Ridiculously Simple Steps for Writing a Book - Deepstash
Ridiculously Simple Steps for Writing a Book

Ridiculously Simple Steps for Writing a Book

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What it takes to write a book

What it takes to write a book

The hardest part of a writer's job is sitting down to do the work. Writing happens in three phases.

  1. Beginning: You have to decide what you're going to write and how you're going to write it.
  2. Staying motivated: You will face self-doubt and overwhelm. Planning ahead will ensure you won't quit when the obstacles come.
  3. Finishing: Nobody cares if you almost wrote a book. They want to read what you actually finished.

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Writing a book: Getting started

  1. Decide what the book is about. Write the argument of your book in a sentence, then turn that into a paragraph, then into a one-page outline. Then write a table of contents to help guide your writing. Break each chapter into a few sections.
  2. Set a daily word count goal. John Grisham began writing when he was really busy as a lawyer and new dad. He got up an hour or two early and wrote one page a day until he had a novel. A page is about 300 words.
  3. Set a time to work on your book every day. Consistency makes creativity easier.
  4. Write in the same special place every time that is different from where you do other activities.

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Writing a book: Doing the work

  1. Set a total word count. 40,000 - 60,000 words = standard nonfiction/novella book. A long nonfiction book/standard-length novel contains 60,000 - 80,000 words, and a very long nonfiction/long novel contains 80,000 - 100,000 words.
  2. Give yourself weekly deadlines. Make it a word count and celebrate the progress you've made.
  3. Get early feedback. Have a few trusted advisers such as friends, editors, or family that will help you discern what's worth writing.

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Writing a book: Finishing

  • Commit to shipping. No matter what, finish the book, then release it to the world.
  • Embrace failure. Writing a book will be hard, and you will have failures. Be okay with that and give yourself grace.
  • Write another book. Most authors are embarrassed by their first book. But without a first book, you will never learn the lessons. Put your work out, fail early, and try again. It is the only way to get better.

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Most people never finish their books

Your book could have helped people, brought beauty or wisdom into the world, if only your book came to be. Or worse, you wrote a book, but nobody cared about it.

Producing a work that sells is not just about writing what you think will work. It's about finding an idea that will excite you and your audience. You have to write a book that is worthy of being sold. To maximize your chance of finishing your book, you need a proven plan.

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Writing tips

  1. Write and publish one chapter at a time, using Amazon Kindle Singles, Wattpad, or sharing with your email list subscribers.
  2. Start small. Write a shorter book of poems or stories.
  3. Start a blog to get feedback early. Eventually publish all the posts in a hardcopy book.
  4. Keep an inspiration list to keep fresh ideas flowing. Read regularly, and use a system to organize and find the content you've curated.
  5. Keep a journal, then rewrite the entries in a more polished book format, but use some scans of the journal pages as illustrations in the book.
  6. Deliver constantly. Don't wait for inspiration. Inspiration is a byproduct of hard work.
  7. Take frequent breaks.
  8. Remove distractions.
  9. Write where others are writing, like a coffee shop or library.
  10. Don't edit as you go. Write without judgment first, then edit later.

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CURATED BY

lilhh

I have a passion for architecture. Always eager to learn new things.

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