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How do you write a book?

There can be many things stopping us writing the book we’ve always wanted to write. One of these is how to actually organise your time and sit down to write the book. So many people have some really great ideas for a book, but never reach the point of getting the words down on paper (or on a screen). Some authors are lucky and have plenty of free time to work on their manuscript, whereas others have to make time in their busy lives. But if this is your dream, it’s simply a case of making it happen.

Targets

Some authors like to set themselves a word target for each day. And track their progress religiously on a spreadsheet. Others prefer to let creativity do its work, and go with the flow, writing as and when they feel like it, and not bothering too much about individual progress.

Look at your basic habits. Are you a morning person? An evening person who works well into the night? Can you write at home or do you need to go and sit in a library or a coffee shop to get the creative juices flowing? Maybe you work well in half hour bursts with a quick walk in-between to clear your head?

Planning

Try planning out when you’re going to get your book written. And be realistic about how long the process will take you. Perhaps use index cards or post-it notes to structure your book, and ensure all your ideas are included. When you have your rough draft structure, move the cards or notes around to see what kind of order works best.

Don’t be afraid to write and rewrite the draft, but equally don’t get caught in the trap of perfection, or this book will never get published.

Test driving

Equally, don’t be afraid to try out ideas on other people. Test drive your cover or title ideas to see which most appeals. Remember: these are your potential readers, and you want to create something for them, not you, if you want to sell plenty of books.

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