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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Why I'm Scared To Write A Book #Freelance #editor #writer #Amplify

So here is what Daniel K. Brantley is doing (and writing) about his book-writing trepidation...

Until eleventh grade, I planned to be a math teacher. I enjoyed numbers and they treated me right. Then I was stuck in algebra 2 with a large group of my friends. The result was nothing short of pandemonium. (Okay, it was a bit short of pandemonium. Can’t a guy have a little artistic license?)

As a result, I lost my math chops and have never regained them. Thankfully, Mr. Pettit taught me to love English.

Once I realized that reading and writing was something I enjoyed, there was no turning back. I majored in English and minored in secondary education (a minor I used for exactly one year, which was easily the most miserable year of my life). During college, I had short stories and poetry published in small, virtually unknown presses. But I felt superior because they were actual publications and not school newspapers. Degree in hand, I began covering sports for on occasion. 

This led to a full-time writing gig with a fun, flexible, and easy-to-use company called True North. After a few years there, I took a job as the editor of a weekly paper, the Bradley News Weekly. When the paper went the way of so many weeklies, I beefed up my freelance work and have opportunity to write and edit all sorts of fun and not-so-fun stuff.

What I’ve not written that I am determined to get under my belt is a book.

Like most authors, it’s not for lack of attempts. I’ve got a couple novels started up that are currently dying lonely deaths on floppy discs somewhere in my basement closet. The problem is follow-through. Since I’m a Ray Bradbury devotee, I read his book, Zen and the Art of Writing. Essentially, Bradbury told me to create a character, give him/her loves and hates, set him/her loose on the world, and follow as fast as I can.

As fun a ride as this technique has given me over the years, the results are always short and sweet. If I’m going to write a book, I’ve got to do something rather frightening. I’ve got to plan.

No more thinking up a character and letting him or her run until he can’t breathe any more in 5,000 words. Of course, I’ve got to create characters and give them loves and hates (the same that Bradbury recommended)—but that’s not enough. I have to figure out what they want and what they’re going to do to get it. It may seem a simple task, but I’ve had it in my head for years that planning kills creativity. Getting over this misconception will be no easy task. It is, however, necessary.

So as my inner genius scoffs at the idea of planning, my inner realist reminds me that planning is the only way I’ll ever get from the opening page to the grand finale that I pray will be thousands and thousands of words away.

All this to say, I’ve been frightened away from writing a book by the proposition of planning. However, I proclaim today that fear shall have no more hold on me. Because I am going to plan and I am going to write this book!

Note: I’d like to thank Lurlene McDaniel for encouraging me and telling me how to keep this book thing moving forward.

Daniel K. Brantley is a Founding Member and Eternal V.I.P.-Card-Holding Ambassador-in-Eternal-Standing of Club Cabeza... He authors, edits, inspires, suggests, embellishes, and polishes our editorial content to Marnie's satisfaction and occasionally contributes his personal blog posts when he cares to... 

And it doesn't really matter if his blog posts are pertinent, timely, or entertaining, ya' heard??! Daniel is a gifted writer, good friend, Band-Aid Bandit, and a fabulous resource. Amplification, Inc. and Club Cabeza encourage him to write his book all the time, but in the meantime, we love what he does to help us make our clients smile. Visit Daniel's website by clicking here or going to and consider retaining Amplification, Inc. to help you AMPLIFY your message. 

Oh, Daniel DID not edit or review this post. #Amplify