    One other small thing … new writers aren’t always “young” … but that’s not to say we’re not young at heart. :)

  • Kitkat03

    I am on nanowrimo but it doesn’t help me with ideas.

  • car

    i like salad