How to Start Your Book Idea: 10 Creative Ways to Begin WritingOct 16, 2023
Do you have a great story within you, but are not certain how to begin writing? Here are some tips from your Herd at WPC to help you find inspiration in sharing your words.
- Write a book based on your personal experiences or passions.
If you write about a topic you know, love, or already teach to others, the words should come to you easily, plus your knowledge and joy should translate to the reader. This can make the writing process more enjoyable and help build a stronger connection with readers who share your interests.
Did you have an amazing adventure to a faraway place? Perhaps you have a unique skill set that could be useful to others learning a new industry. Draw from these areas of your experience for a great story. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Do you have a hobby or activity that gets you really excited? This could be something like traveling, cooking, gardening, or sports. Start freewriting about your favorite recipe, harvesting routine, or game you played, and see what comes out on the page. Do not worry about perfection, test your flow and edit later.
- Has your personal story had interesting character arcs? Would sharing ways you grew or healed or leveled up be helpful for readers? Write about it! This could be a memoir about your life experiences or a self-help book based on your own personal growth.
- Did you dedicate years to researching a topic or are you very knowledgeable in a particular field? Why not create an instructional manual, workbook, or guide? This could be something you have studied extensively or a subject that you have a lot of practical experience with. You never know who will need a book on your niche topic until you test the market.
- You could share your insights and perspectives on a particular issue or problem that you have encountered in your life. This could be a social or political issue, or something more personal like mental health or managing relationships.
- Writing about a person, place, or thing that holds special meaning for you can simplify the process. This could be a place you have lived, a family history, or a horse you trained since it was a foal that had a significant impact on you.
Remember, the most important thing is to choose a topic that you are genuinely interested in and that you feel passionate about. This will help you stay motivated and engaged as you write your book.
- Set specific writing goals and deadlines to keep yourself on track.
This might include writing a certain number of words or pages each day or week or completing a certain number of chapters by a certain date.
There are many tools and resources available, many of them free or low cost, to help you stay on track with your writing goals. Here are a few options to look into:
- Writing software: There are many programs available that can help you organize your writing, track your progress, and stay focused. Some popular options include Scrivener, Freedom, and Ulysses.
- Project management tools: Project management tools like Trello, Asana, and Basecamp can help you organize your writing tasks, set deadlines, maintain your contacts, and track your progress.
- Time tracking and productivity apps: Apps like Toggl, Clockify, and Forest can help you track the time you spend writing and identify any distractions that are hindering your productivity.
- Writing prompts and exercises: There are many websites and books that offer writing prompts and exercises to help you get started and stay inspired. These can be especially helpful when you're feeling stuck or suffering from writer’s block.
- Communities and forums: Joining a writing community or forum can be a great way to connect with other writers and get feedback and support. There are many online communities (many on popular social media apps) and forums dedicated to writing. If preferred, you can also join in-person writing groups or workshops.
Remember, the key is to find the tools and resources that work best for you and your writing style. Experiment with different options and see what sticks.
- Join a group or workshop for feedback and accountability buddies.
When looking to join a writers' group, there are several elements you should consider:
- Compatibility: It's important to find a group that is a good fit for your style and goals. Look for groups that focus on the genre or type of writing that you are interested in, and consider the level of experience and expertise of the other members. These genres could be as broad as fiction/non-fiction or as niche as a field of study like predictive analytics.
- Meeting schedule and location: Consider the frequency and timing of the group's meetings. Are they convenient for you to attend? Will you be able to commit to the schedule? Be realistic when considering the time and travel commitment. If you prefer an online group, consider the platform they use and whether it is user-friendly.
- Size and structure: Think about whether you prefer a larger or smaller group, and whether you would feel more comfortable in a more structured or unstructured setting.
- Feedback and support: Consider the type of feedback and support the group provides. Do they offer constructive criticism, or just praise? Do they offer support and encouragement, or just focus on the writing itself?
Ultimately, the most important thing is to find a group that you feel comfortable in and that helps you grow as a writer. It may take some trial and error to find the right group for you, but it's worth the effort. Don’t get discouraged if your first attempts aren’t fruitful. Whatever your preferences are, most likely there is an option that will check a lot of your boxes.
- Consider hiring a writing coach or mentor to offer you valuable guidance and help you stay on track to help you stay focused and get valuable advice on your writing.
When considering hiring a writing coach, there are several important things to consider:
Expertise and experience: Look for a coach who has expertise and experience in your genre or topic, as well as a strong track record of helping writers improve their craft. Many coaches offer free consultations to see if you are a good fit for each other.
- Coaching style: Consider the coaching style of the potential mentor. Do they use a more deep dive approach, or give more general guidance? Do they provide feedback and critiques, or do they focus more on goal-setting and accountability? Your work will be under a critical eye at some point in your career, it may be best to start practicing with a trusted mentor to prepare for the literary world.
- Fees and availability: Consider the fees and availability of the coach. Are their rates reasonable and within your budget? Are they available for regular check-ins and support, or do they offer more occasional consultations?
Ultimately, the most important thing is to find a coach who is a good fit for you, and who can help you achieve the results you want. As with groups, It may be helpful to talk to multiple coaches and see who you feel the most comfortable and confident working with.
- Take breaks to recharge and avoid burnout.
It's important to take care of yourself as you work on your book. Stepping away for a few days and returning with a fresh view can make a huge difference. We too often read on auto-pilot and miss errors or cannot think of a new way for the hero of our story to move forward.
Speaking of taking breaks, now would be a great time to stop reading this blog and start your own writing. Check back with us soon for the other half of our handy tips and tricks. Until then, we hope you run wild and have fun with your storytelling adventure and you may want to check out our free download, “Where do Stories Come From” which you can grab here.
See you soon, Beesties.