Wednesday, January 4, 2017

So you want to write a book? - Part 1

Getting started.

Over 80 percent of North Americans feel they have a book in them, a book they need to write.  Yet how many see the light of day?  Not many.

What holds people back from sending their words out into the world?   Much of it is tied into their lack of knowledge and confidence that they can do it.  They question their ability to write, never mind write well and time becomes a real challenging factor.  

How can they fit it into an already jam-packed schedule?  Take all this and it is easy to see how overwhelming this can all be and so they don’t even start.

This is an instance when you just have to start, taking it one step at a time. Maybe it requires you to step away from your usual routine and spend some quiet time thinking about your book.  What will it be about?  Who will want to read it? What are your key messages?  Why do you want to write it?

When you have come up with your answers to these questions, you have a foundation upon which to build and start your book.  One of your first steps needs to be to start writing. Regularly.  You need to strengthen your writing muscle and so writing every day helps hone your writing skills.

It doesn’t have to be lengthy epistles but if you can move towards 500 words a day, you will be surprised at how much easier it becomes to put words on paper.  Think about when you are most creative – are you a morning person or a night owl?  Is there a spot in your home or office that stirs up your creative juices. 

For example I am an early bird and I enjoy the quiet of my home office at the farm.  But for others, the hustle and bustle of a Starbucks is just what they need to get writing.

Wherever you chose, schedule your time to write on a daily basis. Writing a book is all about discipline, you need to block off your time to write. Now a word about those words.  Don’t edit as you go along, that comes later. What you want to do is to just go with the flow and get writing. 

And reading.  It helps to read work done by other writers.  Find people you want to follow and start observing how they write.  How do they describe situations?  Can you picture in your mind what is happening or how the person is feeling?  Make note of what works for you as the reader.

This post is part one of a series on writing books by Anne Day, President of Full Circle Publishing and author/editor of five books on Women and Entrepreneurship.  Her next book, co-authored with Amy Vodarek will be coming out in Spring, 2017

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