Many people have the passion it takes to write a book—and many more have truly great ideas—but they never get around to actually starting their manuscript. I know the task may seem daunting or unattainable, but it isn’t. Next time you go to a bookstore, look around. There are thousands of books there that were written by someone. One day that someone could be you. Everyone has to start somewhere. If you’re ready to take the leap, follow these tips and finally start writing that book you’ve been talking about!
- Decide what you want your book to be about.
This may seem obvious, but it’s important. If you already have an idea you’d like to put into book form, that’s great. If you don’t, it’s time to figure it out. Many different literary genres are available, so look online, go to your local library, think about the last couple of books you have read, or just think about your life. Pick a topic/idea and run with it. If you can’t pinpoint what you want your book to be about, you may never start writing it.
- Read and research.
If you are choosing a genre or topic you don’t know a lot about, you need to start researching. Whether your book is non-fiction or fiction, inaccurate facts will hurt your credibility. If you don’t need to do research on a certain subject, then just read. Get some books from the same genre and read them—what you read may just spark your imagination. It’s also a good idea to consider your competition (other authors) and think about your audience.
- To outline or not to outline?
Once you have a book idea, you need to decide if making an outline will help or hinder you. I find that having a structure is very helpful. It makes you really start thinking about your book as a whole, and gets you to start thinking creatively. You can always change the outline later. An outline can help you organize your book so you aren’t totally reworking it later, and it can help you stay on track. Even a very basic outline is beneficial. If you can write an outline, you can write a book!
- Figure out when and where you want to write.
Ask yourself what works best for you. I like to schedule a time and place to write. If I have a plan I will be more likely to stick to it. I choose to write either at home or at the local bookstore. I don’t write at the library because it is too quiet, but you may prefer that. If you don’t want to schedule a time to write, that’s your choice. Just make sure you take the time to write, or you may never finish your book!
- JUST WRITE!
Just sit down and write. Write whatever comes into your head and keep going. When you first start writing there is no need to edit yourself. You can always go back later and do that. If you start writing and have more ideas pop into your head, keep going! If you start writing and get stuck after a while, it’s time to take a break and come back to it later. I encourage you to try to write a little bit every day.
Share your ideas with the world. Go ahead and start writing your book today!