10 Tips on How to Start Writing Your Own Book
So, you have an idea, a rough vision, a setting or a theme. It is something to work with, but how do you get it into words in an engaging and enjoyable form? If you are struggling to get started, don't worry, you are not alone. Indeed, forget scare stories about finding a publisher for now. It is often said the hardest bit about producing a book is the writing itself.
If you are searching for inspiration here are ten simple, yet crucial, tips on how to get started in writing your book:
- Plan. Planning is an obvious, yet central, part of producing a book. Stop the clutter of ideas clouding your brain by pausing for a moment to map out your thoughts so everything is clear and accessible. See my previous post on where to start for more advice on structuring your book from the beginning.
- Set a time. Put aside a specific amount of time to spend on the book each week, whether it is one whole day over a weekend, or a few hours each evening. Think about what might be a reasonable word count in that time, but start small. You can always pick up the pace as you get going. By making sure the goal is manageable and not over-ambitious, you will be able to achieve what you need to do. Nothing feels better than completing your target for the day.
- Choose your space. Pick out a good space to work in, preferably different to the one where you do the 'day job'. Think comfortable, yet professional, to achieve maximum concentration potential.
- Ask for feedback. Even if you're happy with the ideas and the progress that your novel is taking, never underestimate the value of feedback. You don't need to tell everyone what you are up to. Just pick a few trusted advisors who might offer a different perspective. There is nothing worse than writing a book in complete secrecy, then having to re-write it because someone else notices glaring inconsistencies in your narrative.
- Be prepared to adapt. Clinging on to old ideas when they are clearly not working well can stop a book in its tracks. Be prepared to develop ideas either in response to feedback (see above) or if you get an uneasy feeling the direction you've chosen just isn't working.
- Keep writing. Keep going even on days when motivation feels at an all-time low. Try and get at least a few words down, then take a break and get back in the zone. The more days you skip writing, the less likely you are to return to it. If you absolutely can't face writing, do an activity involved with the book, whether it is visiting locations in the text, researching historical detail or plotting character development.
- Write to please. This doesn't just mean concentrate on what the target audience wants, it means remember to enjoy the process too. If you are not relaxed and happy about the progress of your project it will show in the writing.
- Choose a name. Picking a title as soon as possible gives the work a certain professional feel and makes everything seem more official. It's inspiring too. Click here to have a look at my previous blog on how to choose the perfect title for your text.
- Ship it. No matter how tough the journey, you must finish your book. Then, equally importantly, do something with it. Don't leave it in a drawer, or languishing in an unopened file on your desktop PC. Send it to a publisher, or an agent, convert it into an eBook and stick it on Amazon. Just get it out there.
- Start the next one. Anyone struggling with their first book might read this last tip and laugh. How am I going to begin my second, when I can't even get around to starting my first, you'll be thinking? Trust me on this one though. If you get through your first book, and you will, you'll be itching to go on to your second. The best part is, you'll have learned so many lessons by then, it will be a completely different experience.
Why are you still reading this? Go and start your plan and get writing. There is no time like the present. Good luck.
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