Every year, countless people attempting to write their first book will reach out to me directly and ask if I’ll read their work and tell them what to do next.
The request is perfectly natural, especially for those who know me in some way. I’ve spent 20+ years in the writing and publishing community, and my name gets around as an expert. Yes, I can often read something and know exactly what a writer should do.
But here’s the real superpower: I often know what writers should do without reading a single word of their work.
Here is what I say, assuming it’s someone’s first book.
Maybe your loved ones have told you to write this book, or you’ve long wanted to give voice to a story or an experience—or share your expertise. Possibly you’ve been holding onto a story idea for years and now you finally have time to realize it on the page.
But as you get started, uncertainty creeps in.