5 Truths about Writing Your First Book

Ninety percent of the time when I mention to someone new that I wrote an ebook or that my husband is in the process of publishing his first book, I hear something like, “that’s so cool, I would love to write a book” or “is it hard to write a book?” My answer is always nope! I believe God gives everyone a message to share with the world and many desire to share their message in the form of book.  Well, I’m here to help, my friend! (plus I can just give people this link from here on out! Win Win! Ha!)

So, I honestly believe writing a book doesn’t have to be hard but there’s a few things you should know before you get started. I promise after accepting these truths, you’ll not only have the right mindset to get your writing on but you’ll essentially have the steps to get your first manuscript complete!

Okay, here’s the goods – 5 truths about writing a book:

1.You have a Message

Funny thing – many of the people who have said to me that they would like to write a book – also say, “…but I don’t know what I would write about.” It may take a little time to clarify but everyone has a message to share with the world. Everyone has a story, lessons learned, and passions that they can consider writing about.

So, what’s your life message? Identify significant moments or seasons in your life, that has shaped you. How did God meet you in that season? What message has come out of that season of your life? For me, I’ll never forget the day God met me in my bedroom years ago and I realized I had a purpose for my life. I went nearly 23 years without knowing God or my purpose and now one of my life messages is ‘purpose’ and helping others discover their own. Simple.

2.Writing a Book is NOT about you.

Although writing a book can open a lot of doors for you because it boosts your credibility and helps to establishes you as an expert, YOUR BOOK IS NOT ABOUT YOU! What’s your motive for writing a book? If it’s about you and not the value you’ll provide your readers, well then, your readers will be able to sense that and there goes your credibility anyway. Is your book a God-inspired thing or is your motive to just make money or for some other selfish reason? Are you really writing a book to get a message out, to serve and help others?

3.Writing a Book is not a H.S. paper

We’ve all done it (well maybe not you type A personalities), the night before your research paper is due you managed to come up with a bunch of gibberish, and after double space, enlarged font and a little copy & paste off the internet you have a sufficient paper.

This is not that!

Expand Your Knowledge

Now that you know your life message, you’ll still need to do your research. Whatever message God has given you to share with the world, you’ll want to become an expert in that area. Your story alone will not be enough. It’s important to provide your readers with value and new information.

Get Organized

In school I used to hate when I was asked to hand in a outline with my papers (ugh, really?). I get it now, when writing a book it’s important to gather all your information first and organize your chapters and subtopics within each chapter, along with solid examples and/or experiences that explain each topic. You’ll want to take the big picture idea and break it down into smaller bite size chunks. This will make it easier for your readers to digest. This is also a good idea because you’ll be able to see what’s missing beforehand.  After this step, writing your book should be easy peezey, well there is the next step…

4.You’ll Need Discipline

This may be the hardest step for most people. Writing a book take discipline. It’s important to set a deadline for when you’d like to complete your book. From there, you can determine your writing schedule (be sure to stick to it). It’s easy to make excuses around this step – you have to work, the kids, etc. Friendly reminder – people are waiting on you and they need to hear (no, read) your message, so get focused, my friend! Schedule a time to write your book, daily if you can and WRITE! You have the message (and passion), you’ve gathered your informations, got organized, and blocked the time into your schedule – no excuses.

5.You’re NOT the editor

I believe more books would be complete if people didn’t have the tendency to edit as they go. Instead, write without judgment first, then go back and edit later. You’ll need to focus on keeping a creative flow. Stopping and going will interrupt you and your flow. By waiting to edit, you’ll also avoid constant criticism of your own work, which may discourage you from writing all together.

Before you begin writing your book, ask yourself these questions …

  1. What your life message?
  2. Are my thoughts organized?
  3. What value am I providing my readers?
  4. Who’s my target reader?
  5. What my writing schedule?

Do you have any book writing tips?

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Aleida Lane teaches women of faith how to prosper from the inside out by growing spiritually and building happy/healthy homes & businesses. She’s also a pastor’s wife, mommy & founder The Best You Blog & Boutique.

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Aleida Lane teaches women of faith how to prosper from the inside out by growing spiritually and building happy/healthy homes & businesses. She's also a pastor's wife, mommy & founder The Best You Blog & Boutique.
    • Traci
    • February 27, 2017

    I’m living this one Aleida. I thoughtfully read through each of your truths. It took me a while to put my story and passion into a book message, but when it all came together, I knew it was the right direction. Good advice here!

    1. Reply

      I can understand – clarifying your message can be tricky. I’m going to write a blog post one life messages soon.

  1. Reply

    Writing some sort of book is definitely a dream of mine……maybe a devotional book. Just praying and waiting for direction.

    1. Reply

      Awesome! I believe in you – do you journal? you can start there – reading back over your journal and reminding yourself what God has done in your life. Pulling out scriptures and examples.

  2. Reply

    These tips are so great and well thought!! I completely agree!
    Keep up the awesome work you do here 🙂

    1. Reply

      Thank you, IDA!

  3. Reply

    Great advice, Aleida. I joined a writer’s guild, and started a blog to get me writing more regularly. Still haven’t got my book finished, but I am going to keep working at it. Thanks fro these thoughts. It helps to keep me motivated. – Amy

    1. Reply

      You’re welcome, Amy! Excited for everything God is doing through you – blog and book soon (wink wink). 🙂

  4. Reply

    It’s gotta be God-appointed and God-directed 🙂

    1. Reply

      Absolutely! Thanks, Andrea!

    • Terri
    • February 27, 2017

    Some day i will write a book. Thanks for these tips

    1. Reply

      You’re very welcome! I believe you can do it!

    • marie
    • February 28, 2017

    Thank you for the tips. Definitely a passion for many

    1. Reply

      You’re welcome! I agree!

  5. Reply

    Great tips! It does take discipline and like you said you have to be giving value not just talking about yourself.

    1. Reply

      Kristi, yes value is so important. So are our stories – but we have to find the lesson and value in those stories.

  6. Reply

    Ooh thank you! I needed to read this! I’m working on a fiction book for the past few months… Discipline is not my forte… But I’ll learn! I appreciate the encouragement you have here!

    1. Reply

      Yay! Congrats on starting your book! Block out time to write – it helps!

    • Grace
    • February 28, 2017

    I have been thinking about writing a book! I am saving this for later! Thanks for the great info

    1. Reply

      You’re very welcome! I believe in you, can’t wait until you get started!

  7. Reply

    Going through this process, I’m finding that taking the limits off “what it SHOULD” be has helped a lot. I didn’t realize how much I was comparing my thoughts to what other people already wrote, or defining a book as an epic tale of tragedy and love lol. A cookbook is just as much a book as a testimony or self-help manual. Be authentic.

    1. Reply

      Great advice Adrianne! Authenticity is sooo important.

    • Amy
    • March 3, 2017

    Awesome info! I just started writing my first book (eeeeek!) this was definitely helpful!

  8. Reply

    As an author of over a dozen books – yes and amen! Some of these I learned the hard way, some I knew going in, and some I still struggle with (aka: discipline).

  9. Reply

    #2 is so true! I love sharing my children’s book with teachers and parents to support them in helping their children get active and find something for them. It is all about focusing out!

  10. Reply

    This is excellent, Aleida. I have written 5 books and really poured my heart into them. It is so true that it is not about me!
    Blessings, Amy

  11. Reply

    I am a member of the Jerry Jenkins Writer’s Guild. It is a wonderful resource with classes, webinars and a forum where people can interact about their writing projects and struggles. One of the things that I have learned from that is to not give up….right now I have a blog which consumes much of my time….my real passion is fiction. He also suggests having a place that you can write, even if it is a refurbished closet…ha, ha. I’m still working on that. That is awesome that you have already published something. I hope to some day as well. Thanks for these great tips. – Amy

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