As the bestselling author of a published book, I can tell you that the most difficult part is just writing it. For years, I wanted to write a book. It was a goal. I don’t know if I thought that the world needed to hear what I had to say or if I thought I could help people through my writing. Either way, I would start and stop, then start again and stop again. I lacked the commitment that I needed to finish the work. As I look back on it, I realize that the best advice that someone gave me was to just do it. They told me to quit messing around, quit talking about it, and just do it. So, I did.
Writing is a process. It does not happen all at one time. You write a bit, then write more later, then later on you belt out more. Take your time, when you feel the pressure stop writing, and do something small almost everyday. At the end of that process, over weeks and even months, you end up with a draft. Maybe not the book you thought it would be, but this will be your starting point.
How to really write a book
Before you begin anything, search inside yourself and make sure this is something that you truly want to do and have an interest in. What are your reasons for wanting to become an author? If you are in it for the money, quit while you’re ahead. If you have a desire to become a published author, you will be happy with the results. If you have a desire to get rich doing it, that can happen, but realistically, most people do not get rich from writing.
Writing your nonfiction book is not very difficult, you only need these three things:
- Beginning: This is where you start writing. Decide what you want to write about, create a good outline, and begin writing.
- Middle: Okay, so by now you may be a bit discouraged, but don’t give up. You can do this if you keep going. Your outline will help you avoid writer’s block.
- Ending: When you finally finish the book ( I say finally because that what you will feel when you are done!) you will be the most excited you’ve ever been. Now comes the hard part.
1. Decide what the book is about
What will you write about? Jot down your ideas and brainstorm each. The one that speaks to you the most is likely what you should write about. You can save the other ideas for future books. Write out a one page outline. The outline isn’t set in stone, but it gives you a direction to go in with your writing. You only need a beginning, middle, and end.
2. Set a daily word count
A page a day is about 300 words. If you write 300 words consistently for a couple of months, you will easily finish your writing project.
3. Set time to work on your book at least three times per week
Setting a time to work on your book will help you stay consistent. You don’t have to do this everyday but three times a week is a good number of days to put a big smile on your face at the end of the week. Don’t cheat yourself. Write on the days you have scheduled. If you change the days each week, it’s harder to create a routine and easier not to stick to it. You need a plan, a consistent plan. Make a commitment and stick to it.
4. Set a total word count
I get this question a lot: How many words do I need? Here are some general guiding principles:
- 10,000 – 15,000 words = white paper.
- 15,000 – 30,000 words = ebook
- 30,000 – 85,000 words = nonfiction
- 85,000 words or more = novel
5. No editing!
Don’t edit while you write. An editor will handle that for you. Don’t be bothered by misspelled words and the like. It’s your job to crank out as many words as you can. A professional can handle editing when you finish.
6. Finish it
Set a deadline for yourself to have the book finished. No matter what, keep going until you finish it. The emotions you will feel when you have accomplished this task are indescribable. Next, contact a publisher and begin the process to be published. Don’t be shy when editing occurs. It’s a necessary part of the process.
7. Write another book
Six months after you write your book, you will want to do more. Write another book. I know after I wrote my first book, that became a bestseller, I felt pretty embarrassed by it. That’s a common feeling, now that you know what you know. You needed that first book, though, to teach you that you could actually do this! Now that you know that, go for your second, then your third, don’t stop at your fourth!
You got this! Go for it!