One of the most amazing things that occurred during my book launch week was hearing other women tell me they have always wanted to write a book. My response… “Girl, write that book!” My excited permission/command to write usually causes a bewildered look and then the famous words: “I wouldn’t even know where to start”.
I am NOT an expert but I did self-publish a twenty-one day devotional titled, “The Distracted Dance of Resilience” which debuted at number one in both of its Amazon Kindle categories. I am humbled by the response and so very thankful. If I can do it, so can you–and even more! Girl write that book and here is how you start:
- Decide what you want to write about and WHY
Knowing what you want to write and your purpose is the first place to start. Brainstorm ideas, journal, write an elevator pitch describing what your book is about, and think about who your target audience will be. What do you want your readers to take away from your words? How will your book enhance their lives?
Writing a book sounds great when you announce it to others but it is NOT EASY. Writing my book pushed me emotionally, physically, intellectually and was a huge time commitment. Knowing deep down in my soul that the words God gave me to write would bless other people motivated me when I did not think I could do it.
Knowing your “why” will keep your fire for writing burning when writing is the LAST thing you want to do.
2. Write- No Excuses
Once you know what you want to write and why, the next step is a no-brainer—WRITE! Set a daily or weekly writing goal. For most people, the writing goal is the “word count”. There are industry standards for word counts depending on the type of book you are writing. Since my book is a devotional and I wanted my readers to be able to complete the daily reading and the activities at the end of each day’s entry, I kept my word count around 20,000. Most ebooks, mini books and manifestos are around 20,000 words. The average nonfiction book is around 40,000 to 60,000 words. Biographies like Michelle Obama’s Becoming are more than 100,000 words.
Hitting your total word count goal is simple math and determination. Divide the number of words desired by the time you plan to have the book completed and write. I completed an outline and table of contents first to help me stay focused. If you are a little more spontaneous, you may not need an outline. The point here is —write sister! Write despite being tired, not feeling like writing, having schedule changes, and life.
When you tell someone else you are going to do something for them, do you make it your business to do it? Have you ever pushed through being tired or “not having time” to finish a project you were helping someone else complete?
Of course you have. So why is it so easy to break promises to yourself? Your dreams and projects matter too!
Your book is important. Stop selling yourself short by making excuses. WRITE!
3. Finish the darn thing!
The book you were “fixin’ to write” but never did cannot change the lives of others. Girl, write that book! Set deadlines and meet them. Be kind to yourself but firm. Find an accountability partner specifically for your book. I had a phenomenal mentor name Apostle Nicole Bonds who was loving but had high expectations about completion dates. Write and finish.
Don’t do a lot of heavy self-editing along the way-finish. It is fine to elicit some feedback from a few trusted friends as you write but focus on finishing. Even if your book is a total flop (which it won’t be) you will have set a goal and stuck to it!
There are more things to do after you finish writing like editing, formatting, cover design, and publishing but people often get focused on those things early on without even a first draft. Write first. Do the first step.
Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride. Ecclesiastes 7:8
Leave me a comment about your upcoming book! I cannot wait to hear all about it!