Many people have asked me this in the last few years when they find out that I’ve written a book. Some people even shared with me that they’ve already been writing one as well – either just pieces here and there or they “have a book in their head.” Some of them have ideas for business books, some plan to write about their lives and others describe very creative fiction plots. This has made me realize how many people have their own stories to tell and has made me eager for them to give the rest of us access to their fascinating tales.
My answer to how I got started is that my husband and then a few others suggested it. Originally, it did not sound appealing to me as I usually consider writing to be tedious. However, they mentioned it because my process for public speaking had already helped so many professionals that they figured it could benefit even more people if I would write it down for others to use. For me, that was reason enough to do it – to reach and affect a wider audience.
Getting started is often the hardest part, which might be why many people have thought about it, but not done it yet. Clearly there are many ways to do this and different things work for different people. I got advice from several sources and took much of it. I listened to free teleseminars for authors on creating a Table of Contents, writing, self-publishing and marketing a book and talked to those who had already done all of these.
Here are the Top 5 best pieces of advice I received and used:
- Read other books – doesn’t have to be targeted research on your topic, just notice how other writers’ styles work, how they’ve laid out information, and what you like as a reader when YOU are the audience.
- Know your readers/audience – to whom are you writing? Business people, parents, folks who like romance novels or mysteries?
- Write something every week at a specified time on your schedule.
- Do NOT try to edit as you go, just get it written first.
- Have others read it to get feedback from real people, but then invest in hiring a professional editor/proofreader or both.
If you have stories in you that you want to tell, chances are there will be people who want to read them. So, I say – Go for it! Decide who your audience is and write!