When it comes to writing a book, one of the most challenging steps is to get started.
You find yourself thinking: What if, the first sentence doesn’t make sense? What if, that paragraph is too long? What if readers didn’t get the first joke in the opening chapter? You’re not alone.
These are the thoughts that occupy the minds of an author. The pressure we put on ourselves can be excruciating. There’s this misconception that writing is easy.
As authors, we love to write, but when it comes to catching that creative spark each morning to break out a notepad or pull an all-nighter from our laptop we soon realize the writing process doesn’t come easy.
So here are 3 writing tips that will help reduce stress when you begin to write your book.
1. Don’t feel ashamed to take a break
We have all witnessed the movie scene climax where all was lost and all of a sudden, inspiration hits the main character and they experience an epic rise from the ashes. But in real life, it’s not exactly like that.
Yes, it’s true we have certain moments where ideas flow naturally. It presents the perfect opportunity to pick-up a pen and capture your genius. But don’t expect these moments to consume your days … they are fleeting.
When you suffer from writer’s block, take a break. Get some fresh air. Detach yourself from the work and clear your mind. You will come back to your work refreshed, with a new perspective and excitement!
2. Worry about grammar later
You want your book to be perfect, I get it! That’s totally normal. But if you are procrastinating on writing your book because you’re worried about grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors—that’s a mistake. This is why we pay editors to create a literary masterpiece.
As an author, your job is to tell the story. The book editor is there to make sure your message is clear and flawless. So, don’t feel like your first draft has to be perfect. This will only stress you out more and delay your book. Write first and then worry about editing.
3. Don’t get caught up on word count
When you think back on the novels you read while in school, you might recall how lengthy they were. However, that doesn’t mean you have to write a trilogy.
Many authors feel discouraged or intimidated when they write their first book because they feel it has to compare to the 99,121 words of “To Kill a Mocking Bird.” In reality, there are plenty of books like “The Giver”, “Of Mice and Me” and “A Christmas Carol” that are all in the 30,000 to 60,000 word count range and they are considered classics.
Don’t hold off on writing your first book because you think it’s too short. It’s better to keep readers wanting more; than to give it up at all once. Choose your chapters wisely.
I hope these guidelines will help you in your publishing journey as an author. And remember, you don’t have to know everything when it comes to writing your book; all you have to do is to get started.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Tony Logan is the VP of Liftbridge Publishing, a publishing company that help people tell their story while offering workshops and networking events. Connect with @tonylogan on Twitter.
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