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I have an idea for a book…

According to everyone’s favorite big brother—Google—an average of 20 people every month search on this phrase: I have an idea for a book.

(Perhaps you landed on this blog post for that very reason.)

After you conduct a search like that, Google will spit up many pages with recommendations, suggestions, and directives on What To Do Next, but honest, there’s only one thing a person like you bursting with an idea can do, that is if you expect the idea to take, to work, to stand a chance in this often cold, brutal world. Just start writing.

Give your idea a shape. Give it words. Give it color. Give it its own goddamn file name in its very own folder on your computer, a folder that proudly proclaims: My Writing.

Own it. Write it. And keep writing.

All those pages that Google produced when you first made your query, they’ll still be there—along with plenty of others—long after your idea becomes more than some ethereal thing that lives in a place between sleeping and waking. Enjoy watching it grow and fall down and pick itself up again. Revel in the moments when it feels like your soul’s on fire and could fuel you forever, just you, your keyboard, and the thoughts burning deep inside in a space you never knew existed until you did just that—you allowed it to come to life and exist.

Avoid any naysayers who tell you to do something else or how hard it will be or hey, do you have a publisher yet? or hey, do you know how many people try and fail to write a book?

Protect the writing, this child of your imagination, until it’s ready to go on its first date, its first drive, its first night away from home. You’ll know when this time comes, precisely because you’ll be thinking, Gee…I think it’s time? Is it time? What can I do to it next? What can I do to make it better?

Then, go back to Google. Or Bing. Or the local bookstore. Or the library. Only then review the many pages and books and tutorials on what to do when you have an idea for a book.

If you made it this far, if this search brought you here, what are you waiting for? Close down this page, open one of your own, and start writing.