Writing a book is much like storytelling. Fictional, non-fictional, comedy, or whatever you are into, you can’t really force it. I don’t know how to put it into words but it’s something that just comes to you. I guess that’s what they call inspiration. You just start writing and at times you don’t even know what you are going to write about but as you finish a sentence automatically a follow-up line comes to mind that makes sense and as you go, your story builds, a plot thickens, and then after a few chapters, you have a book.
You can buy all the books literature has to offer even go through all the libraries in the world and still not be able to even write a single page. I will say it now, there is no answer to this, and to top that off, success is subjective as authors write for different reasons and purposes. Of course, there is a basic outline expected to be followed when trying to write your book.
First things first don’t just jump into it. Put your emotions and thoughts in one place. Decide how you want to tell your story. The language to use. What is your target audience? Weigh the pros and the cons. Scrutinize yourself. Have a rough structure to work with. Write a proposal as sort of a trial run. Go through and assess it. You will see what needs adding and subtracting. Write another proposal as a revised edition of the first, usually this will lay down a marker to indicate if your book is ready to go to final print. With the proposal, you can leak a chapter or two to those in your inner circle just to get a feel of things.
Break It Down
Group your chapters. Your introduction, your body, your plot your conclusion. Address each segment adequately. Don’t set impossible targets and do not be hard on yourself. Rest, relax and take care of yourself. (especially mentally, where the magic is happening) To get yourself going, tell yourself that you are writing essays. These essays joined together will form what is called a book. This can help calm your nerves instead of saying you need to write a hundred thousand words, you don’t even know where to begin, so compartmentalization is an essential tool in book writing.
Building on from proposal, planning is another critical tool. When, how, and where should be some of the questions you ask yourself. Never put yourself under pressure but it is also important that you work with a time frame to ensure we are fully utilizing our time efficiently.
Procrastination is a demon that must be overcome at every turn no matter how tempting. Write down your targets and revisit your goals and evaluate whether you would have met your targets. This helps to keep track of progress or regress.
Do the graft
Put in the hours. Even on the days, you don’t feel like it. There are days when you don’t feel like doing anything. That’s also fine but be mindful to not overdo it as then procrastination will sneak in and before you know it, half the year is gone and you are still in the same position. The dream is free but the hustle is bought. Have that burning desire to want to see your work come out. Stay on your toes, make sure what you print is absolutely the best you could possibly produce.
In this era we live in, avoiding distractions may be close to impossible. Intentionally or unintentionally distractions will find you. Most specifically at times when you are trying to get some work done. Procrastination is a pandemic that will eat away your time, keep an eye open. Rather I think it’s best your manage your distractions. Overcome, do not evade. Learn to say no. Do things at your own time and pace. Control yourself, guide yourself, and set the standard for yourself.
Refill the well
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. Spoil yourself once in a while. Indulge in some of the pleasures that you like. Flood your system with serotonin and dopamine. Go for a swim, go watch a football game do something to relax the mind.
The closing shop can have you stuck for quite a bit. Push through when you don’t want to. Be willing to try and try again. Ignore the boredom that comes with repetition, try, try, try again. Eventually, you’ll see what needs to be done. Conquer your mind, your resilience will be on exhibition.