How to write a book might be something that you have thought about, but don’t know how to start. The blank page can be the most scariest part about writing a book. The second is knowing how to write it all, and turn it into something someone actually wants to read, and will pay you money to buy it!
I want to share with you the steps you can take to make writing a book a pleasure, rather than a pain. The key is to make writing a habit, and to not get stuck in the research stage. I’l hold my hand up here! I’ve been one of those people who finds security in research. The problem with research, is that it can make you feel like you are making progress, when in fact you are procrastinating, or else hunting perfection before you’ve begun.
In the podcast I explain how you can make it work for you, without it taking over your life. The steps you can take to find a topic and how to put the whole thing together. You can check it out here.
How to start writing a book
The best way to start writing a book is to think about why you want to. That might sound like an obvious question, but you’d be surprised how many writers don’t it. Writing a book takes a lot of time and commitment. Learning and understanding what you want the finished book to do for you, can really help with the writing process.
It might be that you want to raise your profile and this will help. Or else you want to be seen as a leader in your field and the book will help you to get more speaking gigs. Or else you have an audience that you love and can’t serve them all, so a book would be a way of them all being able to connect with you.
Knowing what your book will do for you at the beginning, can help you to focus on the best topics to write about.
How to layout your book
- Start by asking your audience what they have difficulty with. Ask them what you can do to help them.
- Next look at the most frequently asked questions that people ask you.
- Then start to think about topics that would help to answer those questions. It might be that your audience wants to learn how to quit their job, so ‘Leaving The 9-5’ could be a topic.
- Once you have a list of topics you need to bunch them into subjects. You can do this with post-it-notes.
- Those topics and subjects are going to form the skeleton of your book.
- Finally you add sub-topics. So that ‘Leaving The 9-5’ topic might include sub-headings about how someone needs to build a nest egg, or else work on their confidence. Confidence is actually the first chapter in my book: The Business Of Creativity
- Once you have these all set out you can start doing some basic research. You don’t need to become a super expert on the subject. This is all about finding quotes or other articles or people that can back up your idea. We’re not writing their whole life’s work down yet.
Starting to write the book is going to take time. Find out when you work best. You might be a morning or night person. I write best between 10 and 1pm. Anymore than that, and the writing is awful. Make it a habit. It can take 6 weeks to build a new habit, so be kind to yourself. The key here is to get the first draft down and read it once you have finished. You are looking for ‘bad-writing’. Forget back getting it perfect at this stage. Or trying to find the right word. Get it on the paper (or screen).
How to edit your book
I strongly recommend that you don’t do this yourself. Get the first draft out, put it in a draw for a few weeks and then look at it again. You can then find someone to help you edit. Don’t get a friend or family member to do it (unless that is their profession) find someone who does this as their job. You can find book editors in places like Reedsy.
The edit is the part that turns your idea into a book. It takes all of the work you have done and turns it into something someone will enjoy reading and paying you for.
I’d love to hear about your own journey to writing your book. You can find me in the Creative Women International ® Facebook group: Come and join me.
You can download the accompanying workbook to get your started on your own book by clicking below.
These other articles may help you with your writing journey.
If you’ve enjoyed this free content and workbook, I’d love to raise my coffee cup to you.