Many people dream of being able to follow their hearts and pursue what they love. Not everyone can do what they enjoy for a living, and getting to a place where they can do so might be a goal that seems unachievable for various reasons.
But everyone should have the chance to follow their dreams and do what they want. One such aspiration for many people is writing a book. Be it a fiction novel, nonfiction book, or an autobiography, the topic doesn't matter; there are approximately 200 million Americans who feel like they have a book in them waiting to be written, according to author Joseph Epstein while a YouGov survey in the UK found 60% of respondents would like to write a book.
If this sounds familiar, read on for some tips and tricks for getting that novel out of your head and into an actual work in progress.
Take A Course
This is especially important for beginners. You need to know how to write your story correctly, have a defined beginning, middle, and end, and how to accelerate the plot and develop the character. Learn about the different elements a story needs to have to help you stay on track and ensure you write a book that people need to read. From knowing about the different literary elements of writing a book to learning about the importance of Chekov's Gun and the mistakes, first-time authors must avoid for success.
Find A Good Writing Space
A good writing space for one person will be another’s idea of hell. For this reason, finding an area that you knuckle down and write in is something only you can do yourself. Find a spot that can help you get in the zone, put your writing head on, and give you the space to work through things and throw ideas around even if they don't become useful.
The space needs to allow you to write for hours on end uninterrupted, be it a spare room in your house, an office room you rent out, a coffee shop library, or somewhere else; it needs to work for you.
Hone Your Idea
What is your book going to be about? Why is it important to me, and what is interesting about it? You need to be clear on the type of book you are writing and how you feel about it to help you connect with the story and express it in the written word. Or if you don't know what you want to write about, then you need to use some writing prompts to help you find that idea.
Develop A Writer's Mindset
You need to get into the right headspace to write a book. It doesn't come as an essay, and you can read any interview with any author, and they will tell you how hard it can be and frustrating when the words don't flow, or things get in the way. Regardless of whatever else you have going on, you need to get yourself into the right mindset and hold yourself accountable for writing each and every day to help you write that book.
Outline Your Story
All good writers will outline their stories before jumping in. This is creating a detailed plan of each chapter and what will happen, and it will serve as a road map to help you write your book. It might be tempting to let the words flow, but if you don't know how the story will go or what you want to happen, then you will be doing yourself a disservice. So even if it's a few sheets on the book's basic premise and your initial idea, write it down, plan the story, and then you will be ready to get to work.
Do Your Research
Research isn't just crucial for nonfiction books that rely on facts and information to be correct on the chosen topic. It is also essential for fiction writers to do their research too. For example, crime writers can benefit from examining past crimes, looking into how the law works where they are setting the story, and learning more about criminals and law enforcement to help write a more believable story. This goes for learning about or even visiting the area in which you are setting the story and finding out about its history, quirks, and the people who live there.
Stick To A Routine
You need to create a writing routine that you stick to as much as possible. Once you reach this point, you need to block time so that you can write every day about your other commitments and afford you uninterrupted hours to write. Even if this doesn't result in you getting your story further ahead, the practice of writing regularly can help you create a space conducive to writing.
Writing a book needs time and dedication, and if you are serious about pursuing this hobby as a career, you may need to practice good writing habits from the beginning to help you get in the right frame of mind to get those words out and on paper.