So You Want To Write The Great American Novel?


By Staff Reports

(DGIwire)– If you’ve ever found yourself staring out of your office window at work, daydreaming about leaving your corporate job behind and plunging head-first into the creative world, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, if you do a quick Google search for “Should I Write A Book?” you’ll get inundated with conflicting advice, and even more acerbic discouragements. Pair that with a recent Writers Digest’s extremely detailed article – perhaps premature for a beginning writer – Publishing 101, and your head will be spinning before you’ve even written your first page.

It is of course tempting to wait until you find that “perfect” idea or “perfect” words to start your magnum opus, but idealism of this kind is no better than sheer procrastination. Perhaps the only advice we need comes to us from the prolific author Margaret Atwood. She said, “If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.” With an astounding 15 novels, 10 short story collections, 20 poetry collections, and countless essays and awards to her name, we should all be grateful she didn’t twiddle her thumbs!

“Atwood’s advice should not fall on deaf ears because, in essence, all writing is rewriting,” says Judy Katz, an extraordinaire ghostwriter with almost 40 books to her credit, fiction and non-fiction.   “If you have even an inkling of an idea, put it down on paper right away. With some cultivation, those words – and your vision – can grow into a unique work of art that people will want to read, and that you will be proud of.”

Ms. Katz should know. As the founder of, a ghostwriting and editing firm in New York City, she has ghostwritten or edited novels, memoirs, business books, medical and health books, and short story anthologies.  Many of these clients came to her with no more than a desire to become an author and the glimmer of a concept.

“To begin, I always conduct a thorough brainstorming session with each of my clients,” adds Katz. “Anything and everything you have in your brain, we get it onto the tape machine, and then down on paper.”

Ms. Katz has experience working with clients who want to write business books that will help grow their client base as well as those who aspire to The Great American Novel just for the pure pleasure of trying to conquer this art form and have a story they want to tell.   She has also trademarked the term Bookini,™ which is a smaller book, under 100 pages, usually on one very focused topic, or an allegorical book like Who Moved My Cheese and The One Minute Manager.   What’s more is she doesn’t leave her authors in the dust after the book’s conception. She actually guides her authors through the publishing process, helping them find literary agents and publishers, or go the self-publishing route. She is also experienced in public relations, and has marketed many of her authors’ books upon publication.

“While so many people dream about becoming authors, most of them never take that first step toward making it happen,” says Katz, who says that if you bring her the ‘meat,’ meaning a great idea for a book, she’ll supply the ‘potatoes,’ meaning her writing talent, insider knowledge of the publishing industry, and her passion to find the true story within each of her clients.

Sounds like a delicious recipe for success.  So what are you waiting for? The next Great American Novel isn’t going to write itself!

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