Having just finished my first book and now going through the process of marketing and publishing, I will say it’s been so worth it and I will also say, it’s been a bit of work!
Maybe it’s not like that for all authors, or maybe it’s just the first one can be the hardest, but I really had no idea what was involved with writing and publishing a book. I had a major wake up call.
If you are just starting out and don’t have a major writing background and aren’t a celebrity, pseudo-celebrity or an expert with many credentials in a given field, then you are starting from square one. Square one is fine. It’s not even so much a matter of where you start, its just doing it—the getting started part that matters.
Wouldn’t you rather give it a go—than to never know?
Writing a book is no small feat, but it can be done if you have a solid plan and stick to it.
Here are some things to do BEFORE the actual writing takes place:
- Get super clear about your topic and how you may have a unique perspective or view on it.
- Do a little research to see what else is out there on the topic, your competition and the market niche.
- Decide if it’s a good topic to write about, given what you found out from your research.
If it seems like a go, then you are ready to start the actual writing process! There are so many different ways to go about writing and honestly you have to do what works the best for you. But the single most important secret to writing a book and actually getting it done is . . . writing!
You can’t fininsh (or start!) writing a book if you don’t put the hours in at the computer (or however you prefer to write). You must be super disciplined about sitting down and writing a certain number of words every day, or it won’t happen. With my first book, I aimed at writing about 3-4 hours a day, but towards the end, when it came to the actual editing and fine tuning, I worked probably 5-6 hours a day.
Here are a few tips once you start writing the book:
- Set a time limit on how long you will write each day, or how many words you will write. Stick to that schedule. Be consistent. Once you get on a schedule, you will be in the zone and it will just be a normal part of your day.
- Limit distractions! I close all the other windows on my computer and just have my word document up. I notice my writing is a lot more fluid when I do this. If I have facebook and my email up, it’s just too tempting to check it.
- If you are an outline kind of a person, create an outline for the book. There are a ga-zillion different methods and opinions out there on how to put your book together and “standards” but I like to just start writing. I begin with a rough outline and then from there, create my sections and then chapters.
- Read the book, Author, Publisher, Entreprenuer (APE). It’s a wealth of information on the self-publishing world and writing.
This is just a start, but the main point I want to get across about writing a book, is that you have to actually commit to doing it. It’s not just going to magically happen, but once it starts to take shape, it is an amazing feeling. If you have a book in you that is ready to be written, you just have to sit down, shut out the world and do it.
I know this post is a bit off my normal topic, but it all does come back around to a choice. You have a choice to just think about writing a book, or actually sitting down and getting busy.
The world needs your input, your expertise and your story.
Choose to tell it.