Have you been told by a friend or relative “That would make a great book!”? You think to yourself, “Yes, yes it would,” but then fear and anxiety take over because you have no idea where to start the writing process.
While undertaking the goal of writing a book is admirable, it is a hard and sometimes long process. But like every worthwhile goal, it can be done with some simple planning, goal setting and scheduling.
First Things First
Write down your idea. Take the time to outline all the topics you want to include in your book. You can do a simple 1, 2, 3, a, b, c type outline or if you think better through visual aids, create a mindmap of your book. Then create a logical written outline from your mindmap.
Schedule Writing Time
Once you’ve got your outline of topics to write about, you need to make sure that you schedule time to write. This may sound like a simple and logical next step, but it’s often easier said than done. Life gets in the way of the best intentions and schedules. If you simply make it a point to write something every day for 30 minutes to an hour, just write something! Baby steps will still make progress. When you can devote extended periods of time for writing, do it!
No Right Way to Write
Don’t think that you have to go down your outline and tackle each topic in order. Creativity rarely works that way. Pick a topic that piques your interest and begin writing on it. Let your creative juices flow. If you don’t finish the topic in one writing session, you can always go back when you’re ready. You might jump around to several different topics before you come back to finish one — but that’s okay. Just keep writing.
Don’t Be Your Worst Critic
It’s hard not to be your own critic. After all you want your writing to be stellar! First drafts are meant to be messy, disorganized, with misspelled words and bad grammar. That’s why they are called “drafts”. You have plenty of time for revisions later. Your first goal is just to get all of your thoughts on paper (or computer screen). Let your creativity flow and get the words out. You can re-read, revise and edit later.
Once you’ve finished your manuscript it’s time to find an editor. This is one step you can’t skip. Every good or even great writer needs an editor to polish his/her words. Take the time and spend a few dollars to hire a professional editor to work through your work. You won’t regret it. You’ve worked so hard to pour your thoughts, your heart and even pieces of your soul into your carefully chosen words, so now let someone else make them shine!
Your edited manuscript will be ready for the world, whether that’s your agent, your publisher, reviewers or even to be sent to your formatter if you’re choosing the self-publishing route.