Do you want to write a book, but you’re trying to figure out where to start? Even if you’re a first-time author, you have something in common with the most seasoned writers: You have to write a book. It’s the one challenge every author faces.
There will be times when you experience creative bliss and words flow freely from your mind and onto a blank page. However, this is the exception, not the rule.
Writing a book is difficult. It takes a lot of time, you will have to battle discouragement, and figuring out where to start can be a challenge.
To help you write your book and overcome these initial hurdles, the seven quick tips below will help you get started.
1. Choose one big idea
What’s the one big idea you want to write about? Make a conscious choice to thoroughly cover only one big idea.
Deciding ahead of time what your book is about will help you focus your writing, fight the temptation of pursuing rabbit trails, and help you research your topic.
2. Create an outline
Developing a book outline is a great way to help you write your book.
Organize your book by identifying the major topics you need to cover to make your point. Now, look at your topics and determine what you need to cover within each topic. Use this material to create an initial chapter outline of your book.
3. Determine your due date
It’s been said before, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” The same holds true for writing a book. Determine ahead of time when you would like to complete your manuscript—this will help you make time in your schedule to write your book.
4. Set a writing schedule
A writing schedule is a great tool to help you stay on track in writing your book.
To create your own writing schedule, you need to:
• Estimate how many total words you need to write
• Determine how many words you need to write every month, week, and day
You’re well on your way to completing your book after you develop a writing schedule.
5. Make time to implement your writing schedule
This sounds obvious, but it’s an often overlooked step. But here’s the deal: It will take you more time than you think if this is your first book.
Create time in your weekly schedule to write. How much time you need to set aside to complete your book will depend on how quickly you want to complete your manuscript. It’s important to be realistic in what you can accomplish.
Be creative. Identify activities in your life you can replace with writing—e.g. watching TV, playing video games, or extended lunch breaks. Also, consider staying up later or getting up earlier to squeeze in extra writing time.
6. Write, don't edit
Your goal at first is to write, write, and write. Don't worry about editing…at all.
If you stop to edit, you’ll lose your train of thought and waste time. Pour yourself out. Don't hold back. Your first draft is for you and you alone. You can worry about editing your writing later.
7. Crush writer’s block
Writer’s block is a common challenge faced by many—if not all—writers. But the primary way to overcome writer’s block is to write…anything.
You can also consider doing something physically active, spending time with family or friends, reading a book, listening to music, or watching an inspirational movie. The idea here is to take a break, step away from your writing, and come back refreshed.
For more writing tips, download Writing Tips Checklist: 25 Essential Steps to Writing a Book for free. We will walk you through preparing, researching, writing, reviewing, and publishing your book.