6 Book Writing Tips for an Aspiring Author
Writing a book can be intimidating, but with the right tips and strategies, it can be a rewarding experience. Here are six book writing tips for aspiring authors that will help you get started on your journey to becoming a published author.
1. Create an Outline
Creating an outline is one of the most important steps in writing a book. An outline will help you organise your thoughts and keep you focused on the main points you want to include whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. It will also help you plan out the structure of your book and make sure that all of the pieces fit together logically. Take some time to brainstorm ideas and create an outline before you start writing your book. Don’t worry too much if this changes throughout your writing journey. You will likely find that other things come to mind as you write. Revisit your outline when those moments arise and decide whether anything needs adapting/adding or indeed removing.
An outline helps you plan out the structure of your book and make sure that all of the pieces fit together logically.
2. Set Writing Goals
Setting writing goals is essential for staying motivated and on track when writing a book. Make sure to set realistic goals that are achievable within a certain timeframe, such as writing 500 words per day or completing one chapter per week. Having specific goals will help keep you focused and ensure that you stay on track with your project. I also highlight this in last week’s blog when trying to create a writing habit.
Write for yourself first, then write for others. Start by writing down your thoughts and feelings in a journal. It will feel less intimidating to then start writing your book. It may also help to keep journaling throughout your book writing to help ensure you don’t get overwhelmed by the process.
Set realistic goals that are achievable within a certain timeframe.
3. Read Books in Your Genre
Reading books in the same genre as yours can be highly beneficial for aspiring authors. Not only will it give you insight into what works well in that genre, but it can also provide inspiration for your own work and give you ideas for how to structure your story or develop characters more effectively. While reading is often better than listening to audiobooks, do what’s right for you. If audio is how you consume your books, stick with it but dip into a hard copy every now and again.
It also doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read books in other genres. It’s important that you maintain your love of books, so ensure you still read/ listen for pleasure as well as to aid your book writing.
Read for pleasure, as well as to get inspiration for your own book writing.
4. Take Breaks
Taking regular breaks while writing is important for maintaining focus and avoiding burnout when working on long projects like books. Make sure to take breaks throughout the day so that your mind has time to rest and recharge before getting back to work on your project later in the day or week. Have you used the Pomodoro technique before? I find it’s quite effective and discuss it in Becoming the GOAT* as a study strategy. It works effectively when trying to complete long tasks as you essentially break them up into more manageable chunks.
- Set your task.
- Choose the chunks of time you want to work in (usually 15–25-minute blocks).
- Set an alarm for the end of the block.
- Take a 5-minute break, walk around, grab a drink, or look out of the window.
- After 4 work intervals, take a longer 15–30-minute break.
- Repeat until the task is complete.
There are loads of Pomodoro timers online that you can set for the time intervals you choose. If you have Alexa or Siri, they can also help you out. If you tell Alexa how much time you have, she sorts out the time chunks for you!
Try the Pomodoro technique.
5. Get Feedback From Others
Getting feedback from others while working on your book can be incredibly helpful in improving its quality before submitting it for publication or self-publishing it online. Ask friends, family members, or other authors in the same genre as yours to read through drafts of chapters or sections of your book so they can provide constructive feedback about what works well and what could use improvement before publishing it publicly yourself later on down the line. If you have already identified your target reader, then you could always use them as beta readers for feedback.
Remember, whoever you choose, it is their opinion and you do not have to take it on board. It is more beneficial if the feedback is from someone from your target audience rather than a friend as ultimately, they’re the people who you want to read it.
Ask friends, family members, or other authors in the same genre as yours for constructive feedback.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Make Changes
Finally, don’t be afraid to make changes throughout the process of writing your book if something isn’t working out quite right or if something needs improvement after getting feedback from others who have read through drafts of chapters or sections of it already. Making changes throughout the process is normal and expected when writing books, so don’t be afraid to go back over things multiple times until they are just right before submitting them later down the line.
With that in mind, don’t keep changing for changing’s sake. You could spend weeks or months trying to perfect your work even though it is fine just as it is. You need to know when to stop and say this is good enough.
If you’re looking for help getting started as an aspiring author or with publishing, then book a strategy call with me to see how I can help.