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Write a Book One Chapter at a Time

Mar 14, 2008
Do you want to write a book, yet you are not sure how to get started? You may have some concerns that you tried before and after writing a few pages you got stuck and stopped.

Many new writers feel this way especially when you are an entrepreneur with a busy schedule and writing is not the primary way you make money. You make your money with your products and services that you offer your customers.

What is an entrepreneur to do? If you have a book out there you will be recognized as an expert in your field. You will attract new clients and build your business. This is what every business owner wants. More important, you have a great book idea that will help solve problems for your readers and potential clients and you are the expert.

What is stopping you from writing a book? For most new writers it is a lack of preparation, organization, good writing habits, and most important very little passion to write. Let's get started and create some new good writing habits that will motivate you to write a book and keep on going.

1. Know the purpose/theme of your book.

You probably know why you are writing your book. You should write your non-fiction how-to book because you have something important to say to your clients and readers. Know the purpose of your book. What are you going to persuade your readers to do or how can you solve their problems? Most important, you are confident that you can learn and find any information you need to write your book. You are passionate about your topic.

2. Write about personal experiences.

Begin a notebook that has your personal stories in it that relate to the book you are writing. Or start a list of stories on your computer. Also collect success stories on how you solved your customers' problems. (Remember to get their written permission if you use their real names in your book.) Your book will never be boring if it has lots of personal success stories and experiences in it. You could also use stories you read in the newspapers and business magazines -just make sure you give credit and get permission to use them. Also talk to other people about your book. They may give you ideas and they will be your cheerleaders during your writing adventure.

3. Write an outline of your book.

Now that you have a winning topic you must outline your book so you know where you are going. The more detailed your outline the easier it will be to write your book. For each chapter there is 1) a main topic, 2) sub-points, and 3) a concluding summary paragraph or two. Begin making a list of each chapter and what points you are going to cover in each. Whether you use a computer or 3x5 index cards to organize your chapters is up to you.

4. Write one chapter a week.

You know your topic. You have done your research and you have your scribbled notes and ideas in a file or box waiting for you to pull them out and write those first words. Here is an important writing habit to start: Reserve time on your calendar to write at least five times a week. It could be 30 minutes a day, one hour, or devote a whole day to writing. One author devotes a whole weekend to writing one chapter. At the end of 90 days she has 12 chapters completed. Another devotes one hour per day. At the end of 90 days she also has 12 chapters finished. It can be done if you are committed to setting aside time, putting it on your calendar, and doing it. Discipline yourself to write on a daily schedule and reserve the time in your calendar. Or make it a habit to write one chapter each week. That is an easy way to measure your writing success and to finish your first draft in 90 days.

5. Record and transcribe one chapter at a time.

Talk into a tape recorder. Or better yet, ask a friend to talk to you on the phone and record the conversation. Usually a one-hour phone call equals enough for one chapter. Your one-hour phone call is devoted to one topic/chapter of your book. Your friend can ask you questions like a reader would and make sure you stay focused on the chapter you are recording. Or hire a book writing coach who knows all the right questions to ask and keeps you on target. Get your recording transcribed and you have the first draft of your chapter ready for your review. Isn't that easy? If you talk into a tape recorder by yourself have your outline notes ready on the chapter you want to discuss so you will stay on the chapter you are recording. Stop when you run out of ideas. Come back to it later when you are fresh and ready to go again.

Now you have five good writing habits to follow:

1) Know the purpose or theme of your book.
2) Use personal stories to keep interest.
3) Prepare an outline to make it easy to write.
4) Write one chapter per week.
5) Record and transcribe one chapter at a time.

If you follow these good writing habits you will breeze through your first draft and finish it in 90 days!

Copyright 2008, Joan Clout-Kruse.
About the Author
America's Book Coach, Joan Clout-Kruse, helps entrepreneurs and business professionals write a book that will get them recognized as an expert, attract more clients and boost their income. Sign up for the Free Sneak Preview of Joan's Writers Retreat where you'll learn how to write, market and publish your book at http://www.BizBookWritersRetreat.com
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