Have you always thought about writing a book, but it just seems impossible?
Did you know that 81% of people have said they would like to write a book, too?
That is awesome!
So, why aren’t you writing one?
Writing a book is a daunting and intimidating idea. The very thought of “I am going to write a book!” can feel incredibly overwhelming.
Where do I start? Do I just start writing? How much should I write? What if don’t know what to say? How do I publish? What if no one buys it?
I have seen amazing people, business owners, entrepreneurs, C-level executives, people who have built empires, question themselves this way.
What if I can’t write a whole book? What if no one reads it? Why would I be the one teaching people? Why would anyone want to learn it from me?
People who have written workbooks, manuals, blogs, journals, and website copy are claiming they can’t write a book.
Yes, you can!
You should approach writing a book like any other major project: by breaking it down into manageable steps and starting from the beginning.
This is one of those times that you really have to think past the big picture. Much like every difficult journey, writing a book starts with a single word.
Breaking down the book writing process into more achievable and approachable steps is the key to actually writing one. You don’t just come up with an idea and start writing, because your idea will peter out, or you’ll come up against a dead end, or any other of a million excuses to stop writing.
If you are looking at a nonfiction book, perhaps in entrepreneurship, business advice, self-help, or more, you’re going to want to write a book that is around 30,000–45,000 words. Which definitely sounds like a lot, but when you realize that a 45,000-word book is about 180 pages, that already sounds more doable!
So, let’s pick a number and say that your book will be approximately 30,000 words, or about 120-ish pages. Broken down further, you are looking at writing about 2,500 words per week.
The 5 Steps to Writing a Book
When approaching a book idea, your first step should be to create an outline. Make it as detailed as you want, and think of it as a living document that can change and grow. Create a full outline, and include all your ideas and plans and then work with it and move things around until the order makes sense, it says what you want to say, and you make sure that topics are grouped correctly. You will also be able to see where you plan to break it into chapters, and it will help you stay on topic. Having an outline will also help you power through writers’ block, because you don’t have to wait for inspiration, you always know what topics are coming up next.
Your outline is your first draft.
Your actual book will be an incredibly fleshed out version of your outline.
When you think about writing a book in 3 months, it sounds crazy! But 2,500 words per week is very doable! It can be 358 words per day, which is less than that click bait article you just read on Facebook, or about the number of words in two average length emails.
By putting time in your schedule and making writing a part of your routine, you will be able to write 2,500 words per week easily. Even an hour every third day or 15 minutes daily, however you can to make writing a habit.
Make yourself accountable. Tell people you’re writing a book, or put money down on a publisher, or into advertising, or have a friend text you every other day asking how much you have written. Hold yourself accountable for writing every week. You can even hire an accountability coach to help keep you on track. By telling people you are doing it and being questioned regularly about the process and your progress, you are less likely to make excuses to not write.
Don’t get hung up on word count, though. Keep in mind the general length of your book as you continue to write, but don’t force yourself to stop because you hit a certain length, or force yourself to continue after the book is finished just because you want a specific length. It’s not about length, it’s about the story itself, and you don’t want to cheapen it needlessly.
Word count is more for you to have a general starting point and to know how word count translates to book pages. You will also want to keep word count in mind when you approach editors for quotes, as their main way of creating a price for editing is the word count combined with the type of editing you’re looking for.
Write. Once you have the outline and you’re being held accountable, sit down every day, every week, and write. It is easier to delete existing or even poor writing than it is to have nothing on a page and start from scratch. Read over your outline, think about what you are trying to say, and just write.
At the end of 12 weeks, you will have a book. You may need revisions, you may want more time, but if you start now, in 3 months, you will have enough written for a book.
It’s all about breaking down the process into manageable steps, which sounds completely reasonable and logical, but is difficult to do when you’ve been thinking about writing a book since forever, and you’ve never really started because it is a huge project, and who has the time?
You have the time and the ability to start right now.
Start with 1 page, start with 100 words.
Start now, and surprise yourself.