10 Ridiculously Simple Tips for Writing a Book- by Jeff Goins
Had to share with my author friends this post by Jeff Goins. It made me feel confident, “YES, I can do this! “My anxiety level and the pressure I put on myself went waaay down and failure….I found myself ready to embrace. Check it out!
Publishing a book is easy. All you need is a platform. You’ve never had more opportunities to choose yourself and share your work with the world.
The hard part for most of us — despite what we sometimes say — isn’t the publishing part. It’s the actual writing.
I’ve just finished my first traditionally-published book and recently released my first eBook. The hardest part of both these endeavors was the writing process.
Looking back on both these projects, I’ve learned some things. Namely, it’s the easy, simple stuff that works. So what does it take to write a book? Here are 10 tips worth remembering:
Start small. 300 words per day is plenty. John Grisham began his writing carreer as a lawyer. He got up early every morning and wrote one page. You can do the same.
Have an outline. Write up a table of contents that guide you. Then break up each chapter into a few sections. Think of your book in terms of beginning, middle, and end. Anything more complicated will get you lost. If you need help, read this book: Do the Work.
Have a set time to work on your book every day. If you want to take a day or two off per week, schedule that as time off. Don’t just let the deadline pass. And don’t let yourself off the hook.
Choose a unique place to write. This needs to be different from where you do other activities. The idea is to make this a special space so that when you enter it, you’re ready to work on your project.
Have a set word count. Think in terms of 10-thousand work increments and break each chapter into roughly equal lengths:
» 10,000 words: a pamphlet
» 20,000 words: short eBook or print book
» 40,000–50,000 words: good-sized nonfiction book
» 60,000–70,000 words: longer nonfiction book
» 80,000 words–100,000 words: typical novel length
Give yourself weekly deadlines. It can be a word count, percentage of progress, whatever. Just have something to aim for, and someone who will hold you accountable.
Get early feedback. Nothing stings worse than writing a book and then having to rewrite it, because you didn’t let anyone look at it. Have a few trusted advisers to help you discern what’s worth writing.
Ship. No matter what, finish the book. Send it to the publisher, release it on Amazon, do whatever you need to do to get it in front of people. Just don’t put it in your drawer.
Embrace failure. Know that this will be hard and you will mess up. Be okay with it. Give yourself grace. That’s what will sustain you, not your high standards of perfection.
Write another. Most authors are embarrassed of their first book. But without that first, they never would have learned the lessons they did. So put your work out there, fail early, and try again. This is the only way you get good — you practice.
Still not convinced? Maybe you need to start with believing you’re a writer. If you need help, check out my eBook, You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One).
You can subscribe to his website and get even more awesome tips and information at http://goinswriter.com
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