So you want to write a book? It can be a daunting task. Take a breath. It’s not as hard as it might first seem. Here are a few keys to writing your first book:
1. Consider your interests: First, you need a topic. Whether you want to write fiction or non-fiction, consider what you know. What are your own experiences? What are your hobbies? What is your educational background? Find a topic that fits you. I chose to write about my own childhood cult experience in my first book A Train Called Forgiveness, but I’ve discovered that my strength as a writer is to develop more universal themes. Whereas my first book is about forgiveness and non judgment, my second book, At the Crossing of Justice and Mercy is about love, justice and mercy. Look for my second book in early 2013. My third book is about redemption. I have other projects in the works with themes of friendship, compassion, and hope. Of course, you need a good story to intertwine with those themes. Don’t worry, with a little imagination the story comes with time.
2. Get started: Dozens of people have told me “I want to write a book someday.” Many even go on to explain their story to me. The problem is that most people who want to write a book never get the first word down on paper. Getting started is key. But don’t get too critical of yourself early in the process or you might give up. This leads me to the next point:
3. Just keep writing: A lot of people stop writing for one reason or another. Some say they don’t have time. Some think their writing isn’t good enough. Nether of these excuses are valid. Here’s why:
- I don’t care how busy you think you are, we can all spare 15 minutes per day. Would you be surprised if I told you I could write a full-length novel in just 15 minutes per day? It’s true. I can write a page in 15 minutes. That’s 365 pages a year. It’s that simple. However, when I’m in a prolific mode I often write for an hour or more per day. The key is to write daily.
- Don’t edit as you go. I’ll admit that I break this rule. I continually reviewed and edited my first book as I wrote it. However, with my second, and now third, I’m able to write without looking back. Oh, I still read over what I wrote at times, but I’m much less critical and more willing to let little things go. Save the critique and editing for later. Write your entire book without worrying about mistakes. Then set it aside for 4-6 weeks. Work on other projects while you wait. Then, come back with fresh eyes and rewrite. You’ll be surprised.
So if you’ve always wanted to write a book, stop procrastinating and get to work. In today’s world anyone can publish their own book quickly and easily. What are you waiting for?
Questions: Have you always wanted to write a book? What’s holding you back? Please post your response below: