I Want to Write a Book… How Do I Get Started?

Since publishing my first book, Dear Dad, I’ve had many people tell me they want to write a book, too. It amazes me the number of stories that haven’t been told.

Everyone has a story. 

We’ll chat for a bit about the book, then the question comes…

I want to write a book. How do I get started?

Here’s how you write a book. You sit down at the computer, type 33,000 words, send it to a publisher, and wait for people to knock at your door because the bookstores have sold out. (Insert sarcasm here)

Seriously though, the first thing I tell people is to be prepared to commit. It’s not an overnight process. It’s hard work. It’s time-consuming. Writing a book can be draining, both emotionally and physically.

You’ll fight fear, procrastination, doubt, time management, and pressure. That’s just a short list.

Writing a book isn’t for quitters. If you have a story to tell, prepare yourself to work hard to tell it.

Here are a few tips I recommend before you commit to writing a book:

Make sure you have a story to tell. Yes, everyone has a story, but that doesn’t mean the world should read it. Is it compelling? Will it change people? Be honest with yourself when deciding to write a book. If your dog ate your homework when you were 12, that’s probably something you should keep in a journal and maybe tell a few friends.

Study the art of writing. Research and learn what others are doing. Read the work of authors you admire. Subscribe to blog posts about writing. Ask authors if you can pick their brains. Do your homework.

Have accountability. Do you really want to be a writer? Ask others to critique your work. Find a group of writers who will support your passion and help you grow in your niche. I recommend joining the Tribe Writer’s course, created by Jeff Goins. Not only will you learn how to be a better writer, you have the opportunity to connect with many people who will help shape your writing along the way. The course will be starting again in July and will fill up fast, so I recommend taking advantage of signing up today. It’s provided an amazing opportunity for me to grow as a writer.

Prepare for rejection. It will happen. Someone will reject your work, more than once. Take advantage of that rejection. Maybe they’re right. Perhaps what you wrote sucked and now you know it needs some revisions. Or maybe you know without a doubt those were the words you were supposed to write. Stick by them and keep pushing forward. Not everyone will love what you’re doing and that’s ok. As a writer, you will never please everyone.

Write a winning book proposal. So, you still want to write? If you haven’t given up yet, then maybe this writing thing really is for you. If you’re ready to get your work in front of agents and publishers, you need a book proposal that will stand out. I highly recommend Michael Hyatt’s Writing a Winning Book Proposal. Hyatt is the former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers and a NY Times best-selling author. This book will rock your world. I used it to land the contract for my first published book and I’m using it again to submit the proposal for my next book to agents and publishers. Hyatt provides guidance for both fiction and non-fiction book proposals. 

Writing a book isn’t easy, but it’s worth it, if you really want to be a writer. If it’s your passion and not just a temporary hobby, start pursuing your dreams today.

What book do you want to start writing? Share in the comments below…

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  • annette skarin

    Hi Sundi Jo, you’ve given me renewed courage to write my story. I just need to remember that I’m never too old.

    • Annette, that makes me so happy to hear. Good luck with writing your story.

  • Kaye

    Great post, Sundi Jo. Thanks to Tribe Writers, I am finally convinced that I am a writer; however, I’m still often unsure of what I am to write and where – as in what format. In the meantime I continue to write – blog posts, notes of encouragement, whatever is right for the moment.
    Thanks for the good reminders.

    • Kaye, you are a writer. It took me a while to be convinced, too. Keep doing one thing at a time. God will guide you.

  • Skinnyandsingle

    This was awesome, thank you 🙂