I’ve heard so many people tell me they think they ‘have a book in them’! Some tried to get started, others haven’t written a word, many are waiting for retirement. One even had almost finished but it had been sitting collecting dust for twenty years and she still hadn’t finished it.
Will you be one of the few who become a published author?
Writing a book is much like anything else in life, unless you invest the time and stay accountable then you’re not going to get too far. Getting started is one hurdle but finishing your manuscript or at least the first draft is another one entirely.
A large percentage of the population apparently believe they could write a big. However, a considerably small percentage of them will go on to start
Here’s some tips on getting the words down on paper (or screen!)
- Create a creative space but don’t feel like you have to write at a desk all the time. Trying to get creative in a non-creative environment isn’t ideal! Have a place where you can get into a regular mindset of this is where you write and make it feel like ‘you’, even print a mock-up book cover as I suggested and pin it to the wall. Some people like to have a special drink/sweater/music etc. And when you’re struggling, take a walk and dictate into your phone instead.
- Everyone manages their time differently. You need to make time for writing and fit it into your schedule. You might set times for writing – I will write for X-hours a week, I will write X-many words each writing day, I will write until X-o’clock. Or you could get up 15mins earlier and write
then. Figure out what works for you and put it in your diary the same way you might with an exercise class or coffee with a friend.
- Avoid starting with a blank page. Try writing a question for each chapter. Then when you sit down later to work on each chapter you can focus on answering these questions.
- NonFiction – what purpose each chapter will have, what actions the reader could take, what will change to drive the value/lessons forward?
- Fiction – what happens in each chapter to drive the story forward, which new characters are being introduced in each chapter?
- Remember it’s not about what you want to write, it’s about what the reader needs/wants to read. Every single paragraph/chapter serves a purpose – either storytelling or techniques to share but always value.
- Track what you do each day for one/two week(s) and review it objectively. Could you cut down on TV/social media time, perhaps meetings could be more efficient/shortened? Is there
timeyou can carve out by multitasking anything? If you have a one hourlunch break perhaps you could go for a 30-minute walk and plan or type some notes, and again you always can dictate into your phone while driving or walking.
- Start writing! The first draft should be from the heart and mind so don’t be tempted to edit or go back and review. Just go for it and get the first draft done then you can go back in and figure out what’s worth keeping/cutting and what needs to be developed.
If you’re still struggling with staying on track and need some accountability, get in touch to find about author coaching!