Powered by DitDat

How to write a book

As an author, I meet a lot of people who always ask me questions about how to write a book. Once I tell people that I am a writer, many usually immediately tell me that they have always wanted to write a book. Or are writing a book. Or wish they could write a book.

I’ve always believed that everyone has a story to tell. I find most people fascinating. And, if you want to know the truth, I’m usually the nosy person in the coffee shop listening in on everyone’s conversations because I find it so interesting. What does this have to do with the question of how to write a book?

Simple. I think the best way to write a book is to do it. Yes, there are things to learn like grammar and story structure. But until you put pen to paper, those ideas aren’t going to make sense. That doesn’t mean your first attempt is going to get you a Pulitzer, or even a publishing contract. However, the very first step in writing a book is to write. Writers write, plain and simple.

It took me twelve years to get my first writing contract. That may seem like a long time, and trust me, it is. But I know a lot of writers who took that long, and sometimes even longer, to get a book contract. Becoming a published author is not for the faint of heart.

But here’s the good news. If you want to write a book, I can help you. I’m not going to do the work for you, and no, I will not critique your work. So please, don’t ask. Seriously. If you send me your book and ask me to read it, I will delete it without opening it.

Here’s what I will do in teaching you how to write a book:

Along the way in my own journey, I learned a lot of things that, had I known from the beginning, it would have helped me get there faster. Not that there is ever a point of arrival. I’m still learning, still growing. One of the biggest lessons I learned was from a NYT Bestselling author in a class for beginning writers. She took furious notes and I was curious what was so fascinating to her. She told me that there were always new things to learn and apply to her writing. If someone that successful believes that, then who am I to do otherwise? I hope you’ll have the same attitude. In fact, if you don’t have that attitude, you should probably stop reading, because we’re not really a match.

It’s not all about the writing.

I can’t teach you how to write. Can I give you tips? Yes. But if you want to learn basic mechanics and story structure, I’m not your girl. I can recommend a number of fantastic resources, such as The Story Sensei, and The Fiction Fix-it Shop for that. In all fairness, they are a couple of my very good friends, but they have also done more to help me improve the content of my writing than anyone else. So yes, I am biased, but I also believe with my whole heart that they work.

Speaking of heart…

That’s where I come in to the picture. One of the biggest lessons I learned in my writing journey is that it’s all about your heart. Where you’re willing to be free, open, and share your story. But this also means having your heart open to growing, changing, and really becoming the author you were meant to be.

My goal is to help you free your heart so that you’re able to put it on the page and create stories that touch the hearts of others. One of my friends quoted her editor as saying, “if you make them cry, you make them buy.”  Personally, I’m not a big fan of the sob stories. But the nugget to cling to is that your writing has to touch someone, somewhere. Maybe you’re making them laugh. Maybe, as I try to do in my writing, you’re creating a story where your readers say, “oh yeah, me too.”

I believe that the best way, no, the only way, to do that is to be you. 100% authentically you. And that takes a lot of bravery and soul-searching to get there.

If you want to learn how to write a book, you have to learn how to be fully you, fully present, and share that on the page. Because that’s where the readers connect with your writing. So many people try to write books by copying their favorite author or wanting to be the next “fill in bestselling author.” We already have one of those authors and countless imitators. What the world needs, what your books need, is something only you can deliver: you.

If you’re looking at this and thinking, “YES! This is exactly what I’m looking for!” I would love to work with you. I provide coaching sessions for authors looking to reach the next level in their writing. I also have a 12 week course designed to give you the tools you need to continue the journey toward writing and publishing the book of your heart.

Check out my Writing Courses page to find out more.

Writing and ART:

This is where I think a lot of writers are tempted to tune out. We think (and yes, I was one of the skeptics at first) “I’m a writer, not an artist.” But creativity, whether it be with visual arts or the written word, is one of the most important qualities a writer can encourage. Honestly, I think this is the most important thing I can share with writers. Through art journaling, I have drastically improved my writing as well as my productivity. Read my blog for great tips and information, or take a look at my art journal page.

Other Resources:

If you’re a writer looking to get published, I know of no better resource than the Harlequin.com community. That’s where I began my writing journey, and I’ve learned so much. It’s been wonderful watching so many people I’ve known there over the years getting their contracts. They have a lot of great free workshops and information, so check it out.

 

Get Your Free
New Book Alerts

Want an email alert each time I publish a new book?

Sign up here for your free New Book Alerts! I'll email you when a new book is ready or when there's a great special deal on an old one.

Privacy notice: I respect your privacy and I promise not to rent, sell, or give away your email address to third parties.