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Ten Writing Hacks from a Writing Coach

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

How to Write Your Book in 30-Days - With No Experience

As an author, writing coach and mentor, I hear from a lot of people that they want to write a book, or they once wanted to write one but gave up on the idea. Over the years I have gathered useful tips and writing hacks to make WRITING a no-brainer.

Laptop with blank screen and notes
From Unsplash

Did you know 83% of people want to write a book, but only 3% actually do?


I get it, we can’t all be writers. We also all can’t be Olympic athletes, rock stars, or pro basketball players. Because you can’t be world champion or get paid millions of dollars for something you want to do, should that stop you? NO.


If you have a story to tell - a life changing story - a pivot point in your life - a great BEFORE and AFTER tale - even a romance novel that may make me weak in the knees. What's stopping you? Most likely time, not knowing where to start, fear - or all of the above. That's why I'm here!

I’m giving away 10 WRITING HACKS to make you a WRITER —or a BETTER WRITER.

A sign on a desk with 10 Writing Hacks written on it
Authors Image from Canva

Here's the first five:


1. Most important, before you start — READ. Read books that are similar to your topic, and books you love. Notice what you love about them. What keeps you hooked. And what you don’t like about what you’re reading. Some people recommend you read at least 100 books. If you don’t like to read, you’re going to find it hard to write. I don’t want this step to stop you from writing. Start reading now. Pick up a magazine, a self-help book, your car manual. ANYTHING.


2. Do a rough outline of your book. I like to call these pillar points or chapters. KEEP IT SIMPLE. This is just to start and will get you thinking. You’ll use this tool to keep organized while you’re writing. You can print it out or write it out on index cards as a visual if you want.

Person walking up a mountain. Hero's Journey
Photo by Sam Mgrdichian on Unsplash

3. You have an outline! YAY. You know what this is? It’s your HERO’S journey. Your hero (doesn’t have to be a literal person) needs to have a place that sets it in motion — the INSISGHTING INCEDENT. Typically this is found around the 2nd or 3rd chapter, depending upon how long your book is and how short or long your chapters are. Page 20 or so. Does your INSISGHTING INCEDENT happen here? If not — add it in. Even a self-help book has a hero's journey. It's how YOU want your reader to connect so they will MOVE forward, learn, and change.


4. What do you want to do with your book once it’s done? Is it for you? Do you want to find an agent? Do you want a small press or publish independently? Why is this important? WORD COUNT You’ll need to establish this so you know how much to write. To find word counts, you can do an internet search for books like yours. For example, my last book was a young adult contemporary novel, that I wanted to traditionally publish with a literary agent. The word count needed to be 60,000–85,000 words. Because I independently published, I had the lower end of 60,000 words.

Old typewriter with blank page
Author's Image from Canva

5. Now you have your outline, your hero’s journey and your estimated word count. Now guess what you do? WRITE. Using your outline start to fill in. Don’t edit. Just write. Sounds simple doesn’t it? This is one of the biggest things to overcome, the actual writing. It is going to be crappy. And that’s ok. Don’t JUDGE yourself here. The object is to get it out on paper. Missed something on your outline? IT’s OK. Add it in.


I have a secret for you — all writers, even those of us who’ve been writing for years, write CRAPPY FIRST drafts. We all think we suck. We judge our writing and get frustrated. If it happens to you, its 100% normal. Just remember your first draft doesn’t have to be a New York Times Best Seller, that only happens on TV or in Hallmark Channel movies.

 

If you're thinking about a project or you've already started a project - consider coming to

PAPER TRAIL a Virtual Co-Working Space for Non-Writers and Writers on JUNE 5th at 7pm EST.

IT'S FREE.

 


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