10 steps to start writing a book
So many books and so many writers in this world. What defines their success and how can they become actually read authors? The truth is that they started from where everyone starts, a blank page and probably multiple ideas flowing in their mind. The hard part of writing a book isn’t getting published but writing it. This is a process which can take a short or long time and that usually happens in three stages. Beginning, not giving up and finishing.
In the beginning, you have to start writing something. This may seem obvious, but it also may be an overlooked step along the way. You write a book by deciding first what and how you are going to write. Once you start writing, staying motivated and not giving up it is crucial. You will face self-doubt and you will feel overwhelmed. Knowing before this situation can help you prepare for it. Finishing is the last step, and no one cares about a book you almost finished. Be sure you actually do it. What makes you a writer is the ability to complete a project.
However, writing is a big process and here are 10 steps to make it easier to achieve your final result of reaching “The End.”
- Decide what the book is about
Writing is always about something. If you need help in fleshing your idea out, one method is to start by the concept of the book in a sentence, stretch that out to a paragraph and then to a one-page outline. After, write a table of content to help guide you in your story. Break each chapter into sections and think about the beginning, middle, and end. These are important tips for you not to get lost.
- Daily word goal
Think the task is daunting? Writing a page per day will mean you have a full length novel within a year. Hopefully, time and creativity will allow you to jump past that even quicker. Make yourself write each day and set daily goals to yourself. A page a day is only about 300 words. Set realistic goals though. Write often, not necessary a lot.
- Set the time to work on the book
People normally have more things to do besides writing a book. Even if you can afford to be a professional writer, you might have children or other duties. Don’t expect horse racing results, because you are just human. Consistency though, makes creativity easier and it will appear with a daily basis process. Schedule the time of the week you are going to write, according to your other responsibilities.
- Write in the same place
Make your writing location a special and unique place, wither if it is a kitchen table or a library. It is important to distinguish your tasks and writing should be apart from the others. When you enter that space, you are committed to your goal.
- Set a total word count
Begin already with the end in your mind. Once you start, think about the total word count for your book. Break each chapter into equal lengths and think in terms of 10-thousand increments. A short e-book has 20,000 words, a standard non-fiction book has between 40.000 to 60.000. From this number further, all will fit the category of a long book.
- Get feedback once in a while
Let someone look at it and listen to people’s opinions. You are writing for people so make sure you let a few of your trust read before you need to rewrite the book. You can show it to friends, editors or family. Find someone who is honest and will make sure you are heading in the right direction.
- Weekly goals
Besides the daily goals, weekly goals are also a must. Always be honest to yourself about how much you still have left and celebrate your progress. Deadlines followed strictly are the way to get your work done. Make a plan for your tasks and go for it.
- Commit to delivering it
No one really knows when a book is finished. However, after writing all you think you needed to write, there are still a few things to do. First, deliver the book and never close it in your drawer. Send it to a publisher, check some online competitions for new writers, release it on your social media. Present it to people, no matter how. The worst thing that you can do to yourself and your project is to give up when the book is written. Remember your initial goal and the hard process of making it. Don’t go backward now.
- Failure is normal
Be okay with failing, give yourself grace and embrace it. As soon as you approach the end of the book, know that it will be hard. Determination to continue is what will sustain you.
- Think about the next book
The majority of the authors are embarrassed about their first books. However, without that first one, no more can come. The first book is a lesson, either if you fail or succeed. Practicing is getting better each day and for that, you must keep writing. Every great author started somewhere, somehow.
The reason for a lot of books never have seen the daylight is behind the attitude of the authors: they gave up. Remember how many times Stephen King and J.K. Rowling were denied? Nevertheless, remember: before you can launch a bestseller, you have to write one!
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Stuart Conover is a father, husband, published author, blogger, geek, entrepreneur, horror fanatic, and runs a few websites including Horror Tree!