COVID-19 has all of us picking up new hobbies. If you’ve always wanted to write a book, here’s how.
- Carve out time to write and actually start writing. This doesn’t have to be an entire day or even an entire afternoon. If you have a free hour after dinner or in the morning when you would otherwise be commuting, use that time to write. Don’t worry about perfection, just get your thoughts down.
- Remember there’s no “right way” to write a book. Some people plan out plots and characters for an entire piece before they start writing, others just wing it. Whether you have a fully formed idea in your head or are just tapping into your creative reserves, don’t stress about doing it wrong.
- Reach out to people. If you’re feeling stuck or unsure about your next project, reach out to friends, family, and other writers for their advice. They are great sources of inspiration and can offer a “clean slate” view of your ideas.
- Read! Reading helps you learn about how others write and define your own style. Think about what you love about your favorite books and what you didn’t like about that last novel you read. Seeking influence from other writers doesn’t make you a copier, it helps you access your own creative voice.
- Take criticism gracefully. Nobody writes a perfect first draft. Reach out to colleagues, friends, or a writing group for feedback. Other readers will offer suggestions you never even thought about because they are reading your work organically for the first time. Try and seek out a variety of opinions. It’s not always easy to write characters that don’t mirror our own background and culture, so ask for feedback from a diverse audience.
- Believe you are a real writer. At the end of the day, the biggest thing holding you back is your own opinion of the quality of your work. Tell yourself your writing is important and worthy of production and set a timeline for yourself. A real writer is anyone who puts pen to paper, so get going!
As the saying goes, we all have a book inside of us. If you want to put your story into words, don’t let hesitation or fear hold you back. The first step to the next great American novel is sitting down and starting.