Everyone has a story to tell. We live in a time where writing a book and actually getting it published are not only attainable, but many people have found great success by sharing their stories. As an avid reader, author of Praise While You’re Pregnant: Connecting with God Though the Womb, a former English teacher of thirteen years, and a keen writing editor, coach, and consultant, I can share first-hand experience that you must have more than just a story to tell: you have to have the right tools to make your story come together.
You may be asking yourself, “Where do I start?” The answer is easy: begin by reading. Reading? Yes! In order to be a strong and effective writer, you must have exposure to writing written well. Consider reading different genres (categories) of books such as fiction, nonfiction, self-help, spiritual, inspirational, scientific, and more. The benefits of reading will help you build your vocabulary and expand your perspective to flex your creative skills. In simpler terms: the more you read, the better you write! And don’t worry about spending a lot of money on books unless you want to build a home library: you can get acquainted with your local library—they have a plethora of options (plethora means “a large or excessive amount”).
While you are growing by reading, you need to consider what story you want to focus on first. Many people claim to have multiple stories in their “head,” but keeping your ideas there won’t do you any good if you don’t get to writing them down and then deciding which story to start. I’m a purist: I love to write my ideas down in a notebook and then decide at a later time which story to craft. Writing down your ideas or using technology will free your mind from forgetting and it also allows your mind to have a “brain dump” where you release all of those best-seller book ideas so that your mind is free to focus on one story at a time. Simple take-away: write down your ideas so that you can focus on one book project at a time.
Once you’ve decided on what story you want to craft, do something that will not take your breath away: simply write what’s in your head down on paper or type on a computer (don’t forget to save). Write your story freely without being concerned about errors. Give yourself TIME to write. Write, write, and then write some more until you feel like your story is done. Remember: progress over perfection: your goal is to craft a unique story to share with others.
When you are done writing, give yourself some time to step away from it and breathe. Go back to reading, play a game of golf, walk, or do whatever you want… you get the idea. Then, come back to your story to review, revise, edit (or hire me to work with you), and polish your book before you prepare for publishing. Using these simple yet effective tips will enrich your story and put you on the pavement towards success. Happy Writing!