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Three Simple Steps to Start Writing Your Book

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. It’s a silly joke with a wallop of wisdom for writers, because this is exactly the mindset you’ll need when you begin to write your book. Getting started is indeed the hardest part, so plot your course first, and you’ll be both confident and motivated to begin.

Step One

Consider what type of writer you are. Do you like structure, or do your writing habits depend on your moods?

If you like structure: Begin with an outline that expands on the main topic. What is the logical sequence to take this idea from an introduction to the conclusion? Your outline will give you a simple method for tackling your project one small chunk at a time.

If you feel confined by structure: Following an outline is commonly recommended for book writing, but don’t let that hem you in. You can start writing your book from any chronological point. Wherever you choose to begin is fine. When you’re finished, hire someone to organize your content into a logical sequence.

Step Two

Schedule time to write. When are you most productive: morning, afternoon or evening? On your calendar, block in time to write, and stick to it. This is arguably one of the most important steps you can take to write – and finish – your book. Unless you plan to publish within two years, you do not have to write daily. Simply choose a schedule that works for you.

Step Three

Once you have written all you feel you can say about your subject, find an editor. This is crucial for having a well structured, error-free, organized final product. Editors spot wrong word choices, clarify concepts, fix sentence structure problems and ensure your point of view is consistent throughout. Editing is tedious, so keep in mind that turnaround time will vary depending on your editor and his or her current schedule. Plan your project time line accordingly.


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Monica Crowe writes blog posts, newsletters and sales messages for passion-driven entrepreneurs, so they can make the most of their business hours, while doing more of the work they love.