1. Read a lot of books.
2. Write stories for school. Discover you enjoy school writing but hate being told what to write. Begin writing for fun. Stories grow longer and longer and finally become book-length.
3. Write sprawling epic novel inspired by the sprawling epic novels of your favourite authors.
4. Attempt to get epic novel published. Epic novel is rejected by publishers due to unoriginal content and style. Throw tantrum. Swear you will never write again. Withdraw from world to nurse broken heart.
6. Write another novel, this time inspired by your own opinions and experiences.
7. Research publishing market and submission procedures.
8. Attempt to get new novel published. More rejection letters. More tantrums, more nursing of broken heart.
9. Repeat steps 6-8 while developing your own unique style. Confidence and optimism are replaced by sheer, pigheaded stubbornness.
10. Receive book contract from publisher. Faint from shock. Promote book, pursue further publications, acquire literary agent, etc. Discover life is not all sunshine and roses now that you’re published. You still have to work very hard!
Speaking of hard work, I can't blog today because I’m hard at work on the third Prairie Dogs novel, Miracle Dogs. It feels good to be back in Silvertree. I’ve missed my dogs!