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How to Be a Writer without Writing a Book

How to Be a Writer without Writing a Book

I once wrote a blog about irony. Although I made several interesting and insightful observations, the general point is that I’m one of those people that can’t define the word, but do know when it hits me over the head with a brick. (I am, however, likely to miss the more subtle examples.)

For a blog, there isn’t anything ironic about my current title. My problem is that I’m thinking of writing a book with that title – or subtitle.

Lorrie's Brain: Technically impossible, but you can see how they did that.
Lorrie’s Brain: Technically impossible, but you can see how they did that.

I admit that I do have a book title that I would love to see come to fruition. Yet, “Toilets Around the World, How do I Flush this Thing?” is more a picture book that I’m considering assembling, not writing. But as a writer not writing books, I’m qualified to write a book called How to Be a Writer without Writing a Book.

Yet, before I sarcastically threw out, “write a book called, ‘How to be a Writer without Writing a Book’?” during a brainstorming session, I DID NOT WANT TO WRITE A BOOK. And I’m not sure I want to now.

So I found myself in a quandary.

If I do write this, what do I put in it?

So, I reached out to my friend Sue Stoney, The Message Crafter. Sue is a collaborative coach helping people write their books. And, of course, she didn’t want to give me the answer to my question. (She didn’t say that, but she didn’t tell me what to put in the damned thing either.) Instead, she asked me some questions:

  • Who’s your audience?
  • What’s the purpose of the book? Specifically, why this topic now?
Lorrie's Brain when thinking of writing a book.
Lorrie’s Brain when thinking of writing a book.

Once I got past the deer-in-the-headlights feeling, I could positively answer:


I do know that I love the big old brick of irony that is the title.

I also know that some people would take me more seriously if I wrote a book.

I’m also having a bit of contrariness going on. Part of me is saying, “I don’t want to,” and “I can’t.” Another part of me is saying, “F*** THAT!” Normally this happens when someone outside my head tells me that I can’t do something. For example, I’m really good at getting things back in their original packaging when someone tells me it can’t be done.

I may, or may not, want to do this. I know that I can do it. The question is then, what is “it” to be?

  • Is it the story of how I became a writer who doesn’t write books?
  • Is it a How To for others who want to be non-book writers?
  • Is it something else?

Then, I had a conversation with another friend, Sydney Metrick. Sydney helps me unscramble my brain, and she came up with a “something else” that raised some interest. (I’m not giving it all away.)

The next day, I had a conversation with another one of my friend/coaches, Elaine Betts, and she brought in some other ideas that expanded my interest as well as the overall appeal to others. She also simplified the purpose for me EMENSELY. (I was making it much too hard.)

And suddenly, I’m no longer at


I think I’m more at I’m Not Totally Sure, but I’ve got an Idea.

Because I tend to work things out by writing them out, expect updates in future blog posts. And if you want to know how it’s going, feel free to ask.

And the true moral of the story is: life is a team effort, have friends, have coaches, and have some of them be both.

-Lorrie Nicoles

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