Alright folks, let’s cut to the chase. We’ve all got that itch.
That nagging, gnawing thought churning in our guts, “I could write a book.”
But then comes the barrage of self-doubt, excuses, and reruns of “Breaking Bad.” Enough of that. It’s time to knuckle down and write that damn book.
In this article…
Digging Up Your Brain Goblins: What the Hell is Your Idea?
Listen, no one’s going to hand you a golden idea on a silver platter.
You’ve got to dig it up yourself. And it’s going to be messy, sweaty, and confusing. But that’s the fun part.
It could be a flash of insight during a late-night taco run or a half-baked thought that’s been fermenting in your brain. Don’t rush it. Let it evolve, take shape, surprise you.
Picking Your Tribe: Who Gives a Shit About Your Book?
Before you jump headfirst into the writing process, you need to know your audience. Who are these mysterious folks who will lose sleep reading your book?
Are they thrill-seeking teens, entrepreneurial millennials, or grumpy cat ladies?
Knowing your tribe will shape everything from the tone, language, structure, to how you’ll sell the damn thing.
Chalk Out Your Battle Plan: Outlining the Beast
An outline is your GPS through the chaos of your thoughts.
It’s not meant to bind you in chains; it’s there to give you freedom.
Freedom to explore your storyline, develop your characters, and build your world without losing sight of the bigger picture.
Birth Your Fictional Offspring: Crafting Characters
Your characters are the heart and soul of your book. They are the ones your readers will laugh with, cry over, and throw their book across the room for.
They need to be real, relatable, and a tad unpredictable. Give them backstories, quirks, vices, virtues.
Make them bleed, let them fly.
Slapping Words on the Page: Write the Damn Thing
Here’s where the magic happens. Or where you want to gouge your eyes out. Either way, it’s time to write.
And remember, it’s okay to suck.
The first draft is you telling yourself the story. It’s going to be rough, awkward, full of plot holes.
That’s okay. The gold comes in the rewrites.
Not Being a Workaholic: Take a Freaking Break
Let’s get something straight. Writing a book isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. And sometimes, you need to take a break.
Step away, breathe, experience life. Who knows?
You might find your next big idea on your day off.
Cut, Slash, Rewrite: Editing Your Heart Out
Once you’ve barfed up your first draft, it’s time to morph into Edward Scissorhands. Cut out the fluff, kill your darlings, plug the plot holes.
It’s going to hurt like a bitch, but it’s necessary. Your book will thank you for it.
Suck It Up and Get Feedback
Letting others critique your work is like stripping naked and asking people to judge your body. It sucks. But it’s crucial.
Find a few brave souls you trust, let them read your work, take their feedback on the chin.
You’ll come out stronger, and your book will be better for it.
The Last Hurrah: Proofreading
By now, you’re so sick of your book you want to burn it. Don’t. It’s time for the final cleanup.
Sweep through for typos, grammar mistakes, that embarrassing autocorrect. If you can afford it, get a professional.
They’ll catch stuff you’ve missed.
Time to Pimp Your Book: Publishing
You’ve written a book. Congrats! Now what?
Well, you’ve got to share it with the world. You could go the traditional route, get yourself an agent, and a publisher.
Or do it yourself. There’s no right or wrong here, just what works best for you.
Shout From the Rooftops: Marketing
Writing a book is a half-won battle.
Now, you’ve got to sell it. It’s time to wear the marketer’s hat. Start a blog, get on social media, engage with your readers, do book readings, giveaways.
Make noise. Your book deserves to be read.
There you have it. You’ve done it.
You’ve gone from “I could write a book” to “Holy shit, I’ve written a book.” It’s a wild ride, but a fulfilling one.
So, grab that coffee, fire up your laptop, and start writing. It’s time to let that story out.
Tools to Write, Edit, and Publish Your Book
Writing a book might be a battle of wits, but you’re not going into the trenches unarmed.
The modern-day writer has a plethora of tools at their disposal. Here are a few that can take you from a blank page to a published book.
Stage 1: The Brain Dump
These nifty tools let you visually plot out your ideas, characters, plotlines, themes – the works.
For the actual writing, you have plenty of options. Google Docs is a solid, free choice with easy sharing capabilities.
It’s like a writing Swiss army knife, helping you to compile, arrange, and manage chunks of your work.
Stage 2: The Bloodbath – Editing
Next up, editing. And yes, it’s going to be a bloodbath.
But remember, they’re not a replacement for a good ol’ fashioned read-through.
They can provide insights on your manuscript based on successful published novels in your genre.
Stage 3: Dressing it Up – Formatting
Now, let’s dress up your book. Tools like Vellum (for Mac users) or Jutoh (for Windows and Mac) can help you design and format your book to professional standards.
From creating a table of contents, headers, footers to prettifying your chapter titles, these tools have got you covered.
Stage 4: Letting It Fly – Publishing
Alright, it’s time to let your book fly. But where to?
They’re user-friendly, and they give you access to vast potential readerships.
For those of you keen on getting your book into physical print, CreateSpace and Lulu are popular Print-On-Demand platforms.
They print your book whenever you get an order. No more worrying about boxes of unsold books taking up space.
Stage 5: Noise Making – Marketing
Once your book is out there, it’s time to make some noise. Goodreads is a great platform to connect with readers and get those precious reviews.
So there you have it. These tools aren’t the be-all and end-all of writing.
They’re here to make your life easier, to support your creativity, not suppress it.
Choose the ones that work best for you and run with them. Because at the end of the day, it’s you and your story that matter.
So get writing. The world needs your book.