Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Monday, October 10, 2011

Got Book? – When Will it Be Finished? Or… “When Will You Get Started?”

Filed under: Author Tips,Getting Started — Larry James @ 9:00 am
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So, you say, “There’s a book in me, but I can’t seem to find the time to put it all together!”

Excuses, excuses! The most common excuse that people use for not writing is that they can’t find time to write. Thinking about writing a book will not get it written. If you find yourself coming up with a list of reasons why it’s not possible for you to get started on that book you say you’ve been wanting to write, you probably don’t want to write it badly enough. What’s the hold up?

Fear! Most people procrastinate because of fear of failure. If you never do anything then no one can say that you did it poorly. Lack of confidence? You just can’t seem to get started? Maybe you’re too busy to be a writer. It takes discipline, dedication and determination to make a writing life happen, but it can be done.

BestSellingBook“Any book I have written is better that the book you haven’t written yet!” – Larry Winget

Perhaps you don’t know HOW to write a book. It’s not as complicated as you may think.

Here’s the secret: You write a book “one page at a time!” Small bites. It’s that simple. Not easy. Simple.

Writing a book is not that difficult. Just sit down at your computer and start writing. It all begins with the first word.

autobiography“The gap between having the desire to write a book and actually sitting down to write one is quite large, but with some effort, it can be bridged.” ~ Wendy Aron

You really don’t need to know all the intricacies of writing a book, (you can learn about that later), you just need to get started writing. Don’t be concerned about getting it published. That comes later.

First decide what you want to write about. A helpful approach is to break your manuscript down into manageable chunks, rather than putting yourself under pressure to write an entire book. I outline the titles of the chapters or topics I want to write about and – depending upon how I am feeling – I choose one of them and begin writing. If your book will have 10 chapters, create 10 files in your computer and name each one the temporary name that indicates what the chapter or topic will be about. Then, one hour each day write “something” in one of the chapters. You don’t have to start at the beginning of the book or with chapter one. Just start writing.

Don’t worry so much about “getting it right.” Perfection is an unreasonable goal. You can clean it up later. Pick a time each day and write. Don’t worry about quality – just write. That’s right! Just write.

I usually write something. . . let it rest overnight, print it and read it aloud the next day. I then make notes for changes I might make, then go back to my computer, make the changes and read it again. Next I choose another chapter or topic to begin writing something else. For me it helps to begin writing about something in the book that is not to close to the topic I just wrote.

computerIn your spare time go to a book store and look at other books that are in the same gendre as the one you will write – preferably by a better known author. Study how it’s put together. Look at the cover. Look at the back. What goes there? Open the book and look what’s on page one, page two, etc. Are there any dedications? Study the introduction. Look at the copyright page. Are there any famous people’s testimonials? Write the back cover material before you write your book. This gives your book direction and helps you focus only on what’s important to the books theme. These are the things that the writer needs to be aware of because you will need to write about them.

I recommend spending money by having someone design your book cover before you write your book. I highly recommend Jim Weems. Keep a copy of the cover in a frame on your desk to inspire you. Don’t skimp money wise on what you spend on the book cover, spine and back cover. Covers are more important than what is inside. YOU may not think so, but the cover and what’s on it is what sells the book.

Book titles are very important too. I came up with 31 possible titles to one of my relationship books, narrowed it down to 10 of my favorites and contacted some of my author and speaker friends to tell me their favorite and why. The why was important and helped me write the subtitle. Nearly all of my friends zeroed in on one title, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship.”

If you intend to write, I recommend that you carry a small notebook and a cassette recorder with you – everywhere you go. Ideas can come from the strangest places. Be prepared to make a few notes. It’s best to write about something you already know or something you would like to learn more about.

Kill procrastination by acting now. Sign up for a good book writing course at a community college? Read books about book writing. Join an authors club or association. Talk to other authors. Hang out with them. Hire a coach. If you live in Arizona, check out the Arizona Book Publishing Association.

Once you have several chapters written you have the right to begin calling yourself an author. Say it aloud, “I’m an author.” When you have been published, say, “I’m a published author.” Sounds good doesn’t it?

“Remember, you don’t have to be an expert at grammar or spelling or sentence structure, that is what editors are for! It is just up to you to tell your story from the heart and get started and take the time to educate yourself with the many resources available to make the task easy and enjoyable!” ~ Julie Salisbury

The only way to write a book is to sit down and start writing. Dedicate a specific, regular time to write every day. I usually write late at night when there are no interruptions. The key is to write every day. That is what separates writers from those who wannabe writers. Writers write. Those who talk about writing aren’t.

stop-talkingThere is always enough time for writing a book. Always, and that means right now. The only way to start writing is to start writing, not next year, not next week, not after you retire, but right now.

I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you that there are more than 110 articles for authors and speakers at: Check out the index to this blog for many more articles.

BONUS Articles: Creating Your Chapter Outline
Ten Tips To Get Started Writing Your Book
So You’re Writing a Book, Eh?


Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at:

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – and

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.


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