write that book (please)

Hi there. Not gonna take up much of your time. I just have a little something burning a hole in my brain/heart, and it needs out.

Disclaimer: this post may not be for you. If you’ve never thought to yourself, “I should write a book…” Or maybe, “I would love to write a book someday…” Or perhaps, “I wonder if I have what it takes to write a book…”

Maybe none of your friends/teachers/family members have ever told you things like: “You should totally write a book!!!” Or, “Oh my word! You are such a good writer!! When are you going to write a book!”

And so on and such as.

Not for you. This post is just for the people who HAVE thought one of those things or HAVE had someone say something similar to them.

I just published my 9th book yesterday. (The breakdown, if you’re interested: 1 self-published book, 4 traditionally-published books, 4 self-published e-books.) Some of you might be impressed. Others not so much. (I’m kind of over it myself.)

If you’ve been around for long, you know my little whine-and-cheese story of books published before the internet hit the world, two books out of print, many failed attempts to get published again after that, “settling” for e-books and then realizing that it’s actually a dream come true for me. Not because I make a lot of money or suddenly became famous. (Read more here. And also here. Oh, and here.)


Here’s what I want to say. My newest book is a memoir (which is, by far, my favorite genre), and it’s probably the “easiest” to write, because you get to just write what you know, to tell what happened to you, to share your story.

And, friends, we were made to share our stories.

I’ve written about this in the past, and I’m going to be writing about it more in the future, but here’s the deal: I’m passionate about helping people pursue their passions for the glory of God.

And a lot of you are passionate about writing. And some of you aren’t so sure you love writing, but you’ve got a story burning inside of you, begging to be told.

Let’s tell it. Let’s go for it. And by us, I mean YOU. What’s it gonna hurt? Unlike other hobbies, it’s not expensive; it doesn’t require any equipment. No one is gonna see you doing it; no one is going to watch you fail.

What’s holding you back??

I know, I know. Lots of things.

Fear. (What if I’m not good enough? What if no one wants to read it? What if I never finish it?)

Time. (I work 40 hours a week. I have a family. I’m a mom to a toddler and a newborn. I have a million other commitments right now.)

I’m not asking you to write a book in three months. I’m asking you to start hammering out some words on your computer. Tonight.

If it doesn’t “work out,” you’ve lost nothing. You’ve put words to your thoughts. You’ve recorded memories. You’ve exercised your brain. WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN.

You may not believe this, but writing a book is hard work. Hard because it takes lots of time and discipline and the willingness to write/re-write/re-write/re-write. (When I write a book, it doesn’t come out all happy all in a row all at once.)

But anyone can do it. Really. Will it be a best-seller? No promises. But even if your mom is the only one to read it, YOU WROTE A BOOK.

I just got a Facebook message today from a woman who said I’ve inspired her to write, to follow her dream. WOOHOO!! That’s a big, huge chunk of why I do what I do: to inspire others to follow their own God-given dreams.

Is he nudging you right now??

If so, I want to know.

Who’ll be brave and say they’ve got a book inside of them dying to come out?? (for bonus points, can I have a 1-sentence synopsis?)

42 thoughts on “write that book (please)

  1. Dalton

    Hi, Happy New Year! I ca17;82n&#t always do the surveys you send, but I do my best. I would like to donate points and to know how. I don’t know what to do with the points anyway. Please inform us better. Thanks very much.

  2. Elizabeth

    I’m slowly catching up on your blog! Yup. This post is definitely for me! 🙂 Gotta keep at my writing. I stop and start. My WIP has morphed from being a story about how my birth dad and I were separated by lies for 35 years and finally found our way back to relationship to being a memoir about the bigger picture of my spiritual journey.

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  5. Maria W.

    I just listened to Midday-Connection in Chicago and heard you talking on radio. I saw this as I looked up your website. I’ve been told I have a writing gift. The only thing the Lord told me to write so far is my life story. I’m in my early 60’s. I’m known as a one who tells several stories and people have said ‘write those down’–so, I’ve been doing ‘My Story’ in scrapbook form with pictures accompanying and my stories interspersed. Is there an avenue I can go down to explore getting these stories published? I’m not so sure. Thanks!

    1. Marla Taviano

      Hi, Maria. In the next month or so, I’m hoping to offer a writing/publishing course to a select few people who want to write their stories. If you want to send me an e-mail (using the contact form on the sidebar), that’d be great. I’ll add you to my list of people interested in it. Thanks!

  6. Cheryl Pickett

    As a few of Marla’s readers know, I released my second family devotional book back in October. Honestly, for me, most of the writing part wasn’t that hard. Not that I didn’t hit some road blocks, I did, but a lot of times the words flowed pretty well. That happened with the first one too which I wrote in 2009.

    I believe that part of those flow times is because I was finally following the nudge and paying attention to God’s call for me to do it. Took me probably a good year or two the first time to get past what I call the “Moses thing” where you get the instructions/inkling/nudge (though no burning bush) and you figure out reasons why you aren’t qualified or why someone else is more qualified etc.

    If that sounds like you, my advice is pay attention and do it. If it’s just a someday idea, maybe it’s not time yet. But if there is more to it than that, more of a sense to do something about it now, do it. Besides Marla, (and me) there are more support resources available now than probably ever before. The actual production process whether print or digital is easier than ever and affordable for most budgets too.
    If your main reason for not going forward is fear, here is something to consider:
    I can guarantee you that not everyone will like it. There is no such thing as a product that everyone likes. Think of your own household, how many things/books do you like that someone else does not and vice-versa? Does that mean that thing/book should never have been made? Of course not. Might it not be very good? It’s certainly possible if you do not take the process seriously, don’t get decent editing and design. But if you do take it seriously, and do it well, there is someone who will like it or who needs to read it. Maybe it will only be a small handful of people, maybe it will be thousands. You will not know until you try and trying begins with a word, then a sentence, then a paragraph. Write. All the help you need from that point on is out there.

  7. Jessica Green

    I have been told frequently I should write a book about all we’ve been through in our adoption journey. Loosing one son after having him nearly a year an a half when the birth father contested the adoption, a little over ayear later adopting our nephew as our son and then 20 months later adopting our daughter only to have her birth father come 18 mo later and contest her adoption and fight for 15 mo to keep her. I’ve started writing it more times than I can count but never finish….

  8. Jill Foley

    I wrote a children’s book about my daughter and her “birthday buddy” – a girl we sponsor in the DR. I really felt I needed to write it – even if it went no where. I had an illustrator lined up, but just haven’t found the right people who want to take it further.

    I’m ok with that. I feel peace about having written it – even if it was just for my daughter. I’d still love to see if published because I think there is a lack of material for kids and families when it comes to explaining and experiencing sponsorship together, but for now I did my part.

    1. Marla Taviano

      Okay, that is just really really cool. And I’m not sure how professional you need the illustrator to be, but I have a pretty talented 13-year-old here who might be willing to take a stab at it (and probably for much cheaper than a “real” illustrator). 🙂

  9. Teresa Henry

    Marla, I told you just a few days ago that I have part of a book written. I want to finish. It is about the events and circumstances I endured, the ways that I allowed them to manifest in my life, and how I overcame them (or continue to overcome them everyday). It is about how my identity was stolen, became distorted, how I operated in that distortion and ultimately how I went through restoration with God.

  10. Krysten

    You already know this, but my book-in-my-head is called Drops in the Bucket, and its about using your everyday talents to change the world in whatever ways God has for you. It’s about how ALL of us have something to bring and offer, and that we just have to find which bucket (or buckets) to add our drops to. Talk about burning… it’s been in there for a while!

  11. Colleen

    I have been told I should write a book so many time and I keep flailing all over because of the proclaimed excuse that I do not know what to write first. But that fear of failure thing, that’s the real issue. And because I read things and think, “That person already wrote my book.” But I would like to do a memoir type book that also contains elements on how to embrace missional living wherever you are. Called to Serve: Thoughts on Love, Loss, and Living a Life of Giving.

    1. Marla Taviano

      Oh my goodness, girl. I’m begging you to write it. You have lived through SO MUCH. And yes, there are lots of missional living books out there, but NO ONE has lived YOUR story. Can’t wait to read it!!

  12. Sharon

    Oh Marla. I have wanted to write a book (or maybe, booksssss) for as long as I can remember. I kept journals starting as a kid and imagined them one day being turned into a book. But, I’d use a pen name, so nobody could trace my stories back to me! Just last night, I was at a party, and a lady said out of the blue, “I’m so excited! My friend just wrote a book! She’s 70! I ordered it, of course.” And, I wondered if it was going to take me until I’m 70 to ever write a book.

  13. Rachelle Keppler

    Marla! I love how much you give and encourage and share! Since 3rd grade I’ve had others tell me I should be a writer. Since I was 6 I knew I would be a writer. Just this year God has opened a couple doors for me. I write quarterly for my church publication, Reflections of Grace and work on a collaboration weekly for Mommy and Me Fitness. My real passion is sharing my life struggles and trials and God’s awesome hand in my life. I believe God can really use it. I hope you keep writing! I know God is using you in ways you can’t see right now but someday you will.
    Tonight God brought a picture to mind of weaving a tapestry. The threads of our lives are sometimes dark, other times light. We may not understand why but one day when our work is finished we will see the beautiful work God made of our lives.

  14. Lori

    Becoming a wife on fire…. Igniting your confidence, your faith and your marriage in the firefighting life.
    Not sure if it will come this year or next. Been doing Goins 500 words a day challenge and loving it!! Totally need to pick your brain 😉

  15. Kandalyn

    I wrote a book in college I am rewriting, and I needed to read this tonight. It is about my experience having my best friend tell me she was in love with me and my bf tell me he was gay all in the same week. It explores the “causes” of homosexuality, and it is a story of growing up and finding a relationship with God.

      1. Becca

        So I get told occasionally that I should write a book. I always say: “well, God would have to really lay something on my heart to make that happen.” . . . so we shall see.

  16. Stephanie Eding

    Synopsis: A humorous and inspiring look into what it means to be a wife, mother, and woman of God…and while maintaining one’s sanity. 🙂 (Only about 15,000 words in…but having fun…slowly!!!)

  17. Chris

    Loved your post tonight as I’ve said all those things to myself & have had several people nudge me to start writing original works instead of tinkering with fan fiction. I have several stories floating around my head in several different genres and have even started one but never finished.

    As strange as it sounds, I’ve had 2 characters in my head for several years now that I mull over off & on. The girls names are Leandra & Allura and they are either best friends or sisters, can’t decide which yet. They go on this amazing journey in search of love & acceptance that spans a lifetime. Not much else is known but I know this much. Maybe someday I’ll write their story.

  18. Cassandra S

    Numerous people have told me I need to write a book and I really want to share the story of our adoptions and our struggles raising three special needs children. I just need the encouragement to do it!

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