"Why, they grow on trees, dear! All you need is to plant a seed of imagination, fertilise it with letters, and add plenty of rain and sunshine."
"I thought rain and sunshine made rainbows?"
"Yes, dear – but with a little help from nature, and some hard work in the hands of a helpful farmer, a book tree is made!"
Maybe that's how some people think books are made.
It’s easy enough to write a book, just really hard to get published! Maybe if I sit here and fantasise about being a best-selling novelist, the opportunity will just sprout up in my garden one day. That could happen if I wrote a novel, but seeing as it is so unlikely I won’t even bother trying.
No, books do not grow on trees. We writers, if we want to be published, have to put a lot of imagination and effort into creating one. Still, it does make for a great metaphor, doesn't it? Of course, trees contribute a lot to the making of books. So make sure that you go out of your way to hug a tree...and an author!
Writing a book is a lot like planting a tree. It starts with the smallest of things. An idea, a spark of imagination, and some motivation is just the beginning. You need to work hard and tend to your novel, trimming it, fertilising it, watering it, and pruning it until it finally bears its fruit. Then you have to find someone who is interested in selling your fruit, and then market said fruit so that people who hear about it decide to try yours instead of going for someone else's.
Now, enough of lolly-gagging with metaphors – back to writing! That book isn’t going to write itself, you know. Plant that motivation! Water those pages with words! Dig up the dirt on your protagonist! Cut that back story! Prune those adverbs!
Then, somewhere down the line, your tree will be bearing fruit, and you'll have to fend off all the birds who want a taste of your masterpiece.
Until then, back to writing.