Are you dreaming about writing a book but simply don’t know where to start? Start with a plan! What message do you really want to pass across and what kind of people do you want to reach? Do you have in-depth knowledge of the subject that you want to address or do you need to carry out more research? These are questions you should ask yourself before you even start writing at all. These bits of information will help you develop a framework that will help you plan your book. If you have ever wondered why many people never finish their books, one of the reasons is that they did not start with a plan. So they run out of ideas or simply don’t know how to proceed after the first few pages.
Now, as important as it is to have a plan, you also need to create systems and structures that will make your writing easier. First and foremost, you need to see your book not as an end in itself, but as part of a larger plan. No matter how successful your book is, it will not by itself provide the income and security you desire. Your plan should be to leverage off of a successful book, rather than retire on its earnings. Having created your plan, you need to devise an efficient way of executing the writing process.
Here are some tips on how to do that.
Approach your book like a jigsaw puzzle: Don’t try to write the book sequentially from the first to the last chapter. Many authors make this mistake of linear writing. Another mistake is trying to get away from everything and drop all activities so that you focus on writing your book. This is called marathon writing. Both methods are not usually effective for all practical purposes, and they usually come with lots of stress.
Instead of adopting linear writing or marathon writing, approach writing as you would approach a jigsaw puzzle. You will not always get the entire picture at once; it will usually come in bits and pieces; hence, you need to develop an effective strategy for harvesting your thoughts. It is also important that you develop a writing regime that will help you write consistently.
Have a writing calendar and follow it. Like Michael Hyatt would say, consistency is more important than frequency. It is better to write one hour every day than to write three hours today, two hours tomorrow and not write again for the next two weeks.
Develop a framework for each chapter: It is easier to write when all you have to do is fill in the elements in the framework rather than starting on a blank page. Don’t expect your first draft to be perfect; just get it done. After getting it done, you can rework and revise until you’re satisfied with the final output. And mind you, you don’t really have to write. If writing is not your thing, simply speak your book and record it. Then get someone to transcribe it and hire an editor to finish it.
Editing will usually be your biggest expense and the stage you are most likely to skip. However, you must avoid the mistake of self-editing, poring over each word and worrying over finding the perfect words for each page. That’s the job of an editor. Getting a good professional editor is worth the effort. Apart from giving you a better manuscript, you will learn new things yourself. See the cost of hiring an editor not only as an investment in writing your book but also as an investment in yourself as a writer.