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Who Else Wants to Get Started Writing a Book

If you have been following this blog you know that you should not start writing your book until you have established an online presence.  If you have an established  blog, you know what your readers want, and you have defined your niche market. So what is the next step to get your book in print?

Make a commitment.
  • As with any goal you need to make a commitment to achieve the goal. If you don’t have a plan to get it done you may never even start it.
  • Decide on a time limit to you get your book done. It doesn’t matter if you set your goal for 2 months, or 6 months you will need to make a commitment to begin. After you determine your timeline you can set up a weekly or daily writing goal.  How many pages will you need to get done each week to meet your goal? How many hours can you devote to writing? Is your goal realistic?  For example; a little book is approximately 6800 words. If you write 600 words a week you can have your book done in 3 months.  
  • To stay on track you may need a goal buddy.  Find someone that will hold you accountable. Send them what you have written on a scheduled timeline. It could be hard to find someone else that is writing a book at the exact same time so your goal buddy could have completely different goals.

Writing tools that may be helpful

For your outline
  • Many people use note cards to outline their book. When you do your research you write your notes and references on note cards.  After you have taken your notes you can organize the cards into piles. Each pile can be a chapter in your book.
  • I prefer to use mindmapping because you can visually see the information. There are several services you can use. 
  • is a free online service that is easy to use.  The advantage is that you can store the map online. You can easily share your outline with someone else if you are doing a joint brainstorming session.
  • MindApp has free basic download and an premium upgrade. (I am not an affiliate). The disadvantage is that you have to use the same computer to work on your outline. The advantage is it has a feature that allows you to easily add pictures, links and notes.
  Document storage
  • I keep my documents on google docs. The benefit is that you can access the documents from any computer. After losing a nearly completed manuscript, I always keep my important documents online.  
    • Google docs has some neat features. If you type a website it will automatically add the hyperlink to the document.
    • You can make templates and graphs that can be easily added to your manuscript or blog.
    • You can share your documents easily with someone that has google docs.
  • Evernote is another good place to store your documents. I use it mainly to keep track of my research. I like to search topics then organize the information in a file before making my outline. It also has an application for the android and iphone. It is a good place to store passwords that you may need to access when you are not near your office.

Establish an online presence.
Make a commitment with a time line to complete your book.
Have a goal buddy to keep you accountable.
Find writing tools that work for you.
Establish a publishing team to help you get your manuscript in print
Related posts
7 Reasons you Should Wait to Write a Book
10 Signs you are Ready to Write a Book

What do you do to keep your commitments to your goals?

What tools have you found helpful?

Reader Comments (15)

Hi Julia, very well written blog. You're tips are easy to understand and are helpful to keep you on task. I'm not a writer, but I'm sure most writers will find this post extremely valuable.

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris L Wagner

Thanks for the great links to on-line resources. I'm interested in doing some mindmaps. Also, I've never used Google docs but will check it out. Highly practical information!

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJudy Stone-Goldman

Great post, Julia, and something I will keep as a reference for when I decide I am ready to write a book; I think that part of the reason I have not yet done anything about my desire to write is that I have not focused on it enough to make it a has just been a loose cannon in my mind, rolling around and sometimes visible, sometimes not. I like the process of setting a goal and committing to it and then having someone hold you accountable. Thank you for sharing your expertise in this area!

September 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDonna McCord

I have a story in my head that's been rattling around in there for years now. Recently I got as far as putting down an ordered list of prompts to outline the course of the story, which is something I often do when writing longer content or blog posts. I find that if you ignore the story and just get the important actions and subjects down in order first, it become almost simple to flesh the rest of it out later.

Always on the lookout for still more tips and as usual you deliver Julia.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Novak

I'm still at the first step, but eventually I'd like to write a book. I love the "instruction manual" you've provided here. BTW, thank you for your advice for my daughter.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPat Zahn

Great information put away, so if I do decide to write a book, I'll do it the right way!

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJean Bentley

So much information here, Julia! I love the mindmapping programs for big projects (like the never-to-be-finished novels!). Really keeps characters & plot-lines organized.
Another way to insure you don't lose an entire manuscript, is to simply email completed work to yourself. If your computer crashes, you can still always access your email. :)

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi Alberti & Atticus

I think people get freaked out when thinking about writing a book. But I think that is because they are looking at it as one big global project rather than many simple steps. If they realized that they don't have to do everything at once, but can take a step at a time, it becomes a much simpler task! You have provided a great outline for those simpler, smaller steps. Nice way to take the fear and 'hugeness' out of writing a book. (And of course, people could always start with a little book!)

Candace Davenport ~ Little Books with a Big Message

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCandace C. Davenport

I've never thought of writing a book but actually I think I can apply most of your tips to blogging. I use Evernote and love how it keeps everything organized and searchable. Thanks for the mind mapping suggestions...I'm going to check them out.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDarcie Newton

So much great information! I have a book in mind and this just may be the "nudge" I need to get started.


September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMerlyn Sanchez

Chock full of information. I have labored under the misconception that a creative process does not have to be undertaken in a systematized, organized fashion. These are some great tips. Thanks you.

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBill Browning

Great tips. Thanks for sharing the tools and resources for mid mapping and organizing the content. I especially appreciate your consistent advice on how to prepare to write a book and do it the right way. There are so many people out there telling people they can write a book in a weekend or a week and then self publish ... but my questions is, "Will it actually be good?"

I run into the same issue with websites and the glut of people that now offer to create your website for $500 in a couple days by throwing up a cheap non-branded template ... and then the client wonders why it doesn't work.

You've got to do the planning, research, and preparation first to create a quality product - same with a book and with design.

Good job!

Jennifer Bourn, Online Marketing Acceleration Strategist
Bourn Creative LLC |

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Bourn

Julia, good points. I've know a lot of writers. Comes from living a long time in Iowa City. I think you've hit the key points of what I have heard many times. So far, I've resisted having the urge to write a book. But you never know.

Thanks for Evernote. I use Freemind for mind mapping. I'll look at the others. I had considered Mind42 for online but haven't needed it. We use Google Docs all the time.

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Cavitt

Fabulous tools to get one started on that one book we all have within us. I like the idea of having a goal buddy. Definitely makes writing sense.
Has a correlation to how I set up my designs for clients. Actually I should use a mind map for that too. So much easier to put thoughts out.

Jen Duchene
The Home Makeover Mixtress blending cool & cozy style.

September 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Duchene

Sorry, but since you can't spell 'summary,' I'm not interested. Editing is a crucial part of the process and should be used before publication.

October 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaurel

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