The thought of writing a book can be terrifying when you first start. This is particularly true if you don’t have any idea how to start writing your book or how to organize your ideas. So, I wanted to give you a little behind-the-scenes look into how I’m planning my next book. I hope you’ll find it helpful as you start to put your book together!
STARTING WITH AN IDEA
When I decided to create Blogger to Author, I did so with the intention of writing a book on the subject, too. I know I’m always on the lookout for a book that can help me take my blog and my platform to the next level. I hope to do that for bloggers and other content creators who want to publish a book, too.
Once I had my idea, I took some time to sit down and decide who my ideal reader is. I created a reader avatar with as much detail as I could think of. I then worked to connect with bloggers who fit that reader avatar via social media and platforms like Periscope that allow a lot of interaction. I did a lot of listening, working to figure out where bloggers struggle as they begin to write their books. I also listened closely to the questions that they had for me, making sure to include answers to those questions in my book.
CREATING MY BOOK OUTLINE
Once I had a good idea of the topics I wanted to cover in my book, I started to create an outline. Using sticky notes worked really well for me. I wrote each major topic on a sticky note, like how to decide on your book’s topic, and the benefits of self publishing. your book. It was then easy to move those topics around on sticky notes to help organize my ideas into an outline.
Once I had the rough draft of my outline organized on sticky notes, I wrote it down in a Google Doc. I also transferred the topics into Scrivener, which I didn’t use for my first book but I’m loving as a tool for writing my second book. Scrivener makes it incredibly easy to move sections and sub-sections of my book around if I need to. And, the corkboard feature helps me visualize the organization of my book.
THE WRITING PROCESS
Once I had my outline, I started to put my book together by re-purposing as much content as I can from the blog posts. I copied and pasted what I’ve already written into different text sections, which I’m using as a rough first draft. I didn’t have too much written for this book, but when I started to put together my first book, I found I had already written around 70-80% of the content I needed as blog posts.
Now, I’m working to fill in the sections that still need to be written. I’m basically word vomiting into Scrivener, seeing how much I can write off the top of my head, then marking down places where I need to go do additional research. That way I can batch my writing/creation, research, and later editing separately. Batching makes the writing process much faster.
When I really get stuck, I’ve turned to dictating into Google Docs. You can find Voice Typing under the Tools menu in Google Docs. It’s not always accurate, but sometimes it’s easier for me to get out a few paragraphs by talking through them rather than typing. I have several clients who find it much easier to speak than to type words out onto a screen, and I’m encouraging the all to use talk-to-text software or to pay to have audio or video transcribed.
FINDING TIME TO WRITE
So, that’s currently where I’m at in the writing process. I won’t lie—over the past few weeks, I’ve really struggled to find time to work on my book. So, if you’re having trouble finding time to write, know that you’re not alone. But, I’m doing two things to overcome this problem:
- I’m blocking out time in my calendar to focus on writing, a minimum of two hours per week, but hopefully more. Any progress is progress, so even if you can only work on your book for a hour or two, still set aside time to do that work. You need to keep the momentum going.
- I’m using Voice Typing more. I’m a fairly fast typist, but it’s still faster for me to talk into Google Docs than it is for me to type out my thoughts. I always wind up with a very rough draft with little to no punctuation. But, it’s easier for me to go back and edit even the crummiest draft than it is for me to stare at a screen, worrying about how I can perfectly convey the ideas that I have in my head.
For those of you actively working on your book, whether you’re still planning or you’re deep into writing, know that it’s a process! There’s no one “right” or “wrong” way to do it. Find what works best for you and how your brain operates. I’m hoping this peek into my writing process helps inspire you or gives you some ideas to help you keep the momentum going as you work to write your book.