20 Oct 2017

Getting Started on a Book

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So you want to write a book?

I’ll bet you never written a book before. Oh, maybe you’ve done a bit of journaling or kept a dairy, but have you every created a book that you intended to publish to a wide audience?

If you haven’t done one yet, let me tell you something I’ve learned.

The hardest part of writing a book is getting started. It’s so easy to put it off into the future. I’m a professional writer and author – I’ve said “I’ll start tomorrow” more times than I can count.

How do you get started?

Open up your word processing software. Some people use Word, some notepad, some Scrivener, and some something else. It doesn’t matter, just open it up and create a new document.

Start writing.

No, you don’t need a title yet.

Start from the outline. Just quickly, in less than 30 minutes, outline your book. Each line of the outline will be one chapter. Do the same thing for fiction or non-fiction.

Why? This gets your ideas down and forces you to think about structure and flow. You don’t need to take a lot of time doing this. Your outline will change dramatically as you go. At this point, you outline to get started.

Put the outline aside and do something else for the rest of the day.

Review your outline, make some changes, then pick a line and get started writing. Most people like to start from the beginning, some write the end first, and some pick a random spot. I usually start from the third or forth chapter and figure out the beginning later.

From there, write something every day. The second hardest part of writing a book is maintaining a pace. Just keep writing and it will get done. Stop and put it aside, you increase the chances that it will never be finished.

So, that’s how you start writing a book.

Of course, you could hire a ghostwriter and not worry about it at all.

Do you have a great idea for a book that you never started? What happened? Add a comment with your experience.

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