You have an idea in your mind and your screen in front of you, but no words come out. You’ve been sitting in the same position for hours, typing and deleting words over and over, unable to set the appropriate mood for the beginning of your book.
This is a scene which would be familiar with anyone who has tried writing before, be it a whole book or just an article. Coming up with an idea is difficult enough, but actually executing it or even starting to write it out is a whole different struggle.
This article is aimed at helping people overcome this challenge.
The first step before even sitting down to write is to make sure that your motivation levels are high. Writing a book is a tedious process which requires tenacity if one wishes to succeed in this area.
There are quite a number of things you must do if you wish to stay motivated. The first in this category is writing regularly. Regularly does not imply daily, rather writing in a fixed schedule. This not only helps your mind to get into the flow more easily, but also helps with your writing skills.
Setting a proper time, most preferably at the beginning of your day, would prove the most beneficial for this. It is easier to maintain concentration the first thing in the morning when you’ve had a good night’s rest.
Once you’ve habituated yourself to write regularly, your next step should be to determine why you’re writing a book in the first place. The answer to this question would continue to help you push forward every time you’re faced with criticism or feel like the process isn’t worth it.
Once your motivation is in place, it is time to get on with outlining the rough idea of the book. There are a couple of things that can be done to make this process easier.
The first one would be to come up with a positioning statement so that you’re able to get the gist of the book within a single sentence. Not only the gist, but also whom the book is aimed at and what issues it is meant to deal with. Besides that, writing a book proposal is a good way to get an idea of the book as a whole.
Outlining the entirety of the book is a good way to stay on track and allow you to have a good flow in the way you choose to tell your story. One way to outline your book would be to note down the rough progress of the book and to then divide the material into different sections or chapters even, with a small description of the content of the chapter underneath it. There are of course many ways to go about outlining your book and it is not necessary that you stick to the template since everyone’s writing style is different.
Of course, researching is a big part of any writing process. It is important that whatever is being written is factually correct or consistent.
Researching involves reading books that are similar to the ones you intend to write or talk about the same topics. Doing so would give you an idea about what direction should your own book needs to be taken in.
Researching also involves interviewing the experts in your field. It is not a necessary step, but it does give an extra boost and forms a solid foundation for your writing.
This brings us to our stage, which is, deciding the budget that you’re willing to set for your writing endeavour. The things that you need to consider while setting a budget is basically how much you’re willing to spend on an editor, proofreader and cover designer.
All this is a part of publishing your work, and choosing the proper people for this part of your journey is incredibly important since it is this stage that makes it or breaks it. You need to be ready to invest an appropriate amount on a good and trustworthy editor, proofreader and cover designer.
The burden of having to do all this is removed if you choose to go for traditional publishing rather than self publishing. A traditional publishing house would provide you, the author, with a contract and would then take on the job of designing, printing and marketing your book in return for a percentage of the royalties.
Finally, there are a few additional measures you can take to help you with starting your writing process.
Dedicate a separate space for your writing so that it is easier to get into the mind-space. Preferably, it should be a place that is devoid of distractions and helps you with the flow your creativity too.
Along with creating a writing space, also set deadlines for yourself so that you’re able to keep yourself on track. It is very easy to get off track while writing, what with all the ideas you come up with and all the different ways you may want to take your book in, but you need to keep your ultimate goal in mind and work towards finishing your work before the deadline.
A good way to stay on track would be to track your progress. That would involve reviewing your daily word count and how long it took you to write those many words. You should also keep an eye out for all the milestones that you’ve reached, that is, each chapter/title/section finished. If there’s something that is hindering your progress then it’s a good idea to track the obstacles you face while writing.
Most importantly, be prepared to have your first draft messy and not perfect. That’s just how human nature is. We make mistakes and learn from them. Same goes for writing too.
After reading this article, you should be able to equip yourself with the things required to start writing a book and actually get on with letting all your creativity out into the world.
This article was written by Diksha Goswami