Before you comment and tell me, yes I deliberately chose the wrong “right”! The reason for this, well, yes it helps SEO but also I want to get you thinking and so I gave you a subliminal message about writing… clever stuff eh? 😉 I thought as you’ were all in lockdown, I’d give you some writing tips.
I’ve done a lot of author training and business presentations, one of the reoccurring messages I get is “I’d love to write a book but I don’t have the time.” It’s as though the universe listened and now, look…! Of course, that then leads into the second reoccurring message “I can’t write”. This one I take exception to.
What these authors really mean is, I’m not good at grammar, sentence structures or formatting. Well, Newsflash – You don’t have to be!
I know, shocking isn’t it?
There are lots of folk out there that have written very successful books despite being awful at English language or having dyslexia, Agatha Christie had dysgraphia and couldn’t spell, WB Yeats struggled to read for many years and F Scott Fitzgerald was dyslexic. What they all had was a desire to tell a story and people that supported them. Of course, they will have had help, but that’s the same as with any profession. You may brush and floss your teeth but you wouldn’t attempt a filling, you top up your oil and water but get professionals to replace your tyres or clutch… Do you see where I’m going with this? Don’t put obstacles in your way, there are people out there that are very good at grammar, but what they don’t have, is your story.
Right now, it’s a good time to start that book you’ve been promising yourself, so what should you do?
Here are a couple of starter tips:-
- Have a plan – what is the purpose of the book, what will it achieve for you and what will you do with it?
- Make it physical – give it a working title. It’s far easier to envision something if it has a name.
- Meet your reader – in your mind, think about the perfect person reading your book. What do they look like, what are their interests, what other sorts of books will they be reading?
- Structure and more structure – This means create yourself a skeleton. It doesn’t have to be too complex, jut a list of chapters with some bullets points of content for each (note – if it’s a novel your skeleton should be more complex but if you’re not sure please ask). This will keep you focused and on track.
- Time – If you want to do this, set yourself time every day (preferably the same time each day, so it becomes habit-forming) and don’t allow yourself to be distracted by other things.
- Don’t set too big a task – yes we’ve all seen the “write your book in 7 days” posts but what you’ll find here is hastily cobbled together, adequate, regurgitated bumpf that you’re not massively proud of. If you’ve never written before, start small and keep going! It’s not a race and there’s no prize for writing it the fastest. Do what you can and do it every day.
- What do I need? – A blank screen and your mind. Seriously, just start typing and see what comes out. Start with the chapter you find most interesting or easiest to write, don’t start on a struggle!
This should be fun and be important to you if it’s not, then maybe you’re doing it wrong. Writing a book is part of your legacy and so you want to feel that there is a real part of you in it.
Hopefully, that has given you a good idea, if you need any help or advice, please, just contact me.