06 Jun How Do You Write a Book?
“How Do You Write a Book?” Many people have a burning desire to write a book and do not know how to get started. My short answer to each of them: “Simply begin.” The common thread I find between those who actually become writers and those who are still struggling with the desire is this: The simple act of beginning. Taking that very first step of writing words – any words – down on paper.
Since I was 8 years old, I loved to write. It seems everywhere I looked I saw story possibilities. I often took the initiative to write them down. When I was in third grade I handwrote a neighborhood newspaper in pencil and sold copies door to door for ten cents each.
By the time I got to high school I began looking at the possibility of going to college to become a writer. After learning about the average wage of a writer, I thought about what other disciplines might use my writing skills. My life path took me into corporate marketing and I enjoyed a very successful career as a Vice President of Marketing for multi-million and multi-billion dollar corporations.
Since leaving the corporate world 4 years ago, I have had the privilege of becoming an author.
It seems that once you write a book, almost everyone has the same question for you and that is, “How Do You Write a Book? ”
To answer that question, let me start back at the beginning…….
When you think back to kindergarten and the teacher brought out the paints, what did you first learn to do? If you were like me, the first art project was finger painting. There was no set technique, no direction on what to specifically paint. The teacher put a blank sheet of paper in front of you, gave you some paint colors and using your own two hands, you simply began. The result may have been something only loved by you and your mom and dad, but that was all that mattered. You embraced the blank sheet in front of you and created your own unique masterpiece.
A great quote I love from Ernest Hemingway is that when he was asked about writing he said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is simply sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Don’t let this scare you. What I feel he meant was that as a writer you need to open yourself up to that vulnerable place where emotions have no barriers.
If you want to write a book, my simple advice is to forget about technicality and form. Simply begin by taking out a clean sheet of paper. Like you did in school, write your name at the top. And then start writing down what knowledge or insights you have to share, a story you have witnessed or lived through, or a fictional story that keeps running through your mind. Let the story or the knowledge pour out through you and on to the page. Do not worry about how it sounds, the technical aspects of writing or grammar. All of that can come later. Simply let the pen or pencil keep moving.on
All great things begin with one simple step. Take that first one now.