Won’t you just love it if you held a book with your name on it?
I know how badly you want to write that book, and it’s okay not to know where to start.
In this post, I will be sharing three simple steps to write your book. As a 3-time author (I am working on my third book, which will be launched next month. Anticipate!), I can proudly tell you that these steps have worked for me, and I am very certain they will work for you too.
The ginormous tree towering over your head started as a tiny seed. Similarly, your book starts off as an idea. An idea is a thought or an impression. In this case, it could be a word, a couple of sentences, or a paragraph. The idea in your head is the seed of your book. Every great book – whether 3,000 pages or 300 pages – started with an idea. So, if right now, all you have is an idea, you are in a good place.
The question now is how do you transform your idea into a book? That’s where step 2 comes in.
If you want to build a house, the first right thing to do is to ask an architect to draw up a plan. The plan shows the essential features of your house, and how the house would be built. Likewise, an outline is a description or plan of your book. It does not contain the details of your book, but the important parts. Like chapters, subtopics etc.
You can either use templates for your outline, or just do it the traditional way – pen to paper. Personally, I love writing my outline on a paper or in a journal, because, sometimes, my books decide to take a story of their own. As such, it is easier for me to make adjustments on paper than on a template. Also, I love to see my scribbles, cancellations, rough handwriting, and the entire journey of my work, which may not be possible with a template. Nevertheless, it is important that you identify what works for you and use it.
Also, I like to divide my outline into two parts: the general outline and the specific outline.
i) General Outline
You use the general outline, like the name implies, to outline the overall details of your book. In summary it outlines the WHAT, WHO, and HOW.
Answer these questions in your general outline:
- What message do I want to pass across with my book?
- Who am I writing this book for? (NOTE: Your answer here should not be everyone. Be specific.)
- How do I want to convey my message?
ii) Specific Outline
Your specific outline is where you itemize the chapters of your book. Each chapter should have a main idea that is tied to the overall message of your book. Since the main idea cannot stand on its own, you will need to use other details to support it. Those other details are what I call the supporting details.
A draft is the rough sketch of your book. It shouldn’t be perfect, so don’t fuss about it. It is also called the first draft because you are not meant to take it to the publisher. The first draft is a skeletal framework that you need to beautify and add flesh unto. Keep tweaking and tweaking it until it is perfect (at least, in your eyes). The purpose of writing your first draft is to get your book out of your head and into your hands.
Follow these three steps and you will see that writing a book is as easy as ABC!
Now, go ahead, get that book out of your head. The fact that you have been nursing the idea of writing a book means that you are carrying a gift inside of you. You need to share your gift with the world. Start writing that book today!