How to Start Writing a Book in 2023: Pen Down a Book in 8 Simple Steps

Writing a Book in Modern Era

Writing a book is the art of explaining the subject story to the audience. If you have ever found yourself thinking about becoming an author, I am sure it comes with some level of anxiety. After all, it is an intimidating process. There are all these ideas in your head, and now you have the chance of presenting these ideas to people all over the world. It is so incredibly exciting, but also so scary! What if you mess up? What if you sound like a fool?

Steps to Write a Book in 2023

But it really does not have to be that way!

You can follow these 8 best practices when you begin writing your book, and you can actually achieve your dream of being the author you have always wanted to be!

These are the 8 steps I will recommend you as an editor to start writing your first book:

    1. Set up a nice writing environment.
    2. Get into the habit of writing.
    3. Sketch out an outline.
    4. Just focus on writing.
    5. Remain focused.
    6. Plan out your schedule.
    7. Manage any distractions.
    8. Get to work! Just Start Writing!
8 Steps to Start Writing a Book - Editorial Guide to Write the book
8 Steps to Start Writing a Book – Editorial Guide to Write the book

As you actually get to the task of writing your book, you will figure out that it is not as easy as it looks. There are so many small obstacles and hurdles that you did not even know about, and it can really interfere with your work and cause anxiety and stress.

Most writers complain that when they open a fresh document on their laptops, they do not even know what to do. They are often faced with questions like:

  • How should I start writing a novel?
  • Should I start off with a blog?
  • Maybe I should make an outline first?

It should not be such a big deal, but a lot of people feel overwhelmed mainly because they are not sure of a proper writing process. This is where we can come in.

Step-by-Step Guide on Writing Your First Book

People have these grand ideas floating around in their creative minds, but they complain about feeling very demotivated when the time comes to actually begin writing. So you are really not alone. In fact, even very famous authors, who have already published books, can feel this way.

We are sharing some very simple but helpful techniques here, which should make the process a whole lot easier for you. This guide will go through all the steps that you need to take to prepare a proper game plan that can put all those thoughts you have onto paper.

Are you ready to become the next bestselling writer? Here we go!

The Editor’s Guide to Write a Book

If you are a newbie, please do not be intimidated. This process is not as difficult as it looks. Plus, you have this guide to go through, which talks about all the practices you need to adopt so that you can quickly become a published writer.

#1 – Set Up a Nice Writing Environment

Before you begin writing your book, you need to create an environment for yourself that is conducive to creativity and writing. You need a place that can allow you to remain focused on your work.

Different environments work for different people. Some authors say that they like working in noisy places with a lot of hustle and bustle, while others prefer to work in solitude. It really depends on what puts you into the proper flow.

One thing you should keep in mind is to stay away from messy environments. Sometimes you might think that you would work better in such an environment, but chances are that it is going to distract you from your actual work.

To set up the perfect environment, use these helpful tips:

      • Pull together what inspires you: Maybe you are inspired by quotes or works of art. Put those up all around your working space.
      • De-clutter your area: Clear spaces can help people in feeling more organized and can also declutter their thoughts.
      • Flexibility is helpful: You do not always have to work in the same space. Some of the best authors often mention how they found their most creative ideas in the strangest of places.
      • Invest in a calendar: It is important to set proper goals for each day or week, and you can do that easily if you have a calendar that you can fill in. Keep in mind that if you schedule something properly, you are more likely to get done with that particular task.
      • Pull together a playlist that inspires you: People have some type of music that gets the creative juices flowing. Think about tracks that make you feel better or more in control or those that help you focus better on your work. You can make a bunch of different playlists that cater to different moods so that you have one to rely on each day!
      • Be flexible in your locations: Switch around your workspaces to see if different spots make you more creative. You could try working from the bed or from the neighborhood coffee shop. If you feel stuck, one of the best ways to freshen things up a little is by changing up your workspace.

We have more helpful tips here that can get you started on your book and create a nice workspace:

Book Writing Tips How to make this happen
Minimize Any Distractions – find yourself a secluded spot
– tell everyone that it is your writing time
– switch off your phone
– exit all social media
– ignore your email
Get Comfy – get yourself a comfortable chair
– if you get bored, get a stand-up desk
– surround yourself with motivating quotes and sayings
– make sure that you won’t be distracted or uncomfortable for 30 minutes to one hour at a stretch
Think About Background Noise – switch off devices that have distracting noises
– put on some tunes without lyrics
– add some songs to pump you up

#2 – Get Into the Habit of Writing

Most people fail to become authors because they end up never finishing the book they had wanted to publish. And there is only one reason why that happens: they do not have a good habit of writing.

It’s natural to feel overwhelmed when you are writing, but you need to keep in mind that the journey has to start somewhere, no matter how long it is. So you absolutely need to take action.

One thing that you could do to develop this habit is to schedule some time each day to write. Having a routine can really help you in making progress.

Most people who make a proper schedule end up feeling much better about their approach to work. They also feel much more in the flow.

In order to develop a healthy habit, you will also have to think about the word count that you need to accomplish in each writing session to make sure that you are on track to meet the goals you have set for yourself.

You can check out this easy calculator that figures out the number of words and pages you need to finish in each session when planning out your schedule:

Before you begin to feel stressed at the thought of all the work that you need to do, pause for a second. You do not need to go big on the very first day. There will be plenty of time to pen down all your thoughts, so you can begin by putting down some words, sentences, or a couple of paragraphs.

The main idea here is that you should devote some time to writing each day until it becomes part of your routine. That is when you know that your habit has set in.

#3 – Sketch Out an Outline

Before you begin working on your book, create a rough outline. This will help you clear your thoughts and give direction to the story. It can serve as the roadmap of the book and will help you keep track. Using an outline is a helpful way of making sure that all the ideas have been included and that, too, in a very natural flow. Plus, a lot of writers also claim that it helps them write much faster.

There are several kinds of outlines that writers can use.

We personally recommend that you start off with using a mindmap outline, after which you can move to another method called a sticky note, which a lot of our students claim has been a helpful combination.

If you ever feel stuck or get writer’s block, an easy way of fixing that is going back to the outline to figure out what you had planned next for your book. Whether you are writing a short novel or a book of over 500 pages, this method is going to work in all cases as it gives you an idea of the holistic picture.

If this still does not make a lot of sense and you find yourself struggling with sketching out the outline, you can use this video:

Here are some simple steps that you can use when sketching out your book’s outline:

      1. Start off with brainstorming: Make a list of all the ideas and thoughts you have for your book using a mind map.
      2. Next comes an organization: Bring together all your ideas.
      3. Add some order to your thoughts: An easy way of doing it is by bunching together your specific thoughts and your general thoughts.
      4. Create labels: Jot down the main headings and the subheadings, which you can then write under.

Action Step:
You should give your outline some time so that you have a good start to your book. You can go through our guide if you need help in writing this.

#4 – Just Focus on Writing

A common problem faced by writers is that they delve into several projects all at once because they are chockful of amazing ideas for their book, even though they would be better off focusing just on one idea.

Even though you might think that you can manage a whole bunch of things together, dividing your attention means that you are investing your energy in bits and pieces, rather than working on one project and seeing it through to completion.

We call this the fascinating new idea syndrome, and we have all been there!

Because we have all been there, we also have a solution to it: declutter your mind, and just focus on writing the book until you are finished with it.

To fully commit to your book, keep in mind the following tips:

      • Figure out your book’s action plan, which can help you in breaking down the book into smaller tasks, which makes it easier to complete.
      • Give yourself a deadline for each part of the book.
      • Even if you have to turn down other opportunities, consider it a worthy investment that you are making into your book project.

Action Step:

You have to come up with your book’s action plan and be fully committed to it. You might have to turn down other opportunities, and that is okay. In the long run, you will be better off if you have one bestselling novel, as compared to two books that do not do well.

#5 – Remain Focused

After you have started working on your book, it is important for you to maintain your focus while you are writing. If you get disturbed during this time, it can impact your train of thought. As a result, your writing will suffer.

It is very normal for us to lose efficiency when we get distracted by something. As a result, a simple task might take us double the time to complete.

But it is also natural for this to happen a few times. After all, you cannot lock yourself up in isolation for a few months to finish your book. Luckily, there are some effective techniques aimed at remaining focused on our work.

You can use the following tips to prevent yourself from getting distracted and remain focused:

      • Come up with a schedule: You have to put aside a certain time of the day for your writing session each day. This will allow you to get into the habit of writing.
      • Try a technique called the Pomodoro Technique: This is a technique that focuses on time management, which encourages people to break down their work into smaller tasks. So you work in intervals that are followed by brief breaks. When you put yourself on the clock like this, you automatically start paying more attention to getting this work done, as opposed to checking your social media or email all the time.
      • Switch off the phone: Truth be told, mobile phones are addictive, and our attention keeps flickering back to them. Please do not let a small device take away your precious time. It is better if you switch it off. If you feel like that is not an option, then you can consider downloading an app or writing software, which sets limits to which apps you can access or how much time you can spend using one app.
      • Take advantage of task management apps: Lots of different apps exist, such as Todoist. These apps help people in organizing their tasks according to priority and time available, so you will know what has to be done and when it has to be done.
      • Go offline: Ultimately, the biggest distractions come from the internet. A new window pop-up and our attention get diverted there. Then there are countless chat messages and Facebook notifications and whatnot. The best way to cut out these distractions is to simply go offline for a while.

Action Step:

Try to use a mixture of these strategies aimed at increasing productivity levels so that you can get into the proper flow of your writing. These techniques can help people in becoming more efficient and get the same task done half the time.

#6 – Plan Book Writing Schedule

A very well-known comedian, call Jerry Seinfeld, says that the reason he has been so successful is that he has a very good habit of writing. He often gets asked how he comes up with such amazing content, to which he said that to be a good comedian he had to come up with good jokes, and the only way that could be done was to take out time to write a day.

He uses what is called “Calendar Method” or “Don’t Break the Chain”. Given his success, his method is worth checking out:

      • Buy a calendar and put it up on the wall.
      • Each day, after you have done your writing session, draw a small X on it. By the week’s end, your calendar should bear an entire row of these crosses.
      • In case a day gets missed, you need to start all over again and see if you are able to continue without breaking this chain.

The longer your chain remains unbroken, the quicker your book will be ready!

Action Step:

Try to use this “Calendar Method” by getting a calendar. It will allow you to keep yourself accountable, which can increase productivity. Try not to break your chain of crosses!

#7 – Manage Your Distractions

Distractions can really interrupt your flow of writing. One of the most common distractions is simple resistance. It is an obstacle that can really come in the way of our work because we are fearful of what will happen when we actually start writing. This fear becomes so debilitating that we end up not working at all.

Distractions can also come from the people around us. If you are living with others, it is quite likely that they might have issues with how much time you devote to writing. If they keep bringing these issues up, it can become tough to concentrate on your work.

However, if you are facing resistance by yourself or due to others, do not let it take over you.

We have some helpful tricks that can be used to overcome resistance:

      • Write down and repeat your morning affirmations: These are small sentences or quotes of positivity, which can help in setting a healthy atmosphere and a positive tone for your work. it could be an amazing video or speech that inspires you or even a famous writer’s quote.
      • Engage in a free flow exercise: The author of the bestselling novel The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron, refers to free flow as morning pages. The main aim of these pages is to get out all your anxious thoughts and other negativity that floats around in your mind and give you some clarity. As the name suggests, you do not need to add any structure to these thoughts, and you can write literally whatever comes to your mind. There is no need to edit it or publish it or have a word limit. Just take out ten minutes at the start of the day to give your mind a release. The idea is that having a mind emptied of all its anxious thoughts can help you have a productive day. It is better to actually jot down these thoughts in the traditional style, rather than typing it out on a digital device.
      • Exercise: Working out is essential for a healthy body and a healthy mind. A few minutes of exercise each day can improve the flow of blood to your brain, so you become more energetic and aware. You will feel like you can take on the tasks planned for that day.

Action Step:

Come up with your resistance plan. Find out what works best for you to empty your mind of all the negativity so that you can be prepared for a more productive day.

We Got Yourself Prepared to Begin with Your First Book Now!

Dreaming about your first book being published one day? You have to start taking ownership of the writing habit you have instead of just thinking about writing it. Today is the day to begin writeup up your first book!

If you follow our eight easy steps, you could even have your book ready in a matter of a few months, and your dream of being a published writer can come true.

Do you feel stuck while writing a book? Unhappy about the lack of progress that you have made towards your writing?

Do you think that you will benefit from step-by-step guidance to bring you close to your writing goals?

If you answered “yes” to the above questions, you can meditate and try to adopt the above 8 steps as much as you can which will result in compelling you to complete the first draft of your first book sooner.

Yousaf Saeed

I'm Dr. Engr. Yousaf Saeed, founder of the AScholarship Education Portal. My academic path includes 3 prestigious international scholarships — Australia Awards, CSC, and HKPFS — for my higher studies. I am also an IChemE affiliate whereas I've also worked for companies like Aramco and BYCO oil refinery as an production engineer at the start of my career. I completed MS, and PhD with major research publications in leading SCI journals (details on my Researchgate Profile). This reflects my commitment to educating and therefore i started it for the purpose to guide aspiring international students for find scholarships for their higher education dream. As an experienced educator and mentor, I specialize in navigating the intricacies of research and patent and write useful articles on these topics too.