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How To Write a Book When You're Just Getting Started

THREE Things You’ll Want to Remember When Writing Your Book

Thinking about writing a book.
Getting Started Writing a Book

New writers often ask me, “How do I start?” My answer is always simple –just start. I’ll immediately get a confused look from them.

So, I’ll explain. The only way you’ll get words on paper is if you actually physically start. Just write. Don’t worry about if it’s the RIGHT sentence or the right place to start. The chances are 99.9% it’s not; your first page, pages, or chapter may go in the trash.

This advice is for anyone writing a book, a poem, a short story, song lyrics. It doesn't matter. The advice works for all.


This is often followed by a look of panic or fear.

If you’re going to be a writer, you MUST know a few things.

1) There is no wrong or right way to write. There is your way.

2) You’re going to need a thick skin.

3) Never, ever, ever edit while you’re writing your first draft. The first draft is crap. Always.

That’s my top three tips.

I can’t tell you HOW to write your story. Why? Because it’s yours. It’s your emotions, your feelings, your thoughts, your characters. I can only tell you if the reader connects if the story resonates, if I find your use of adverbs lazy.

Writing a first draft.
Write a crappy first draft. Don't edit.

I can tell you if you’re missing the tension and you haven’t gone DEEP enough or far enough.

All those come from you.

Your skin needs to be thick, but you must also keep yourself open to listening to feedback and advice. Take what works and leave what doesn’t. It’s not personal. And if someone does make it personal, kick them out of your inner circle.

When it comes to getting published, you’ll get A LOT of rejection. Again, not personal. Writing and publishing are a BIG industry.

Never edit while you write. THIS IS 100% true. You will never finish if you do this.

Your first draft is for you. It’s how you get what’s in your heart and head on paper. If you expect it to be perfect, to find the exact words for each sentence – you’re only going to make life hard. You’ll quit the draft by chapter three.

Like Stephen King said.

When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you REWRITE, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.” Stephen King, On Writing
Writer on Writing
Quote by Stephen King

And Anne Lamott

“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something — anything — down on paper. What I’ve learned to do when I sit down to work on a shitty first draft is to quiet the voices in my head..” Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

Bird by Bird
Quote by Anne Lamott

PRO TIP - both Stephen King's book Writer's on Writing, and Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird are wonderful introductions into the writing world. I recommend along with The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.

Remember it's your PATH - no one else can write it but you!

So start the damn book. Write that shitty first draft. You are a BADASS.


Have you considered working with a book coach? A book coach can walk you through getting started, through plot holes, focus, and writer's block.

I have several programs available--let's chat and discover which is a good fit for you.

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