If you’re anything like me, you’ve been wanting to write a book for a long time. In fact, I actually found my 6th grade yearbook, and I wrote that I wanted to be an author as my “dream job”!
However, it’s been 14 years since then, and I still haven’t written anything. Why? It’s simple.
It’s hard to get started.
And if you’ve ever thought you wanted to write a book, you know first-hand how hard it is.
But I have awesome news: I finally started! And here are 5 things that have helped get my butt in gear. ⚡️
1. Dig deep into your passion
Ask yourself why you want to write a book. What’s weighing on your heart? What story do you want to tell? Don’t write a book to sell. Write a book to write.
Once you figure out exactly what you want to write, everything else will almost fall into place.
2. Nail down your genre, topic and style
This one is a bit trickier, and I’m still working on this myself. But before you really get down to business (to defeat the huns 😉), you really need to solidify exactly what your story is, which genre it falls under, define your writing voice and the style in which you want to present your story.
As I’m writing, I find that I keep going back and forth between writing styles, and I know this will make it very difficult in my editing process. So, to save yourself the hassle, try as best as your can to nail down the following:
- Topic – What do you want to write about? What is the story you want to tell? And WHY. Answering the WHY is probably my favorite part about writing, because it helps me refine my topic. Ask yourself why you want to tell the story you’re wanting to write, and everything else will be much more clear.
- Genre – After you nail down your topic, you can further refine it by placing it in a genre. For example, you could want to tell a story about a young woman who moves to a new town, but it could take so many different turns depending on the genre. If it’s a sci-fi, she could encounter a fifth dimension. If it’s a romance, she could fall in love with the mayor’s son. If it’s a thriller, she could be running from her ex-husband. You get it.
- Style – How do you want to present your story? Do you want to paint a big picture in the beginning and slowly get into the nitty gritty? Or do you want to start your book off with a bang? Do you want to structure your chapters in short segments, or long ones? Will your story incorporate flashbacks throughout? These are all important things to think about and consider before you begin writing, because they can change the whole dynamic of your book.
3. Outline, baby!
Remember dreading writing essay outlines in high school? Guess what! They’re actually super useful (and necessary) when it comes to planning your book.
I’ll admit, when I was still in the “I’m thinking about writing a book” phase, I almost skipped the outline step because I couldn’t even be bothered with it.
BUT, once I finally sat down and forced myself to outline my ideas, I felt so much better.
Jot all your ideas down, and then organize your thoughts into a structured outline. From there, you’ll have a much better direction for your book, and you won’t lose track of your grand idea!
4. Join communities (online & offline)
Once you begin your writing journey, reaching out to other writers can be really helpful to you! Having a group of fellow writers and authors at your disposal can help keep you accountable and motivated, and it can provide you with tons of insider tips for the writing and publishing process.
I’ve found helpful writing communities in Facebook Groups, Pinterest, Twitter and even Reddit! (A separate post on my favorite writing communities is coming soon 😊)
5. Create your writing space
I once read somewhere that you should write in the same place every day, because it will help you to…
- Establish a routine
- Associate a certain space with writing
- Help you keep the same voice
Whether or not these things are true, you should still take the time to create your own special writing space. Why? Because if you think about it, you’re going to be spending a lot of time writing your book, so you may as well be comfortable!
(Note: I feel like I have to mention, I haven’t even done this yet! I’m still hunched over at a desk with bad lighting and a hard, wooden chair. But hey, baby steps!)
I hope these tips help you get closer to your dream of writing a book! Are you in the process of writing a book, or want to get started? Do you have any tips you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them!