It’s a whole new decade and it’s time to dust your writing ideas off and share them with the world. I published four books before by the age of 24 (I’m turning 25 this year), and here are six tips that helped me do it.
1. Writing on the go
Writing a book is no small feat! It takes so much thought and more importantly, so much time. Writing on-the-go helped me develop ideas and concepts for when I really had the time to flesh them out. Utilising my time on the train or the bus really shortened my writing time for all my books.
It sounds simple but it isn’t. Planning an idea for a book is the hardest part of it all for me. My advice is to break down your story into parts. Plan your story in a way that is most readable and relatable to you, and only once the planning for each part is complete; you write.
3. Proofreading is essential
If your book is being published by a traditional publisher then the proofreading and editing side if things will be covered. If you’re a self-published author like myself, then it’s important to make sure your self-publishing company does a good job proofreading your manuscript. If you’re publishing your book independently, then be sure to hire a professional proofreader to work on your manuscript before submitting the final proof to your printer.
4. Formatting is even more essential
When I published my first book at 15 years old, my self-publishing company at the time didn’t format my manuscript correctly before print. As a result, I pulled the book from production and I re-published the book in e-book format with another company.
Formatting involves the layout of your book. The paragraphs, line editing, headers and footers. Without a good format, your book lacks readability, and without readability you have no audience.
5. Writers block
Every writer has encountered writers block. It’s normal to go through periods where you can’t come up with ideas or work out that storyline you’ve been trying to nail down for weeks.
My trick has been to brainstorm words that relate to what I’m trying to work out. For example, if I’m having trouble developing a relationship in a story, then I’ll write down different words that come to mind when I think of relationships I’ve had in my own life. I’ll then look at those words and try to create links that relate to the writing I’m trying to complete. This technique has helped me so many times when I get stuck on a writing project, and I hope it helps you too.
This is probably the most significant tip of them all. In order to get that book finished this year, you have to be consistent. That doesn’t mean writing everyday, but it means that you have to think about your book everyday. Schedule time for your writing and set goals so you can see how your book is developing. It’s easy to procrastinate when writing a book. There’s so much competition out there and some people think that it’s not worth it. Write your book for you. See it as a personal achievement whether you sell 10 or 10,000. Writing a book is no small feat, so be proud!
T K Williams-Nelson