Here are 25 tips on getting started writing a book:
1. Before you start know who you are writing for. Spend some time building up a character sheet on your target reader.
2. Before you start, identify what your target reader’s pain points are. Seeking to avoid those is the greatest motivation your target reader will have to read your book.
3. Before you start, identify what your target reader’s pleasure points are. The desire to reach these will help provide motivation to your reader.
4. Before you start, identify what your target reader’s problems are. Solving those will help to keep your reader reading your book.
5. Before you start, write down how your book will help avoid the reader’s pain points, solve their problems, or help them achieve their pleasure points.
6. Before you start, identify why you are writing. By identifying your pain points or pleasure points, you’ll help to motivate yourself to finish.
7. Make a sign of why you are writing. Use large letters, oversized pictures and whatever else you need. Post it over your computer. Or better still make several! Post them around your home where you can’t help but see them when you are doing something else.
8. Know in advance how you will publish book. This will affect the format and length of your book.
9. Know how many pages you want the book to be.
10. Know the style you will use. Do you want to use a conversational style? Or a formal or academic style? The type of book you are writing will help to limit your choices.
11. Have a system for designing and writing your book. This is probably the most important tip. Having a system will help to ensure you have a good book and that you finish it.
12. Use a cognitive tool to develop your outline. It’s much easier to build up your outline when you use a tool that works with your mind, not against it.
13. However you create your outline, make it detailed down to the paragraph. You can easily write a hundred words on a point you’ve already been given. But writing 2500 words on a topic (i.e. chapter) is very difficult.
14. Do your structural editing on the outline. Some of the older systems hold off editing until the whole book has been written. The problem is that you may end up having to make wholesale changes (i.e. rewrites) if you have a structural problem. By editing while the book is in outline form, you can identify and fix structural problems while they are easily fixed.
15. Have a separate space to write in. By having a specific space, you’ll train yourself to write when you’re in that space.
16. Have a specific time scheduled for writing. Not only does it help stop you avoiding writing, it helps set up the writing habit.
17. Use music to create a mood. Whether that mood is reflected directly in your writing doesn’t matter. Baroque music, for example, is known to help thinking. If you’re writing romance, Frank Sinatra or French blues may help you get in the romantic mood.
18. Have a comfortable chair. Pain is not conducive to writing!
19. Have everything you need to write always at hand. That way you don’t have an excuse to waste writing time.
20. Turn off the phone. Interruptions are a great excuse to waste writing time. Avoid them.
21. Have a user id on your computer that doesn’t allow access to games or email. The second most common excuse to avoid writing is reading emails.
22. Set rules for interruptions. You can’t expect your family to give you writing time if they don’t know when it’s appropriate to interrupt you and when it isn’t.
23. Start by editing your writing from the previous day. This will get you in the mood to write. And when combined with a detailed outline, will help you to avoid writer’s block.
24. Write first, write fast, edit later. If you are always going back and correcting what you do, it will take much longer to write your book. And it will be an unpleasant task. By following this advice you’ll find you finish quicker, your writing is better, and you’ll enjoy writing more. So you won’t be as tempted to avoid doing it.
25. When push comes to shove, there is only one tip that truly matters. Sit down and write! If you never start you’ll never finish.