Mecyll’s Note: Are you joining me for this year’s upcoming NaNoWriMo event? If so, you’ll like Kylie’s insights about how to start writing a book even without prior publishing experience. Click here to view my gigantic list of writing tools and apps I’ve tried since 2018.
If you plan to start writing a book soon, it can be an exciting and rewarding experience. But here’s the catch.
It can also be daunting to think about starting from scratch, especially if you don’t have experience with book writing or even much experience with writing.
If that’s the case for you, don’t worry!
Here are some easy steps to follow to help you start writing a book you have always wanted to read and see in your favorite bookstores, even if you have no prior experience.
Table of Contents
- 1. Find the proper writing tools that best fit your needs.
- 2. Patience is key to positive writing outcomes.
- 3. Learn how to choose fantastic topics for your book.
- 4. Find your authentic audience and determine their needs.
- 5. Create a compelling story through practical book outlining.
- 6. Don’t underestimate the power of research.
- 7. Set aside a few hours to write your book.
- 8. Stop making excuses and schedule a deadline.
- Final Thoughts – Ready to start writing a book you love?
1. Find the proper writing tools that best fit your needs.
You can have the best idea in the world, but if you don’t have the right tools and support system, writing that book will be difficult—if not impossible.
You need a computer with Word Processing Software (WPS). If you don’t already own one, you can also find free WPS programs like Google Docs or Microsoft Word Online.
2. Patience is key to positive writing outcomes.
Writing a book is a big commitment, and it can feel overwhelming if you’re unsure where to start. To make things easier, try to get excited about writing a book.
If you know someone who has written a book or has seen one of their books in stores, take some time to think about why they wrote that book.
What made them want to write? Did they want to share what they learned with other people? Or did they want to write something fun for themselves?
Whatever the reason is, everyone’s story is different. So don’t be afraid to write your own story and share your life with the world.
3. Learn how to choose fantastic topics for your book.
Once you’ve got some motivation behind you, choose an interesting topic. Try thinking back on all the things that have happened in your life and those that interest you.
If any topics come up again and again in your memories or interests, those might be good places to start.
When choosing a topic, it’s also essential that you choose the ones you care about. Otherwise, it won’t be very fun for you at all.
4. Find your authentic audience and determine their needs.
Who do you want to read your book? Do they already know what they want to learn? Are they bored with their job and looking for new career opportunities?
Do they need help with their finances? Are they struggling with their relationship and looking for tips on improving it?
Try to ask yourself these simple questions to help narrow down your ideal reader so that when you write, you can tailor the content, specifically toward them, more easily.
5. Create a compelling story through practical book outlining.
First of all, why would you need to develop a book outline?
Primarily, it will help guide you as you write each chapter of your book and keep everything organized once the writing begins and make sure that nothing gets left out.
A man who is not born with the novel-writing gift has a troublesome time of it when he tries to build a novel. I know this from experience. He has no clear idea of his story; in fact he has no story. He merely has some people in his mind, and an incident or two, also a locality, and he trusts he can plunge those people into those incidents with interesting results.Mark Twain
Though many seasoned writers agree that it is one of the most complex parts of the process, creating a plan is necessary. The reason is simple.
Your outline includes each chapter’s main idea and subheadings, making it easier to keep on track once you begin writing your book.
The more detail you put into this outline, the better off you’ll be later in the process. But don’t worry if things change along the way, as always happens when writing.
Make sure that whatever changes happen, the plot structure remains faithful to the original idea before writing more than what has already been outlined.
6. Don’t underestimate the power of research.
You may think that you already know everything there is to know about your topic, but it never hurts to do some extra research. You will want to ensure that the information you include in your book is accurate and up-to-date.
If you can find out what other books have been written on the same topic, you may even want to read those books and see how they compare with yours.
This can help you determine how much of your research needs to be updated or changed and give you an idea of what new information should be included in your book.
You don’t need formal training or creative writing degrees as long as you read up on everything you can find about the topic. Then, write down questions and ideas as they come up so that you can add them later into your story.
7. Set aside a few hours to write your book.
Once you’ve done some research, set aside time daily to sit down at your computer and focus solely on writing without distractions from other people or responsibilities.
Consistency is key to achieving your goal. So, you must ensure you spare a few hours daily to write so that it becomes part of your routine, like brushing your teeth or doing laundry.
8. Stop making excuses and schedule a deadline.
The first thing to do is pick a date by which you want to finish writing your book. Then, choose dates for each milestone, from the first to the final draft.
To start, you can break down those milestones into smaller segments. For example, it might be helpful to set a goal of writing 500 words daily, which is 1/3 compared to an average book length.
Similarly, if your goal is to write faster, increasing your daily writing goals from 500 words to a thousand would also help you.
The key is your daily attendance. In other words, you must show up at your desk and write, regardless of the circumstances.
Final Thoughts – Ready to start writing a book you love?
If you aspire to become an author, you do not have to overstretch your limited resources when you don’t have to. That also means you don’t have to spend a lot of money on books or courses for the sake of it.
In addition to that, you don’t have to worry about your grammar, especially when you’re writing the first draft of the manuscript. Restrain yourself from editing while you haven’t had the finished draft yet.
Lastly, it takes more time than you think. However, the challenge won’t be that difficult if you are passionate and committed to writing your book, from the first page to the last one, and finishing it.
About Kylie Robertson
From Rock the Stage, Page & Screen, Kylie has been involved with public speaker training, TEDx Talk script development and writing, speaker sizzle reels, and more for the past 9 years. She wants to share her knowledge and expertise with others.