Writing Your First Book

A blank piece of paper is the best friend and worst enemy of almost every writer. There’s something inspiring, yet so intimidating, about a clean, white page.

It’s a challenge. I think that’s the best way to describe it. You ask yourself, “How can I ever find enough words to fill this page?” and you reply, “That’s it, that’s it! The page is there to be filled with words–wonderful words! Words that are floating around everywhere, waiting to be organized into something truly GREAT.”

When you’ve decided to write your first book, consider a few things.

First, how long do you want the book to be?

True, you won’t be able to pinpoint the exact number of pages, but it is very important to decide whether your book will be small and short enough to fit in the average woman’s purse, or whether it’ll be something that is most comfortable on a large bookshelf when not in use.  Deciding on a desired length will help you to avoid becoming redundant and using a lot of space-filling ‘fluff’ writing to fill extra space you don’t need, or cramming too much information into too few paragraphs and pages.

Another thing to consider is style. How do you want the words to feel. Yes, I said feel. When a reader opens your book , what message should the writing style send? Should it say, “This book is no-nonsense and practical” or “This book is fun, friendly and entertaining!”, etc? Deciding on a style during the pre-writing stage will help you to keep your style consistent throughout the whole manuscript.

You’ll also want to create an outline that lists the main topics or sections you wish to present. This is an important step that will help to keep you on track as you work through the project. This outline doesn’t have to be final. In fact, it probably won’t be. But it will help you to keep your thoughts in order so that you won’t end up with a badly disjointed, confused manuscript.

Don’t stifle your fears of the frightening blank page.

They are the fuel you need to get started.

So drag yourself to the keyboard, please, and start writing.

And write.

And write some more.