By Joel at joeltrainsauthors.com
I’ll say it again: Most people think that writing a book is incredibly difficult, time-consuming, and of questionable value. But actually, if you just follow my program, it can be doable (if not easy), quick, and a really good use of your time. I’ll save the value part for another blog post; what I want to focus on here is what makes book-writing difficult and time-consuming for most people.
- Jumping in without a complete plan. If you want to build a house, you don’t begin driving a truck to the Home Depot and filling it with 2×4′s, dry-wall panels, and other materials. Obviously you don’t know how much to buy, of what materials. Instead, you hire an architect, and work out detailed plans. Only when these are complete, down to each door, window, strip of molding, and electrical outlet, do you find a builder who will shop for materials and turn them into a house for you. Produce your title, your subtitle, and your table of contents down to the sub-chapter level. Now you can begin to write.
- Researching as you go. Thanks to Wikipedia, Google, and other resources, research can quickly become a fascinating journey without an end. DO NOT research while writing. When you come across a “blank spot,” something you need to find out, just mark it with “%%%” or some other sign your word processor can easily find. Then, when your book is complete, go back and look up only what you need to replace the “%%%.” If you follow this guideline, you will save many, many hours.
- Writing for the broadest possible audience. If you try to write for everybody, you wind up writing for nobody. Instead, picture your ideal reader, the person for whom your book will be a welcome and blessed gift, exactly what they needed and wanted. Write a detailed description of this person–gender, age, family situation, work, physical qualities. Give them a name. Cut out a magazine picture that looks like them and post it where you can see it. This is your audience. Speak to this person as you write.