12 Essential Reminders for Anyone Getting Ready to Start Writing a Book

Some things you might need to hear before you dive in.

1. Writing a book is typically a long and sometimes overwhelming process. Take your story one small piece (chapter, page, paragraph) at a time.

2. Reading other books as you write yours is actually a great way to stay motivated and keep the ideas flowing. You’re not “stealing” ideas from other stories when a book inspires you to create something of your own.

3. Charge your Bluetooth keyboard every night while you’re sleeping, for the love of God.

4. The first draft doesn’t have to be perfect.

5. Writing a “bad” story means you’re one step closer to writing a really, really good one.

6. Set a “start date” and a date you’d ideally like to be finished by, and take your writing one day at a time. This just increases your chances of actually starting and finishing it — it’s not SUPPOSED to put too much pressure on you, but hey, maybe you need that.

7. People are allowed to ask you about it, but you’re under no obligation to talk about it if you aren’t ready.

8. It’s OK to bounce ideas off other writers, but you can pick and choose which feedback and advice you take away from these conversations. In the end, it’s still your story — write it however you want.

9. If you’re ever feeling stuck, think of the most outrageous turn your story could take and take it there. You never know where it might lead you.

10. You don’t have to write a good story. You just have to write a story you can go back and improve.

11. Revisions will be necessary. Don’t worry about them yet. Write the book first.

12. At the end of all this, you’ll be able to say you wrote a book. And that’s pretty sweet, don’t you think?


Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.


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