No one is oblivious to what is going on in the world during this current time. While some may be stocking up on supplies, which is needed, I want to encourage you to be productive instead of panicking. Perhaps your life has somewhat shifted; however, it is the perfect time to write right now!
Has anyone ever told you that you had an amazing story that you need to share? Did you agree with them but didn’t know what your next steps should be? Don’t worry! I have you covered… The things around us may not seem ideal, but it’s the perfect opportunity to grab your pen/paper or open your laptop and start writing, especially for those that have been putting it off! Transform this time of isolation into inspiration to write that book!
The saying goes, “When you have lemons, make lemonade.” Well, I say, “Turn the time during quarantine into a writer’s retreat.”
Writing can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. I want to share 4 Steps to writing a book, even if you are a beginner! Take advantage of the time you have so you can be prepared… And for those that have already written a book, what is stopping you from writing book #2 or #3? Use this time to add value to others.
Having said that, you must know that there is no right or wrong way of writing. Do you have to be a genius in grammar to write a book? No. Do you have to write 100k words for your book for it to be successful? No. Do you have to write fiction because it is the only thing that sells? No.
You can do whatever you want in your book. The only rule is: you have to write. Without writing, it will never get done, and you will never be a writer. However, there are some things that if you do, there are many more chances of you being successful. There are things you can do that guarantee that you will actually be able to finish the book and afterward sell it.
You are going to find billions of techniques around the internet, and you must choose the ones that apply to you. There’s no single rule ‘one fits all’ when it comes to sharing your story.
What this means is that you have to think about what a writer does in their daily lives. They plan the story, they write daily, they edit it for hours. Writing a book is VERY hard and simple at the same time. Think about how much time you will have to invest to write. Begin with the end in mind. Set a goal of WHAT you want to write and WHEN you want to complete it!
You will spend quite a bit of time writing so you want to be comfortable. Create a writing space that works for you! Don’t be afraid to work around your schedule or if you get off track some days, but always refer back to the drawing board of what you initially want your routine to look like!
Some days you may not even WANT to write, do it anyway!
You won’t have motivation every day, but you must have the discipline. I say this for you to know beforehand in what you are getting yourself into. It can get frustrating at times, but you can do it. However, you need to WANT TO DO IT. Daily. Be passionate about creating a routine and schedule your writing! Fall in love with the idea of sharing your story!
LEARN WHILE YOU WRITE
Learning writing techniques is vital for you to be able to construct good characters, good world-building, dialogue, description, everything. However, you are only going to really understand it when you write.
I see people spending A LOT of time only researching about it and never really beginning it. And the opposite as well: people that think they know everything and coming up with bad stories, because they simply didn’t have the skills to tell it and couldn’t be bothered about learning it.
I tell you to do both at the same time. I mean it now. Look away from the computer for 3 minutes and think about what you want to write. Open a file and write a paragraph. Then come back here.
Write and learn at the same time.
Don’t be afraid to research topics, blogs, tips, and ideas. Fill the blank page with the world around you. Continue to read every day. Study things you wouldn’t normally study. One of my biggest rules is to keep a thesaurus handy! Create a vocabulary list to enhance your skills.
Ask questions! Google is great for this but so are those that you are connected to. People have information and the answers to questions you have, especially if they have done it before!
ONE STEP AT A TIME
Okay, you want to write, but where do you begin? How to start writing a book for beginners?
I can tell you that there’s a step by step. There are basically only 5 things you need to do to create a book:
Getting an idea that is worth reading.
2. Deciding the basics.
Genre, fiction or nonfiction, who your main character is, target audience, book concept. You don’t need to know everything now, but you need at least the basic of the basics so you can start exploring it.
3. Outlining: start by outlining.
Outlining means that you are going to create a path from the first scene to the last. When you outline it, you see it all like a big puzzle. You see every step until the ending. It helps you not getting stuck and to know when you are going to put the key parts of your story, so you’ll create a great thing. The more detailed your outline is, the less thinking you will do during the writing process. The less detailed your outline is, the more time you may spend staring at a blank screen because you will be doing more work during the writing portion.
4. Edit it: you are going to edit.
A lot. You are going to make a first draft, a second draft, the third one, etc. The editing piece comes after you’ve finished the rough draft. Of course, you want to edit it prior to sending it to professionals. By the time the process is complete, you should be able to recite just about every word in your book, word for word. (Kidding!)
5. Let it go: one day, you’ll have to let it go.
You’ll never think it’s finished, I guarantee you. If you haven’t already committed to a publisher, now is the time! Hire a professional editor, a proofreader, and work on marketing concepts while it’s being edited. (Do not skip promoting in advance!) You have to let it go for you to evolve. So, start with the conviction that you WILL finish it and you WILL let it go, which means, PUBLISH it. Publish it with a PLAN in mind. Books don’t sell themselves, so be ready to put in the work to promote yourself and your book!
WRITE ABOUT WHAT YOU LOVE
There’s a reason people don’t finish writing a book. They don’t love it enough. This one is a bit like tip number 1, where I told you that you have to at least not hate the idea of spending a lot of time writing something. I mean it. You have to write about what you love. Something you are passionate about. Something that wakes you up each day. You must have a WHY for WHAT you WRITE!
Sometimes I see people that want to write a whole novel or self-help book about an idea they got from hearing a couple talking in a restaurant. This is great. However, are they in love with this subject, with this idea?
Sometimes you get an idea that is only a sparkle. It will fade away. Write it down, of course, and even play with it a little, but could you discuss it nonstop if you had to?
Which is the topic that you can talk about for the rest of your life?
What’s the topic that your friends beg for you not to start because they can’t stand it anymore? And no, I’m not talking about politics or what is going on right now, I’m talking about what you are most passionate about! Write about that.
Do not Write about the second thing you love the most or the third, it has to be THE THING.