OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
Here are some questions that have been sent in by readers.
How does one find the time between work, family, and other commitments to write the book one wants to write?
This is one of the most common questions asked, and basically there is only one answer.
There is not enough time to do everything, so what are you going to give up in order to write your book?
I personally went down to working 4 days per week, plus gave up TV ( I do download shows from iTunes but it cuts out watching crap!). I also have very little social life, but am a happy hermit! Here are some more ideas for finding time. Here is a free audio on Beating Procrastination.
What is your inspiration that keeps you moving towards finishing your book? I've got lots of “chunks” of text that i need to assemble into a coherent title (or series of titles).
The only thing that can keep you moving is wanting to achieve the goal of writing your book. Much of the ‘assembly' can be boring but you have to push through that. Persistence and discipline have to be the hallmarks of anyone successful at anything. Here is some more help:
- Audio: How to write your first book (an interview with me)
- Free workbook: How to be an author – includes stuff on putting the writing together
I've almost finished my 1st draft, what do I do next?
“Writing a book is rewriting”, I think Michael Crichton said that, but many other writers will say the same thing. The first draft is just the very start, but at least it gives you the rough material to work with. From here, you need to think about the following:
- Rewriting, editing, proof-reading and rewriting cycle – here is a great post on different types of editing from Self Publishing Review. Whether you are going to submit to an agent, or going down the self-publishing route, you need to go through editing and rewriting to make the book as good as it can be. Yes, you will be sick of it, but it will be a better product. I have hired editors before to get a professional viewpoint.
- Your publishing options. Since you will have a finished manuscript after editing, you need to consider publishing options. Here are couple of free audios to help you: Traditional publishing process with Julia McCutchen , and Q&A on self publishing with indie author, April Hamilton.
- Book marketing. You need to start building relationships online and getting yourself out there in order to have a market there when your book is ready. Agents and publishers want this, and you also need it for self-publishing. Mega publisher Simon & Schuster say authors should blog, social network and use video these days, so there is no longer a choice to only write these days.
Short Story markets. For question #–I'm a short story writer and would be interested in doing an anthology.
Here is a post I have written on finding short story markets on twitter. I hope that helps get you started!
Image: Flickr CC Oberazzi