Are you struggling with getting started on your first book but just can't get on the right track?
Work at Home Grandma has some tips for you. My free Resource Guide will jump-start your writing today. In this posting I've outlined all of the elements I will be emailing to you in a step by step process. Of course I know getting a email cannot replace something you can download and keep right on your desktop for reference.
When you sign up for my writing course I will send you the free download of the course and then keep in touch with you as you work through all the steps to getting started on your first book.
Sign up today on form at the end of this post. I can't wait to get started.
The Number One Step in Preparing Your Book
Pick a subject that matters
This may just be the most difficult one of them all.
Whether you are writing fiction, non-fiction or a self-help book of some sort, you will want to pick a topic that people are interested in reading about; one that will make them want to read your book verses a book written by someone else.
Here's some idease you should consider when picking your subject.
- Think about what you know
- Are you an expert in some specific area?
- Have you encountered situations in your life that allow you to help others deal with a problem?
- Can you recall stories your mother or grandmother may have told you about your family heritage?
- Can you read an article in the newspaper and image “what if” and write a great fiction story about that same topic?
If you’ve answered yes to any of the above questions, then you have already found a subject that matters and we are ready to begin.
Decide on the Type of Book You Want to Write
Non-Fiction or Self-Help:
You will want to make a concise outline of the areas you will cover in the book and in what order you will present them chapter by chapter. This is vital if you are to pursue securing an agent or publisher because it is the first step in presenting the book proposal.
Fiction, Memoir, Biography or Autobiography:
It is often a daunting task to create any sort of outline for a fiction as you often don’t know the type of material that will be added into the book.
I would begin with a book synopsis. This will give you a guideline of what you wish to convey in the book. Then you can determine where you will begin.
A memoir is easier as it usually covers a specific time period or event in your life.
A biography or autobiography covers your entire life or the entire life of your subject. This requires you to make a chapter by chapter outline of the years and events you will cover. These can be re-arranged and modified as needed during the writing of the book.
Is the outline set in stone?
Nothing is set in stone when a writer is creating.
Remember you are only designing a blueprint to follow but blueprints often need adjusting as the project begins to take shape. You will easily be able to see where these adjustments are needed or consulting a good editor at the time of completion will be helpful.
Finding your Motivation to Write something every day
This one is really tough, at least for me. Frankly, some days I wake up in the morning and just plain don’t feel like writing. My creative juices feel like they’re all dried up.
I bet you know the feeling because you’ve been there too. It’s the toughest part of being a writer. Sometimes we have to remember the old adage: when things get tough, the tough get going.
Now that’s just what you wanted to hear didn’t you?
Seriously, I think my greatest motivation in the morning is looking at picture of my three granddaughters and recalling all the things I want to be able to give to them and share with them.
Being a writer enables me to do just that.
Ways to Stimulate Those Creative Juices
- Look through a magazine at the pictures; then envision a story or an event that I could relate to.
- Listen to music and recall how the lyrics made me feel.
- Get up and make a trip to the gym or my exercise room. That’s a great way to get the body moving. When the body moves, the mind with often follow.
Writing every day doesn’t mean an entire book or story but can mean a chapter, a verse of a poem, or even an essay on how to get motivated.
You’d be surprised how little it takes.
Writing something everyday keeps those juices fresh and tasty. It’s just what you want to create material that’s appealing to the reader.
Trust me when I say a transformation will occur when you make it a point to write daily, even if it turns out just to be a journal entry.
Your writing will evolve as the words you write come easier and easier and soon that book is not just a dream but has become a reality.
Be creative first; edit last:
This one carries with it a stigma that often bogs you down and stifles your creativity.
Every writer is different on how and when they choose to edit their book. But the most important thing to remember is NOT to edit while you’re creating. Let me explain.
Creating Vs Editing:
When the creative juices flow and ideas pour out from your mind to your fingers and onto your paper, don’t squash them by “stopping” to check and edit every sentence.
Just keep writing:
What I mean by this is that whether you choose to edit chapter by chapter or section by section, don’t ever stop to edit sentence by sentence.
It completely stops the creative juices and things simply dry up. Your mind is so absorbed with editing every line, every verb, every adjective, etc etc, you become numb to the creativity that began with your very first word.
Get those creative thoughts down before you forget them:
Often I find myself lying in bed when suddenly the perfect sentence for my protagonist pops into my head.
I keep a tablet by my bedside and believe me I write it down quickly. I don’t edit it or think about where in the book I will use it. I just know if I don’t write it down it will leave my mind as quickly as it arrived.
When to edit?
I prefer to cease writing when I feel the creative juices have slowed and I need to breathe. Then when I’ve had some time to walk away from the piece, I will return and begin to edit. This may be after one chapter, one section or one event. It may even happen after several chapters.
Some writers will never edit until the book is finished and then they begin. This to me is a daunting task but if it works for you then I applaud it. Every writer is different and you will soon learn the process that works best for you.
Get an expert’s help and opinion:
How many of you have written a delightful piece of prose and edited it carefully and sent it along to your publisher filled with typos and gaffs that have embarrassed you to death.
I know it has happened to me. When I wrote my first book, I thought I was invincible to errors. Boy was I wrong.
No matter how many times you read a sentence or check for spelling and grammar you will most certainly miss something.
You need two sets of eyes at a minimum:
Yes, I say at a minimum. In most cases there are many steps in the process. There is simple proofreading for typos and sentence compatibility.
There is copy-editing for word placement, sentence structure and style.
There is general editing for story design and flow. All of these come together to turn a book into a best seller.
No matter how many times you read a sentence as a writer you will always see the sentence as it was meant to be or meant to say.
You will never see it as it actually is. Because you know in your mind what the sentence should say your brain sees it that way even though it does not read that way. Another pair of eyes is necessary to see those errors.
Never give up on your dream:
As the Work at Home Grandma I know that fact is stranger than fiction.
I help writers turn real life happenings into fictional stories and enable businesses to promote their marketing ideas with Intriguing website copy.
I help people put their ideas on paper and turn their work into publishable product.
Any publisher will provide an author with an editor whose job is to make the book a best seller but you need to get your book in front of a publisher and that is where I come in.
I will work with you one on one to formulate your book and make it presentable for marketing. If you are self publishing I can help you proofread, copy-edit or content edit as necessary.
We've jammed a great deal into this one little post but there is something so much better. When you sign up for my free mini-course I will send you completely free of charge my own writing resource book which not only covers the steps we've outlined in this posting but goes into synopsis design and the ever so important press release. Let's get started on your book today!