4 Things I Wished I Knew Before I Started Writing

I started my first novel when I was forty. My wife and I had three kids at the time (the fourth came two years later) and we had just decided to start our own medical practice. I used to write late at night on weekends and early in the morning before work, mostly because I had no other time but also because I was trying to keep the whole thing a secret from my wife. She found out a few months later, however, coming downstairs on a Saturday night catching me scribbling into a green wire-bound notebook. She kissed me on the cheek and went back to bed, but I wished she had told me the following four things, because it took me years to learn the hard way.

1) Writing is the biggest black hole of time ever created. Entire weekends can disappear at

the keyboard. Ask yourself a question before you start a book: Do I have this kind of

time? (And then do it anyway.)

2) It takes a long, long time to break through. I thought I knew this, but I really didn’t. Sit

down, strap in and hang on.

3) The best way to get better at writing is to read and write. Yes, writing conferences and

writing groups help some, but I would classify them more as entertainment than anything

else. If you want to write better, spend the time reading and writing.

4) There is only one worthwhile motive to write: for your personal enjoyment and

fulfillment. If this is not your motive, take up Canasta or curling. I say this because

although you are not going to be the next Cormac McCarthy or JK Rowling, you might

have a lot of fun in the process and learn a lot about who you are.

Make sure to follow the blog, or click on this link, Peter's Author Website, to check out my website. Please enter your e-mail when prompted to join my mailing list as well. If you would like to read one of my books (or gift one to a friend) click on the link to Peter's Amazon Page and you can order them right from there. And, as always, thanks for your support.

Cheers, peter

Peter Hogenkamp is a practicing physician, public speaker and author of fiction
living in Rutland, Vermont. Peter’s writing credits include The Intern (TouchPoint Press, April, 2020); The Vatican Conspiracy (Bookouture/HachetteUK, October, 2020), and The Vatican Secret(Bookouture/HachetteUK, April 2021.) He can be found on his Author Website as well as his personal blog, Peter Hogenkamp Writes where he writes about most anything. Peter is the creator, producer and host of Your Health Matters, a health information program, which airs on cable television, streams on YouTube and sounds off on podcast. Peter was a finalist for the prestigious 2019 Killer Nashville Claymore Award as well as a top finalist for the 2020 Vermont Writer’s Prize. He tweets—against the wishes of his wife, four children and feisty Cairn Terrier, Hermione—at @phogenkampvt. He can be reached at his FaceBook Page and at His e-mail


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