Writing a book is an exciting but scary experience. Advice from the successfully published writer can be very helpful for any first-time author.
Jerry Jenkins is a 21-time New York Times bestselling writer who published more than 190 books over the 40 years. Here is his 11-step guide on how to write, and most importantly, finish the book and publish it.
Arrange your writing space
The task of writing a book is monumental and the preparation is important. One of the steps is to invest your time into establishing your writing space. Real writers are capable of creating their masterpieces anywhere but still, designate the comfortable place where you find yourself to be in the most productive state. Make sure to equip your working place with a quality chair.
Prepare writing tools
If you prefer to write on a computer, try to get a really good one. In case you like to handwrite, you might need to have a lot of accessories. Notepads, paper clips, pencil sharpeners, printing paper are the tools that you might need to have on hand to avoid being interrupted during the creative process.
Divide the process into small steps
Writing a book is a massive project so when you break the whole process into small parts, the chances of completing the project will become much higher.
Formulate the idea, which you are passionate about
The idea needs to be big enough to excite you and those who you can share it with. It should be worthy of the entire book and not only a blog post or a brief article in the newspaper.
Create an outline
You must have a clear vision of where you’re heading no matter whether you write fiction or non-fiction material. The basic structure works as a safety net and it can be adjusted whenever you feel like the plot needs to be improved.
Set up a strong writing schedule
You are a writer and creative streak in your character might not correlate with the necessity to follow a regular writing pattern. However, if you want to progress with your book, you need to follow the defined routine and adjust your calendar accordingly. Ideally, at least six hours a week needs to be dedicated to writing.
Determine a deadline
It might be difficult to get anything done if such motivation as the deadline is not present in the writing process. You need to know exactly how many pages you are typically capable of producing. After analyzing this data, come up with a realistic deadline.
Accept your procrastination
Many writers are procrastinators and that’s normal. The secret in dealing with the issue is embracing it. The more you accept your inner procrastinator, the less you will be angry at yourself. As a result, you will have a higher probability of staying on track and continuing to write. Accept it and even try to schedule it.
Staying focused is very important so if you are easily distracted, try to pinpoint things that divert your attention and do your best to eliminate them. Would you like the idea that you will keep writing your book for years? It is doubtful. Timewasters are not your friends. Be ruthless.
Do the research
It doesn’t matter if you write fiction or non-fiction, you need to gather all necessary data possible and get all the facts right. Whatever you write, it must be believable. One small mistake can undermine all your efforts and spoil your reputation of a credible writer.
Don’t give up in the middle
Most of those aspiring writers who fail to finish a book confess that they give up right when they reached the middle. For the majority of authors, this stage appears to be extremely difficult. They get bored and start procrastinating because it seems that there’s not enough of truly engaging stuff to include in the middle chapters. This may happen to both fiction and non-fiction writers. The advice is to do anything but quit. Get back to your initial outline and if necessary, change the plot or even add the subplot.
Remember that if the whole writing process was easy, anyone could do it. You’ve started writing because at some point you decided that you have something important to say to the world. Keep this idea in mind and prove that you can be a bestselling author.