As a Multi Self-Published Author, I'm asked a lot, "how do I get started writing my book?" While this is a valid question, many authors don't think about the pre-work that is required when they are doing their book planning. Yes, book planning, or your writing process, requires some pre-work. As shocking as this may sound, there are some things that you must do before you write, type, or pen one single word. What, you may be asking. I know, I wish I would have known some of this before I wrote my first book. 13 years and 12 books later, I have learned many things, and one of them is the pre-work that is a part (or should be) of the author's journey. No, the author's journey does not start when you sit down with your pen and paper or your laptop. I'm going to share with you some essential pre-work steps that you need to take before diving into writing your book.
Here's where it starts:
Asking yourself why. You need to know your why as a writer. This is going to help you stick with it. I know that you have what it takes to become a published author, but are you willing to do what it takes to become one? Your why will help you to DO.
Discover your writing style. Every writer has a certain style. Discovering that style is understanding your strengths as a writer. Discovering your style does not mean determining whether or not you are a good writer. A piece of writing can be edited to excellence so this is not what that is about. Discovering your style is more about understanding whether you are a fiction or non-fiction writer, an expository or persuasive writer, a descriptive or creative writer, etc.
Narrowing down your niche. Who are you writing to? What genre are you writing in? Fiction romance, fantasy, suspense, a non-fiction memoir, self-help, or a guide are examples of niches.
Brainstorming and topic research. You have to do market research as a writer. Brainstorming first will help you to determine what you will be researching. Consider an overall topic and then write down 10-12 ideas pertaining to that topic. Doing so will help you to develop your content once you actually start your writing process.
Competitive Analysis. In order to properly position yourself as "the author" or your book as "the book" you will need to do a competitive analysis. You do this by identifying 5 authors who have written a book on the same or a similar topic as yours....and their book is selling and you observe their structure, tone, writing style, and even check out their reviews. This helps you to determine how you compare.
Count up the cost. Self-publishing is not free. Part of your book planning is determining how much it's going to cost you to publish your book once it has been written. Whether you are going to do it yourself or outsource the work, it's going to cost one of two "getting it done" currencies: time or money, likely both.
Outline your book. Your outline is the meat and potatoes of your writing process. It's what's going to help you establish and keep a flow as you are writing. It's going to help you break your ideas down into the content needed for your book.
Creating a writing schedule. Your writing should be considered just as important as your other daily activities. While having a writing schedule is important, you do not have to write everyday in order to complete your writing process.
I go deeper into each step in my FREE mini workshop that you can assess here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tFQZgJMyN8
If you don't want to write a book, but you know someone who does, then share this free mini workshop with them.
Grace and Peace,
Pamela D. Smith