There’s a common belief that everyone has at least one book in them and the trick is to get it out. Well, they don’t write themselves, so it’s important to get yourself a game plan when you decide that you actually want to go for it.
Here are some tried and tested tips to get your book written.
Before you start your first draft, you need to know where you are going with it. Spend some time researching your chosen subject, and know it well. It’s amazing how many people assume that they can just start typing and expect to see something coherent and readable magically appear.
All the best writers will give themselves an outline of their proposed book, and it helps to pitch the book first, to yourself at the very least, so you know that what you are attempting is going to work.
Make yourself comfortable
You’ve got a plan, but you’re still wandering around the house, finding chores to do, websites to look at or emails to sort.
What you need is a dedicated area that you know will: keep you comfortable, but not asleep; alert but not overstimulated; and where you can access all the necessary materials but little to no distraction.
Once you’ve found this place, believe that it is your writing area and nothing may disturb it.
Hopefully, you’ll have found a decent spot to write in. But you won’t keep writing if you burn out early, so it’s important to schedule appropriate times to write.
You can only schedule writing times by knowing and being honest with yourself. It’s worth experimenting a bit. Some find it easier to write in the mornings, others are night owls.
“The important thing is to ensure that you are writing every day. It doesn’t have to be thousands of words straight away. As long as you keep it up you’ll find yourself being able to write for longer and longer periods of time,” shares Kevin Benson, editor at Draftbeyond and Writinity.
For a writer, there is nothing more daunting than an empty page. So regardless of what it is you actually get down, get something down. You can always go back and revise even if what you’ve written seems to be absolute nonsense.
As long as you can keep attacking the empty page, you can commit. Like exercise, you’ll find at times that you don’t want to continue, but remember that though the idea you started with may now seem ridiculous or cliched, you have not yet taken the idea to its logical conclusion.
Writing is an intensely personal experience and its hard to take criticism for something so close. But whether you like it or not, you are always going to get feedback, critical or otherwise.
So rather than waiting for it to come, you’d be better advised to go out and search for it, welcome it and learn from it. “Think about who within your circle will most benefit from reading what you write and ask them for feedback or suggested improvements. This way you’ll ensure they don’t just praise your work to make you feel good,” says Aaron Reece, author at Last Minute Writing and Researchpapersuk.
A writer’s greatest tool is understanding how to fail. Most writers will have a work that they are ashamed of, and it is rare to get it right the first time. So persist and persevere and fail better each time.
Now that you’ve gotten those drafts out of the way you can feel the warm glow of accomplishment. But your work isn’t done. A book unread is simply a glorified journal unless you ensure that you now champion your book by sending it to agents for publication.
Did you know we host a year-round Nonfiction Book Awards program? Check it out!