How Do You Start Writing a Book?

writing a bookThinking about writing a book?

Welcome to the neighborhood. A lot of people are. There are people who have either been thinking about writing a book for years, or who have been writing a book for years. Or, at least, someone has been telling them they needed to be writing a book, for years.

At every business conference or networking event that I have ever attended—and there have been quite a few of them—I would say, on average, that at least 70% or more of the people I meet are either writing a book, or know someone else who is. And, remember, that’s only the people I meet at these events. I’m not a speed networker by any means. I like to take time and chat with the people I meet and get to know them. And, let’s not forget to mention the business gurus who are holding these conferences: Almost all of them are telling their entrepreneur attendees that they need to write a book. Even if they don’t want to.

But book writing is not just for entrepreneurs. There are people out there with real life experiences or fictional stories that they want to share with others in book form.

But, why?

The reasons are infinitesimal. If you are an entrepreneur, you might want to write a book to gain more visibility, establish, credibility, or gain more clients. You might be a motivational speaker who wants to do a book signing after your talk. You might have found a solution to a problem and want to help others. You might feel your life experiences could help someone or save a life. You might want to enlighten or entertain others with your fictional story. Or, you simply might be hoping you can hit it big and write a bestseller, make your book into a movie, sell t-shirts and movie posters and replica dolls.

So, how do you get started?

First of all, writing a book is not like writing an article, or a blog, or an email, or a text. It has to have a formula, a plan, an outline. The problem is that sometimes you won’t know what that formula, plan, or outline is until you actually start writing.

In other words, writing is discovery. You have to write to discover and you have to discover to write more.

That’s why the act of writing is so magical, and no one can ever truly tell you how to do it.

What I can tell you, however, is that if you impose an outline, form, or structure onto your book before you even know what you want to write, you may already be stopping your story in its tracks before you even start writing, and finding yourself coming down with an acute case of writer’s block which requires long walks on the beach, glasses of wine, and naps on the couch for days to get rid of it.

Or, you can try a different writer’s block cure, and that is called, “more writing”!

How can writing cure the inability to write?

Because while you are writing, you are actually going through the creative process of finding out if you have a story to tell. Because you can’t write a book without telling a story. Let’s say you’ve had an interesting life, a lot of hardships, or experiences from which others might learn. But, if you can’t weave any of those into a story, well, then you haven’t got a book. Every book, fiction or nonfiction, is comprised of an underlying story. Whether that story is intrinsic or overt, there’s an underlying thread that weaves every element together.

That is your quest as a writer…to find that golden thread!

So, keep writing until you can “see” your story. Keep filling that blank page, even if you don’t feel satisfied with what you have written. Then, put aside, delete, or throw away anything that doesn’t fit. Once you have your “story”, start writing again and enjoy writing to make it come to life!

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