Updated: Aug 31, 2021
Welcome to Write That Book Now. I am Philip J Bradbury, your slave driver … aaah, I mean I am your writing coach!
So, quickly, a little about the book, a little about me and a small introduction to writing.
About the course
This course is for you if you:
If you have completed your book and need to know how to improve it before publishing,
If you have started your book and you’ve become stuck, for some reason,
If you have started your book, it is flowing beautifully and you feel a mentor or coach would help your book and/or your life along,
If you have a story or a theme you want to write about but haven’t started for whatever reason, or
If you really want to write but you can’t think what to write about.
Whatever stage you’re at, this book will help you get your story – or any other writing – written, whether you want it published, if it’s just for close family or if it’s simply for your own healing and/or peace of mind.
I have written 18 self-published books so I’ve been getting my books written! I have also edited, designed and published over fifteen books for other authors and you can see some of them on my website www.philipjbradbury.com.
I’ve been a magazine columnist, editor and publisher at different times and in different parts of the world, as well as a freelance writer for clients round the globe.
Right now, I’m working with a team to turn one of my novels into a podcast and then (hopefully) into a movie. I’m also engrossed in writing my Great Australian Novel and doing this, partly, through a writing course in which I am a student. We never stop learning and it definitely helps to have the support of others to keep me on track and to see the bumps in the road that I don’t.
I write every day – 500-2,000 words a day – and will continue writing even if none of my words were ever published. I just love the process, the creativity and the otherworldliness I can plant into each and every day of my life. For example, I just wrote the 936 words of this Welcome chapter in 40 minutes this morning.
I do my best to walk my talk and I won’t ask you to anything I haven’t done or won’t do. In a sense, we are doing this course together.
So that’s a snapshot of my writing.
As a trainer/life coach for over 25 years, I take the view that there are universal laws and techniques to take us to where we want to be. Writing a book, in many ways, is the same as any other endeavour, including the biggest endeavour … your life!
These laws and techniques you will learn through this course.
However, at the same time, writing takes particular and unique skills that some are born with, some can learn and some will never acquire. Writing is beset with so many rules and, at the same time, is an art. As an art, it is an open invitation to breaking rules!
Writing is, for example, not like brain surgery. If we make a mistake we can erase and rewrite. Our errors are seldom life-threatening! Also, a brain surgeon’s career may improve the lives of hundreds of people whereas your book may touch millions of people in unexpected ways. For example, I’ve had messages from people who decided not to commit suicide and decided not to abandon their marriages after reading my words.
However, like the brain surgeon, we need to learn our craft, to practise our craft, to practise our craft, to practise our craft … and keep practising our craft.
Malcolm Gladwell tells us in his book, The Outliers, that success only comes after 10,000 hours of practicing our craft and he uses The Beatles, Bill Gates and many others as his examples. This 10,000-hour rule may or may not apply to you but if you think you can learn a few tips and whip up a book in the next month, you have no business in this career, in this activity or with this book.
Melissa Ashley, who is running the course I am doing, has had two books published. She rewrote her second book four times before her agent – and her, eventually – was happy with it.
Writing is a marathon and requires constancy, regularity and discipline.
“What? Discipline?” I hear you exclaim. “But art and discipline don’t go together!”
“Oh yes they do,” I reply.
The artform itself may reject discipline and rules but you’ve got to turn up to your blank canvas, blank page or unchipped stone in order to enjoy your art. And turning up may require rearranging your schedule or your family’s schedule. It may require giving up current activities to enjoy your art. This requires discipline and planning.
Also, your book will probably require some planning – more so if you’re a planner writer than if you’re a pantser writer.
We will go over all of the above – art, discipline, planning, enjoyment, grammar, structure, plot, characters, planners, pantsers, conversation and everything else – as we go through this course and get your book written.
This course will cover all aspects of creative writing – not academic writing – and I’ll list reference books that you can read. There will be homework from each episode and, today, your mission is to answer five questions for yourself:
Why do I want to write?
Why am I writing?
Who do I want to write for?
How will my writing help/affect my readers?
How will it affect me?
On a scale of one to ten, how committed and passionate are you about finishing this book of yours?
Turn to the last section – Why are you writing this book? – and you can answer these questions.