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Where to Start?
Believe it or not, there really are just 10 steps for writing a book. The basics is where you have to start. Has writing a book been on your bucket list for most of your life? We all seem to know someone who has this goal – or dream. Over 20 years ago, when I was “seriously” considering writing a book, I was horribly discouraged by what I learned. At that time, eBooks and online publishing didn’t exist. I was doing research on actual publishing companies, how to send manuscripts, when do you need an agent, how to get onto mailing lists, and it goes on and on. It was very confusing and most of what I read lead me to believe I would never create anything good enough worth publishing. I’ve provided for you 10 steps for writing a book. Why wait any longer?
Pick a Topic
I’m glad technology has changed the way we can reach our dreams. The topics I’ve written about most certainly would never be on the Best Seller’s list. Not because I don’t think I’m not good enough to some day be on that list, but because the topics I’ve chosen are too narrow. For example, the first book I ever wrote with intent to try to publish, was a how-to about scrapbooking. Keep in mind, this was before our cell phones took pictures and online photo programs did not exist. It was back when we had to print out the pictures and physically place them into photo albums.
At that time of my life, I was involved in scrapbooking with friends. We would spend hours on weekends at each-others’ houses, take scrapping classes and a few years we even rented a cabin for a girls’ weekend in the woods where we scrapped and hiked. It was easy to spend hundreds of dollars on supplies and accessories. I made my decision to write a how-to book on the intricacies of photo placements and page designs, as there was an “art” to scrapbooking.
I persevered for countless hours writing and including photos of each step of whatever projects were being targeted. When I felt I was ready, I next did my research on how to actually get published. What I learned felt so disheartening. My bubble burst, as did my motivation to push onward. That book on how-to scrapbook, was officially scrapped.
Everything changed in 2011. I started a new career after graduating with my Master’s degree when I became a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist. I learned that I could travel to another state, work for 3 months at a site, then move onto another site and state, all while making money! It’s called travel therapy. I found a company who placed me into a job, found my housing and arranged all the details. All I had to do was move in and go to work. Due to my excitement of traveling, I started a blog of my adventures and when it was all said and done, if I liked my blog entries, I would turn them into a book. And guess what? That’s exactly what happened!
Due to advancements in technology and internet resources, I learned how to self-publish my first book. I used my 10 steps for writing a book, and it worked for me! If you are so inclined to read about my adventures, or to even learn how to travel while working, please check it out. You can find it on Amazon by clicking on my book title America, Cats and Guns. This post is about 10 steps for writing a book, not about finding a publisher!
10 Steps of Getting Started
Being how I actually wrote and published a book, I will share with you how to do the same. I don’t personally know any successful, Best Selling authors who may have their own advice on how to write. But what I WILL do is tell you the first steps that I took which made it possible for me to succeed.
- Decide on a topic
- Decide who is your audience (children or adults?)
- Make the time to write daily or dedicate days of the week
- Decide how many words per sitting you will reach
- Decide what you want your total word count to be
- Take breaks! We all get writers’ block!
- Establish your deadline
- Even if you “know” what you’re writing about, still do some research
- Set obtainable small goals – small chunks as opposed to a full chapter at a time
- Sit down and DO IT!
The above steps could be interchanged, except for starting at number 1! My decision to write about what I was experiencing at the time was my best decision yet! My blog posts ended up turning into my various chapters, which I of course then expanded upon. If you want to try this route, read my post on starting a blog. You’ll notice I have two steps including deciding upon your daily word count and by the books end. I struggled with those numbers consistently, but I did end up setting a goal which helped motivate me to keep going until the very end.
As a result, I recommend if you want to finally check this off your bucket list, get started today. To be honest, I’ve been toying with writing my next book completely as blog entries. We’ll see how that goes. As another tip, if you decide to blog as one of your steps for beginning to write a book, I recommend you use Bluehost as your blog host.
Another reason Bluehost is recommended is due to ease of use. Those who know me know I am not tech savvy. As a new blogger, I am finding it fairly easy to manage my WordPress site with the Bluehost conveniences. You want to own the material you create, and if you purchase access to a host site, only you can shut it down, remove material and have full ownership of all the work you put into it. I will write another day about the differences of using this site compared to just writing a blog on WordPress without Bluehost. I am just sharing what I did and what I am currently doing.
Best of luck with your writing adventures! Now get writing!
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