“The hard part of writing a book isn’t getting published. It’s the actual writing” - Jeff Goins
Writing just doesn’t happen. You write a sentence, then a paragraph and miraculously you complete one whole chapter. It’s a process. You take one step at a time, then another and then another. To start writing a book all you need is an idea, one simple idea but it is very important to stay motivated and dedicated to complete writing a book. It gets easier when we divide writing a book in 3 phases.
Phase 1: Getting started
We all have to start somewhere. With writing a book, the first phase is made up of four parts:
1. Decide the main idea of the book
The book should be divided into 3 parts: the beginning, the middle and the end. First write the idea of the book in a sentence, then stretch it into a paragraph, and then to a chapter and so on. After that you can make a sort of index so that you can break each chapter into a few sections.
2. Set a daily goal
The goal shouldn’t be to write a lot but to write often. It is not necessary you write 1000 words in a day, then take a rest the next day. Rather than that you can write 500 words every day. The daily goal should be realistic and attainable. Once you start completing your daily goals you feel more motivated and dedicated to complete your next goal and that’s where the momentum starts building.
3. Set a fixed time to work on your book daily
We all have our daily routines that we do. You need to make writing the book a part of that routine. Only when you will be consistent, then you’ll be able to complete the book. You should set a deadline to write your book. Of course, holidays are necessary, but you need to time the holidays such that you do not miss a deadline or finish that work beforehand. You need to make sure that other tasks do not clash with your writing time because when it’s time to write, it's time to write.
4. Write in the same place every time
We all have a place where we sleep, we eat and work. We do not work at the place where we eat and sleep. In a similar way you need to find a place where you just write the book. Every time you go to that place, you should reach your writing mode. Make sure you are not doing anything else at that place. That place should motivate you and remind you of the commitment to finish that book.
Phase 2: Doing the work
Now, it’s time to get down to business. Here, we are going to focus on the next three tips to help you get the book done:
5. Set a total word count and try to abide by it
When you start writing you already have a beginning and a little idea of how your middle and ending part is going to be. You need to set a total word count for your book when you start writing. So that you can break the chapters approximately equally.
6. Set weekly deadlines for yourself
Like we mentioned earlier, how important it is to set a deadline every day. It is necessary you set a weekly deadline too for yourself. You should be honest with yourself of how much work is left to do and also be happy about the progress that you have made. You need to have something through which you can measure how much work you have done and that is the deadline.
7. Get feedback simultaneously while writing
It’s very common as a writer that we do not want others to read our book before we complete it but what is worse is to write the whole thing again because you did not allow anyone else to look at it. Getting early feedback can be important. You can take advice from anyone whom you trust will give you and honest feedback and will set you in the right direction.
Phase 3: Finishing
How do you know when you’re done? Short answer: you don’t. Not really. So here’s what you do to end this book-writing process well:
8. Commit to Publishing your book
To start writing a book is easy but to commit to it and finish it is a real challenge. So, no matter what happens you should finish the book. After you are done writing the book, send it to publishing houses, or to e-commerce and get it out in front of people. Do not keep that book in your closet at your home let the world come to know about your ideas, stories.
9. Accept Criticism and Embrace failure
It’s not necessary that all the books you write will be popular among the audience and will be well received by them. Especially when it's your first book it gets harder to compete with the already established writers. So you need to be mentally prepared and gracefully accept criticism and embrace failure. Because only after failing will we learn how to achieve success.
10. Start Writing another book
Many authors do not continue writing after one book itself because they feel embarrassed by it. But what you need to know is, it is a part and parcel of the process. Without that first book, you would have never learned from those mistakes so it is necessary you continue writing till the time you succeed. Only practice makes a man perfect
11. Only write one chapter at a time
Some apps like wattpad allow you to publish one chapter a week, a month or whatever you prefer. So it is not necessary you write the whole book in one go. You can write one chapter at a time, publish it, get early feedback from the audience and then finish the book.
12. Length of the book
It is not necessary that your book has to be long. It can be of any length. Quality of writing always matters over quantity of writing. So if you feel a long book would not work out for you opt for short stories or poems. It is okay to start small.
13. Limit distractions
When you start writing a book make sure you are seated in a distraction free environment. Try to ignore phone calls, messages and notifications that come on your phone or your laptop while you are writing because that interrupts the flow of writing.
14. Write where others are writing (or working)
Many of us do not like working alone, we like an environment where we can see other people working too. So if you also face the same problem rather than writing alone, you can write it in an environment where you can see other people also working for example a coffee shop.
15. Don’t edit as you go
Many of us have the habit of editing our work simultaneously while writing so that we do not need to come back and change anything but that is indeed a wrong practice. When we do this we are interrupted by our own criticism. It disturbs the flow of ideas. So finish the book first and then edit the book.