New Year is often a time for reflection, review and taking stock. And 2018 has been a huge year for us at Vision Maker Press. Our first year in operation in supporting new and second-time authors in bringing their vision to print. As I sit here typing this, I wonder how many of you are sitting there eager to make 2019 the year you start writing your book?
At Vision Maker Press, we’ve coined 2019 as the Year of the Author, and to support you in bringing your vision to print and not give up by 12 January (the date most people give up on their New Year resolutions), we’ve got some great tips to support you.
Even before you put pen to paper, knowing what you’re going to write is essential. Rather than sitting there staring at a blank screen, here are some questions that can help you get clear:
• Why are you writing this book?
• Who are you writing your book for?
• What is your book about? Try and summarise this in 50 words or less.
• How much do you know about the subject you are writing about?
• What information/ideas do you wish to share with your reader?
• How would your book benefit your reader?
• Who is your audience?
Once you have an outline for your book, try structuring it into chapter headings that state what the chapter is going to be about. You can always change the chapter headings during the editing process, but in the initial stages, it can give you a spine or skeleton for your book, and it helps you maintain clarity and not go off on a tangent.
The secret to writing a book is to write every day; but you need to set yourself a realistic timeframe that fits into your day. If you’re new to writing, starting off small is often the best way. You could start with 10 minutes and gradually build it up to 20 minutes. Whether it’s 10 minutes or 20 minutes the secret is consistency, without fail. This is far better than the very occasional 3-hour stint that some new writers adopt; then they don’t write for weeks on end. With consistency comes flow and sometimes it is hard to find the flow if you are not doing it regularly. See yourself as a marathon runner, or a marathon writer in this instance – it’s about building your stamina and finding your rhythm. If you maintain this consistency, you’ll write your first draft in no-time at all.
One of the main reasons that writers either give up or never get to the end, is that they edit along the way: writing then deleting, deleting then writing and deleting again. Avoid the perfectionism bug as this is guaranteed to make you want to quit. Editing happens once your manuscript is written; that’s when you can mould and shape your manuscript. So, don’t worry about spelling, grammar or punctuation at this stage, because it’s all about content and getting it onto the page.
There is no time like the present, so begin writing as soon as you can – like right now! There are so many would-be authors who have a pipe-dream of becoming published, but because they have put off writing their book someday, they remain where they are – dreaming. ‘Someday’ might never come, so you need to take action right now. It’s so easy to put it off with a number of reasons that seem valid, but in all honesty, it’s a great way to put off what you’ve always wanted to do.
To further support you, Vision Maker Press will be hosting a workshop on How to Write and Publish Your Book in March 2019 (details to be announced). Simply go to www.visionmakerpress.com and keep an eye on upcoming events. We’re also interested in hearing from you if you are writing or thinking of writing books on spirituality, wellbeing and self-help. To find out more, contact us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you every success in 2019 – The Year of the Author!
Co-Founder Vision Maker Press