You’re not alone. There are thousands of people out there who hope to write a book one day. That was my same goal for a long time too. Now, I’ve written two books myself and have been a ghost writer and writing coach for numerous others as well.
Writing a book can seem overwhelming at first, but if it’s your dream, you can make it happen. Here are some steps that I recommed to my clients to help make the process more manageable:
- Start with your outline and proposal. As Benjamin Franklin said, “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Remember that a book is a product that people are (hopefully) going to purchase. Having good content is important, but having content that will appeal to your target customers (the readers) is more important. When developing your outline (chapters, topics, etc.) be sure that you are also identifying the target audience, similar books that are already in existence, and how you will make yours stand out in the market. You must also start brainstorming about how you plan to promote the book (yes- that’s on you as the author, too).
- Write in chunks. Cranking out a whole book can be intimidating so tackle it in pieces. Break that big project down into smaller chunks like I did. I wrote my books one chapter at a time (after I drafted the initial proposals). Doing so makes you feel like you are progressing faster and gives you little wins along the way- one chapter at a time.
- Set aside the time. Nothing worth having will go well unless you dedicate enough time to it. It’s the same for any large project. When can you fit writing into your schedule? Do you have a few hours before or after work? Would you do better to crank it out on the weekends like I did? Find your time slot and get going.
- Take breaks when you need them. I’m not sure about you, but I have to be in the mood to write. I know when I’m being productive and when I’m not. When I do get into a groove, however, I’m on a roll. Pay attention to your own writing moods. If you’re struggling and need a break, take one and come back to it when your words are flowing more freely. If you’re staring blankly at the screen, you’re just wasting time. Instead, go for a run, take a nap, call a friend or do whatever you can to get you back into writing mode.
- Be patient and consistent. Writing a book is by no means a fast process. That’s why you must be very consistent with your writing (stick to that good ole time slot) and hunker down for the long haul that it will take to make it happen. You can’t give up too quickly or get frustrated- slow and steady is what you need in this case. Keep plugging along, and before you know it, you’ll have the finished book in hand. As a final recommendation, have someone else look it over to give it a final polish.