ink bottle notebook
pens and journals

There is a fine line between writing a book to the point it will be published, and just doing something for fun, a hobby if you will.  Not everyone can be writers, and most will complain of the distractions of everyday life.  At some point, a writer will begin.  They don’t spend much time with the editing or publishing aspect they simply begin.

Then comes the questions. Most of all they begin with one:

The question most writers, like myself, ask is how to start writing a book? (or, how do you start?)

It seems easy on the surface, but starting something with a blank screen is scary, it can be that first step into something you aren’t used to, or it’s something you can feel like you might just want to go back and let it be a hobby.  Never mind publishing, or blogging, just maybe journalling or doodles.  At some point, you will have to ‘push through’ the block- which is really fear.  Fear of writing, or fear of not making it big, or whatever.

In reflecting on the how to start writing a book, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s how and why we go about writing that makes a difference. Here is my list of ways to get past the “how” in the how part of the writing a book equation.

pen and paper
write down your goals

1) Set a small goal of writing 250 words, if you are wondering how to start, go with a small number.  250 words is less than a blog post, it can be done by anyone.  You probably write more in a journal than 250 words.

2) Define what is a part of your book.  A blog post isn’t.  An email isn’t.  A phone call isn’t.  If you can’t write 250 words, for your book a day then you have excuses.

3) Set a time each day to write.  Not edit, not research, not anything but words on a page.  There is a difference, one is going back and fixing up and makes it look like you are writing.

Hemingway quote
Sit down…

4) Be kind to your words, and yourself. Stay in a minimum daily word count, but if you can’t forgive your writing self, lower it a bit for a while.

5) Start with an outline.  It can be on a napkin, but have one.

6) Brainstorm, but write it out.  Doesn’t have to be at the start of the book either.

7) Start writing a book.  Just write for pity’s sake.

8) See item number 1, and add some more to your word count goal, if you find you consistently write 500 words on one specific book a day, expand yourself as a writer.  It’s okay to start small it’s better to just keep going.

toni morrison quote
You’ve got a book

9) Start a book, but how to start writing a book just means, write a page, or anything, it doesn’t have to be the start of the book.

How do you start writing a book? Start.

10) Define who is a part of your book.  If a character isn’t needed, cut them out.  If a fact is not needed don’t put it in.  Just write what is a part of this book.