How to write a book

A blog about how to write a book seems an odd find on a book publisher’s website. After all, publishers specialize in publishing books, not helping people write them. And to be honest, this article kind of is strange. Especially considering how short it is. But perhaps you’ll find it helpful.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive guide, there are plenty out there. Just hop back on Google. However, if you want to strip book writing down to its core, keep reading. Most likely you won’t learn anything new. That’s okay. Sometimes, we all need to remember the basics.

Find Your Story

You’ve probably already done this part. You know what story you want to tell, and you know who needs to hear it.

That’s good, because finding your story is the first step in our guide for how to write a book.

If you’re stressed because you don’t have the whole thing mapped out, take a deep breath. All will be well. You don’t have to have every sentence laid out in your head before writing.

How much of the story do you need to know? Not too much. A lot of great books started out as tiny ideas. Yours can too.

Maybe there’s just a funny situation you want to write about. Or an invention you wish existed and want to see how it would affect the world for good or bad. Then again, maybe all you have is a character in mind. You know what she’s like, and you want to see how she’ll respond in certain situations.

That is enough to get started!

Once you have that germ of an idea, start writing. You may want to start with an outline. Or you may want to write from the seat of your pants. Either way, you’ll likely be surprised along the way. That’s a good thing, because if you’re surprised, your readers will be too, and surprise is important if you want to write a book people want to read.

Locate a Writing Space

It’s hard to write in a construction zone. At least it is for most people. If you’re one of them, find a different place to write and make it your writing space. This is an essential step of how to write a book.

Some people need peace and quiet. Others prefer background noise. Some people get inspired by writing on their porch. Others like staring at blank walls. Whatever works for you, find that space and use it to write.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a park bench, an office with a view, a soundproof closet, or a bathroom stall. Figure out where you can and will write, and claim it as your writing space.

Create a Writing Routine

While certain writers can finish books by writing in random spurts, most need routine. That routine keeps writers moving forward in their writing, while non-routine writers are stuck on chapter one.

To find your routine, ask yourself these questions:

What time of the day am I free to write? It’s vital that you fit writing into your day. However, you can’t create a routine with time you don’t have. If you don’t have a window of time for writing, you’ll have to create it. That may mean waking up earlier, spending your lunch break at the computer, or deleting those time-wasting apps on your phone.

What are my writing goals? If you want to write a new book every year, you’ll need to pace yourself. While the rough draft of a children’s picture book can be written in a single sitting, novels take longer. Planning on 60,000 words? That’s 5,000 words a month. If you write five days a week (approximately twenty days a month), that’s 250 words every day. Pretty doable, eh?

Make Your Routine . . . Routine

Creating a routine is the easy part. Sticking with it is a bit harder. Just ask all the people who bought gym memberships in January.

Hard as it is, sticking with your routine is the most important step for how to write a book. This step is what separates writers from wannabe writers, professionals from amateurs, authors from dreamers.

Once you create a routine, make it part of what you do. Put writing on your calendar. Stick with it no matter what. If you miss a day, double up the next.

Until you create and stick with a strong writing routine, you’ll struggle to get words on the page. Everything else will take precedence over writing, so your story will remain unfinished. You’ll be frustrated.

But this doesn’t have to be you. Find your story, locate a writing space, develop a routine, and then stick to it. Do these steps and you’ll finish that first draft. And as all writers know, that’s where all best sellers begin.

Once You’re Past Learning How to Write a Book

You know how to write a book, because you’ve already done it. What’s next? You can leave it on your computer for no one to see or get it out there in the world. If you need help doing publishing, Argyle Fox Publishing is here to help. All you have to do is submit your manuscript to get started.