The act of writing a book is something that a great many people have started but few have actually finished, let’s face it, there must be countless pages of half written novels which will never see the light of day, and this is a real shame. The next J.K. Rowling, Steven King or even Charles Dickens are still doing their day jobs unaware of what could have been, and for us (the audience), well, we’ve missed out on a novel which might just have change the way we look at life (or at the very least entertained us).
So why do so many people start but only make it halfway through writing their masterpiece? The honest answer is that it’s a great deal harder than the average person may realize, the writers which you may see in films and on TV give an impression of a romantic lifestyle which leaves out the actual hard work that goes into the process.
You’ll also see an increase of writing towards the start of the year (as per the increase of gym memberships), where we all make new year’s resolutions to write the novel which is within (the saying goes that we all have one). And in a similar fashion to a first work out, our over enthusiasm ends up making us write like crazy for a couple of weeks until we end up putting ourselves off and find reasons as to why we’ll put it on the ‘back-burner’ for a couple of days, weeks, months, years until we forget all about it.
If you scan the internet there are plenty of blogs telling you that you can also make a fast buck by writing a novel, and for some authors writing does become a lucrative career which they can work at full time. However, if you only approach the task of writing from a financial angle then you will find the process a lot tougher, those who write from a place of passion and love for their craft will always be at an advantage.
So, if you have the desire to start writing a book, what should you do next?
Well, the writing and creative process will vary from author to author but there are some elements which will always be the same (or very similar), the first will be your idea and how well you have planned it out. Developing your story and having a clear understanding of the location, timeframe, characters and their relationships to each other and the dynamics of the story will ensure a professional book.
Planning is key, not only for the story but also for how and when you’ll actually write the book, as mentioned earlier, it’s very easy to try and write too much within the first few weeks (which ends up pitting you off). From day one you need to be realistic with how much time you can actually spend writing, and think long-term too, if you work a full time job or have other commitments which take up the majority of your day then plan how much free time you have.
Writing for 30mins every other day is better than trying to spend two solid hours on every Sunday, if you give yourself smaller writing times you’re more likely stick to them and produce writing of a higher caliber too.
Plan where you’re going to write, it’s obvious to say that you want as few distractions around you as possible, if you have a spare room set it up as your office (for the purposes of writing anyway), if you don’t, then a kitchen table will work fine too, just make sure that anyone else in the house is aware of what you’re doing and not to distract you.
Switch off Facebook, Twitter and any other social media channels whilst you’re writing and also keep your internet usage to just research, you’ll have plenty of time for this once you put your planed writing time in.
Writing a great book which means something to you should be an enjoyable process, but don’t worry about time frames too much (this is easy for an indie author), if you need to take twelve months to create your book then do so, if you need twenty-four then take twenty-four, your attention to detail will lead to a brilliant novel the more focused you are.
Book cover designers.