How To Write A Book And Change Your Life

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Writing a book can change your life …

… whatever genre it is or whoever it is written for. If you want to take writing more seriously, it can become your career, as it has done for me.

Here are some key articles and resources on writing based on frequently asked questions and my own experiences.

There are some aspects of writing that are the same for all genres, but some that are different for fiction and non-fiction below. Just click on the links under the headings to find out more.

You can also check out the recommended books for writers here.

Writing tips for all genres

How to Find Time to Write

I like writing in cafes 🙂

Self-doubt and Imposter Syndrome

You Have Permission

On Writing And The Fear Of Judgment

What is your Definition of Success as a Writer?

How To Write More And Create A Daily Writing Habit

How to Use Dictation to Write Faster and Become a Healthier Writer

Using Different Author Names or a Pseudonym as a Writer

How to Write the First Draft of your Novel

How to Write the First Draft of your Non-Fiction Book

Finding the Time and Discipline to Write

How do I find my writing voice?

Comparisonitis or “Everyone Else Is Better Than Me”

Creativity: Think Long Term. Create a Body of Work

Specific resources for writing fiction and non-fiction

Editing your book

Editing, revisions and proofreading: What happens after the first draft?

How to Find and Work With a Professional Editor

Tutorial: How to Improve your Writing with Grammarly 

My list of recommended editors

Mindset for writers

Feel like you’re on a rollercoaster creative journey? Don’t worry. You’re not alone. Click here or on the image below for a resource page on the mindset issues around being a writer.

Need more help?

If you’d like some more help on your author journey, check out:











View Comments (51)

  • Hi-thank you for the great information on your website. I really enjoying reading your comments as they are very helpful. Do you know of any graphic artists/illustrator? If so, can you please provide their contact information?

  • Thank You Joanna for this information. It helps me to motivate myself on writing my stories and hopefully someday a novel for young readers. I have always enjoyed reading, writing and illustrating. My dream is to get started on writing a children's book and illustrating it. I feel discouraged when I get writers block which discourages me from finishing a story that I have started. I write in a journal on a daily basis and also fit in some drawing time to calm my mind down if I feel stressed out. Writing has helped me through some difficult times in my life. If I miss a journal entry for a day I feel that my day is complete until I write.
    You have a positive attitude. I want to thank you for sharing this site and giving me hope of maybe having a writing career.

  • Hello Joanna I am feeling a little bit nervous about the question I wish to put to you. I have just this week started my writing journey and it is full of excitement , fear and worry. With this I have started to write my first draft of a novel or series of books. The story is great in my mind but should I be scared? I consider my self not to be highly educated neither an expert in the English language. At school I struggled in most subjects, resulting in poor grades, my punctuation is not the best I feel and I can't help wondering if anyone can write IE ME ! The one thing that I do believe that I have is a great imagination and a desire to learn and change as a person. I no longer want to be a bricklayer but a writer instead.

    I should mention that only last year I took courses in English Maths and IT and gained a level 2 grade from Learn Direct. This has given me some confidence but sometimes I feel like my former self. Thank you and take care!

      • Thank you Joanna the article was Wonderful to read and a good confidence booster. So with this I'm going to continue writing and remember the quote at the start of the article. Page 8 here we come! Silvia my Protagonist is becoming more real if she could speak she would like to say hello! Take care Joanna, I'm off to amazon to buy a Penn.

  • Daniel I'm also writing a book and would like to recommend a very good book by Jack Canfield, called The Success Principles. It's a real confidence booster. (I'm not affiliated with it!) There are also some great books on grammar which will help you brush up. I've learnt loads from Joanna's site and listen to her podcasts too. Good luck :)

    • Thank you Caroline, I will try and get the Jack Canfield book as suggested , I'm always open minded to get advice. I would also like to wish you good luck with your book , perhaps you could let me know how things are going . Take care! :-)

  • I got into The Creative Penn after reading Pentecost for my review site. I then found my way to Joanna's website and have been catching up on the podcasts and I must say I do have the urge to see what would happen if I attempted writing a novel instead of reviewing them!
    I wish all of you attempting it or in the throws of writing it all the best, you can't go wrong with the wealth of information Joanna has on this site. Once I have saved up the money I shall be buying what I can A for the information included but B to support Joanna.
    Thanks for all the hard work and effort that goes into the site and for three excellent novels (although you know I wish they were a little longer!)

  • Dear Joanna -

    I want to tell you that I recently discovered you on Youtube. Your videos are always informative and a bit entertaining. I subscribed to your Youtube Channel. Now I'm subscribing to one of your blogs!

    I will be publishing my first eBook to Amazon's KDP in either mid June or early July 2013. I'm looking for multiple paid and free ways to promote the eBook. I recently went to the YA book directory site. They have way too many bloggers to choose from! What YA blogger and/or reviewer could you recommend that I get in touch with to promote the book?

    Keep the Youtube videos coming!

    Yours in publishing and promoting success -

    Tony Miller
    Author of the YA Novella, "The Fanatic"

    • Hi Tony - you need to plough through all the reviewers to work out who would be best for your book. You can also google book reviews for similar books to yours and then see who reviewed them.

  • Dear joanna Penn,
    Hi, I am from India but living in Saudi Arab. I know Hindi language, I have self write books in Hindi (Language). so please guide me how i can e published my book?
    A khan

  • Hi Joanna,

    First heard of you through Al Humphreys. I was amused to hear that his mum typed-up his travel journals! I tried to get mine to do the same, alas she is yet to capitulate to my demands and it looks like I'll have to unravel my own scrawl.

    Thanks for sharing this great list of resources. I'll dipping in and out of as my writing bounds across genres.

  • Hi Joanna,

    First heard of you through Al Humphreys. I was amused to hear that his mum typed-up his travel journals! I tried to get mine to do the same, alas she is yet to capitulate to my demands and it looks like I'll have to unravel my own scrawl.

    Thanks for sharing this great list of resources.

  • Dear Joanna,
    Thank you for your valuable input. I, too, am a newly published first-time author. It took me from Christmas of 1995 to work on the entire series, but I finally managed to spread it out and make it a series. Other books (and genres) come to mind, as well, but that is neither here nor there. I shall bookmark your site and continue to do more than just browsing, but learn from it and your valuable insights.
    You can read the first five chapters of my novel "Pawns of Prophecy" on my facebook page under Writer's group. I'll be looking forward to hearing from you in the near future. Please stay in touch with me.
    Your's in "Penn"manship,
    Cathryn Jill Adams
    P.S. Cathryn Jill Adams is a pseudonym for my real name.