I usually ask them, “Why not get started?” Their answers vary, and one of the most common reasons for not writing a book is time, and number two is intimidation about actually getting it finished.
The most common question I am asked about fiction writing is, “How do I write a book?”
Sometimes the best way to write a book is to simply start writing. Think about the idea and get those words on the page.
The percentage of people who begin writing a book and finish it is a far smaller number than those who start writing a book. Computers around the world contain the first three chapters, or five chapters, of countless unfinished novels.
Maybe you are a rabid fiction fan and maybe there’s a story burning inside you. If you’re sitting there reading this and have wondered about writing a book, here are a few questions to ask yourself.
Why do I want to write this book? Maybe you want to be published. Maybe you write because you think you have a great idea you want to one day share with the world. You will need to find something to motivate you to keep at it, when life sidetracks you. Because the writers’ world does not contain many full-time writers. Most writers need to have another means of income to support themselves and their families (think: struggling artist). I guarantee you, even if you think you have three hours a day to put your hind end in a chair and your fingers on a keyboard, those three hours will evaporate faster than water in July in Texas. Find your why, and it will help you carve out time in the evenings, on the weekends, during a lunch break while your coworkers are advancing to the next level of Candy Crush.
Ask yourself: Am I an outliner, or a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants writer? Some writers need to outline, to find some kind of order to their story before they begin writing. Others find the need to jump into the story and start writing. And still others find they are a combination of the two. They need a basic idea to get started, but they also need the freedom to pull away from the story, if for a little bit, as they discover nuggets they didn’t expect when first starting out. I like to have a plan, but I’m also in that last group.But it feels like a school assignment, you’ve probably over-thought things.
What is stopping me from getting started? Like I said, even if you have three or four hours a day to devote to writing, anything and everything can and will come up to suck those precious seconds and minutes away. A phone call, an email, an appointment, a friend will call or stop by. There are dozens of other things that can pop up and you’ll find that chapter half-written, the outline or idea abandoned yet again. Clear away those obstacles and become jealous of the time you do have, and get started.
Now, I’ll take my own advice and go write another scene. I have a book to finish!