Is it true that everyone has a book inside them, waiting to be written? Perhaps not, but you may well think you have a great idea for a story, how to guide, or memoir, just begging to be put down on paper. However, writing is book isn't as easy as it looks. Here's everything you need to know about writing a book yourself.
You need to decide why you want to write
The reason for writing a book will be different for everyone. You need to decide what your reasoning is, as it will inform how you approach writing. For example, you may want to write because you feel there's a gap in the market for your book. Maybe you've been asked to write, or you just feel the need to get it down. Either way, know your reasoning before you start working.
Work out why your book is unique
There's a lot of books being published every day, and there's going to many that cover the same topics you're covering. You need to discover just what it is that makes your unique. Does it look at a subject from a different angle, or give a new perspective on an old formula? Whatever it is, have that firmly in your mind as you write. That edge could be just what you need to get published.
You'll get a lot of rejection letters
Rejection letters are just a fact of life when you're a writer. Mary M. Matthews from Best Australian Writers says 'I hated getting rejection letters at first. However, I found that when I read them carefully, there was a lot of useful information in there I could use. I would edit my manuscript and send it out again, and the improvements eventually helped me get published.'
You need to approach writing professionally
Many would be writers give up, as they see writing as just too difficult. If you approach the process properly though, it's easy to get that manuscript written. Treat writing your book as a professional process. This will be harder if you have a day job, as you'll be working on top of writing your book. However, even if you can only dedicate half an hour a day to your book, do it. Set time aside every day to write, and don't deviate from this routine. Little by little, that book will get written.
Give yourself goals
It's a long hard process if you don't give yourself goals. The best way to keep yourself motivated is to set weekly goals for yourself. Having a set word count to reach is often the best way of doing this. If you can see your progress, it's easier to stay on target and get that book written down.
You'll need a good place to write
As with any task, environment is important. Think about where you can write every day. For some people, they can focus better in a quiet and distraction free office. Others would prefer to work in a coffee bar and have access to hot drinks on tap. Figure out what works for you, and go for it.
Don't give up if things don't go right
Sometimes things won't go to plan. The book may not feel like it's working, or you'll be turned down by publishers. Writing is a tough business, but the rewards are worth it. Take your time and have back up plans in case things don't go your way.
If you have a book in you, it's time to write it. Now you have the information you need, you can write the book you've always wanted to write.