How to Start Writing a Book

Circling in on the big idea is an important exercise for finding what you will write about over the next 6-12 months if you are serious about writing a book. If you are committing that much time to a project shouldn’t it be an idea you are passionate about and have a good working knowledge of the subject?

In order to write a book you need to have:

·         An understanding of the field/market

o   What exactly are you getting yourself into?

·         Perseverance

o   James Joyce’s “Ulysses” (a modern classic) was rejected 25X by publishers.

o   Robert Pirsig’s “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” was rejected 122 times.

·         Organization skills

·         Belief in your work

·         A willingness to work hard and learn a few things along the way

·         Passion for your subject

·         Open eyes, ears and mind as you observe people and actions

Good writers seek inspiration for much of their writing. Some good places to find inspiration is through avid reading. Novels, non-fiction, biographies, poetry, the newspaper all help you open yourself to new ideas and information. It also helps you become a critic of writing and leads to a new awareness of ideas for lead-ins to segments of your writing.

Newspapers and magazines reveal what people are concerned about in the present and reveals trends possibly worthy of further exploration in your work. Fiction and non-fiction can be a great source of inspiration. The classics reveal themes of good versus evil and expose the emotional levels of certain eternal themes like love, devotion, and the conflicts of various human experiences.

So now you need to do a little brainstorming and circling to find your Big Idea and your sources of inspiration. It must be a topic that is interesting enough to devote a year of your life to develop into a book. The reader must be able to identify with the idea and it can be neither too broad nor too narrow. 


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