No doubt, you’ve been attracted by the title, but the first disclaimer is that although this is possible, some books will take far longer. Some books may be bubbling around in your head for months (years even), and then when the time is right – you could get it all down on paper in days. In an interview, Harry Potter author J K Rowling said she had literally the whole idea, 7 books, plot outline and characters from beginning to end during a train journey from London to Scotland – so anything is possible.
This article is to help the budding writers, who are looking for some inspiration and encouragement, but just aren’t too sure of where / how to start.
If writing a book is on your ‘to do’ list, (and you want to do this quickly), I may be stating the obvious, but the first thing you really need to do, is CLEAR A CHUNK OF TIME if possible, to be able to write undisturbed. Now, everyone is different. Writing from dusk till dawn may suit you, or writing for ‘4 hours’ a day may be better… either way – step one is to make time for the writing. Understand when you are at your creative best and aim to write at that time.
Have an outline plan. Decide what your chapter titles will be. Decide what content is to go into each chapter, and then start writing. This will give you some structure and guidance.
If you have lots of ideas – but each idea onto a sticky note, on a wall, divide the chapters up and place the sticky note into the correct chapter. This is one method to help you to organise the ideas in your head. Get them out of your head, onto paper, and into the right chapter.
Set a timetable. You may want to aim for ‘1 chapter a day’ or something – to keep you to a deadline, and on track.
Get a writing buddy. If you are lucky enough to have a friend enrolled in your cause, promise them ‘one chapter a day’ and they may read it for you as you go along, and give you feedback. This can encourage you to write, if you KNOW someone is waiting for the content. If you don’t have this, see if there is someone who can hold you accountable to your own deadlines. Maybe a writers group?
If you are writing a factual book,(maybe on a topic that you’ve given previous talks / presentations on) then you may well find that you could already have 60-80% of your material already! Your ‘job’ is to then organise this material into a book format, which isn’t as daunting a task as actually creating something from scratch.
Business owners who want to write a book have this advantage. If your material is one which is already in written format – then you’ll be at an advantage if you wish to write a book.
And remember, a book could be ‘60’ pages… it doesn’t have to be ‘a novel’. It could be fairly short. It could be an ‘introduction to’ or a ‘step by step guide’ – (which lots of pictures), it doesn’t necessarily have to be dense text.
For further ideas and inspiration, there is an online book writing course: https://www.udemy.com/writeabook/