As an author, people routinely ask me about the book writing process and other related questions.
It’s usually obvious that what they’re trying to find out is if they can write a book. That’s the root of their questions.
Sometimes they’re more direct. Just the other day someone called me from across the country and asked, “How do you write a book? I think I might want to write one in my future.”
I like to answer this question by detailing what you don’t need to write a book and how to get started.
1) You Don’t Need Permission
People love to get permission to do things from their friends, family members, and society. That’s why they’ll say, “I’m writing a book,” and be pissed when others don’t respond the way they want. The reality is you don’t need a license or certification that gives you permission to become an author.
I happened to be an English major, but you don’t need to major in English or journalism to write a book. You don’t even need to have a college degree. Although many things would help, there are no rules, regulations, or requirements for becoming an author. (Maybe there should be after seeing some of the books out there, just kidding.)
Now there’s a big difference between being a writer and being a good writer, and writing a book and writing a quality book. But the bottom line is you don’t need permission to write a book.
If you want to, put in the work and do it. It’s as simple as grabbing your laptop and typing, or on a more basic level—use pen and paper.
2) You Don’t Need To Quit Your Day Job
Wanting permission is a big one, but the number one excuse for people wanting to write a book is that they don’t have enough time.
This makes sense though, because people always cite not having enough time to work out, eat healthy, or find a hobby. So I’m not surprised it’s the same for book writing.
But anytime I hear this excuse, I want to sit down with this person and have them write down their entire day’s activities. Then politely point out all the areas where they could have spent 60 minutes to write.
You can’t live the same way and write a book, but you do have time to write a book if you prioritize it early enough in the morning, during lunch, or at night when the kids are asleep.
So you might not have time to write when you watch hours of Netflix, nap, or watch movies every night, but you do have time to write if you cut those out for the short-term. It’s a matter of do you truly want to become an author, or do you just want to think about it and complain you don’t have time.
Ironically, there are many advantages to writing with a day job that people fail to realize all the time. Next time you think you don’t have enough time or you need to quit your job to write, take a step back and consider better alternatives because I bet there are some.
3) You Don’t Need To Find An Agent Or Publisher
In the past, needing to find an agent or publisher would have been a reasonable excuse. Although even then you could have written your book before reaching out to a literary agent or big publishing company.
But in 2016 it’s welcome to the world of self publishing, where publishing a book is easier, more flexible, and quicker than traditional publishing.
Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing makes publishing an ebook an easy task. Companies like CreateSpace and IngramSpark can turn your manuscript into a print-on-demand paperback, with no upfront cost or minimum copies ordered.
But you’ll get to the self publishing part after you write and edit your book. All you need to know is that you can self publish and there are tons of resources to walk you through it (including my own guide at the bottom of this post).
Follow the next step to just get started and leave these excuses behind.
Just Get Started Writing
When you look at a book as this giant mountain that requires around 25,000 words, hiring an editor, formatting, and self publishing, then it’s extremely intimidating and it’s hard to stay motivated.
In reality, experienced authors know the mental trick that takes them from a blank page to a published book. The trick is to look at a book as a bunch of writing put together.It’s only consistent days of writing for 60 minutes on top of each other for a month or two.
That’s what a book is, but most people only see the end product and fail to realize it.
It’s hard to have this perspective if you haven’t done it before, but that’s why I’m here.
Consider the picture of the trees at the start of this blog post. Does a tree start out in its infancy and get scared at how tall it has to grow so it gives up? No, it takes it day by day and grows as tall as it can.
So now that you know you don’t need permission, don’t need to quit your day job, don’t need to find an agent or publisher, and don’t need to be intimidated, you can get started writing a book.
Be like a tree, and let your book grow day by day.
Resources To Write Your Book
If you don’t have a book idea, the first thing I would do is go to the selfpublishingx.com homepage and get the PDF guide to finding your first book idea in under 15 minutes.
Once you accomplish that, the following posts will help you going forward to write and self publish your book:
- How to write a book
- How to get rid of writer’s block
- How to edit a book
- What makes a good book title
- How to self publish a book
- Self publishing formatting errors
Or you can leave a comment below with your specific question and I’ll be happy to respond to the best of my ability.
Work hard, stay positive, and I’m confident you’ll become an author.
Want the exact roadmap and an accountability partner to ensure you become an author in 12 weeks? You can hire me as your author coach.