5 Steps to Start Writing Your Book

5 Steps to Start Writing Your Book

I’m pretty convinced that everyone has at least one good book in them. We’ve all got a unique take on life. We’ve all got unique experiences. And since we can all learn from each other a book is a great way to share your knowledge. Not to mention, it’s a great way to process your life. Mark Batterson says, “Writing is prayer with a keyboard.” I can’t tell you how often I get revelations about my life while writing.

I have six people in my coaching program right now who I’m helping write a book. One guy has climbed all seven of the highest peaks on each continent. Another is working on a leadership book for a very specific group of people. They are both writing the book out of their personal experience and knowledge in the area.

You’ve got experience and knowledge about some specific things too. And that’s why you have what it takes to write a book.

Here are five specific steps you can take to get a plan and get started.

1. Figure Out Your Message
God has already been writing a specific message into your life based on what you have lived and experienced. All you need to do is listen to your life. Your greatest struggles are typically what God wants to use to help you make your greatest impact. Your message comes from experience. Figure out what you are trying to say in your book in just one or two sentences. Make it really clear. Once you figure out what God has already been building into you then it’s time to start sharing that message.

2. Identify Your Audience
The best writing is audience-centric. It’s focused on helping people who read your book to become better and stronger. Your story is interesting, but you need to make sure you focus on how your story can help others. Give application. Remember, we all want to know what’s in it for us. So start giving application early on. Tell folks what you’ve learned and how it can help them.

3. Write to One Person
Your book isn’t for everyone. If you try to write to everyone you’ll hit no one. T.S. Eliot once said, “When forced to work within a strict framework the imagination is taxed to its utmost – and will produce its richest ideas. Given total freedom the work is likely to sprawl.” You must limit who you are writing to and what you are writing about. Get really focused. Choose one topic and hit it from lots of different angles.

4.Start with Pen and Paper
Grab ten sheets of blank paper. At the top of each sheet write one of the things that we need to know about your topic. I like to structure the sheet like this:

Story: Tell a story about the topic on that sheet, ideally your personal experience with the issue.

Pain Point:
Tell the reader what happens to us when we don’t apply this specific truth in our lives (touch on the pain they are feeling).

Tell them the truth they need to hear. This is the place to introduce the Bible and principles.

Application: Give them some practical application. Help them with simple steps. What should they do with that truth now in their unique situation.

Vision: Finally, give them a picture in their mind of what their life could look like if they started to apply this truth. Give them something to aim for.

5. Write, Write, Write
The secret to writing a book is writing. That might seem a bit tautological, but you’ll never get the book written if you sit around planning all day. You just need to write. Things will become clearer as you write. So just write. Then write some more. Write little bits at a time. Write long bits at a time. At some point you’ll look back and see that you’ve written an entire book.

Get out there and start writing that book. You’ll be amazed what you learn about yourself through the process. There’s lots more knowledge and experience in you than you even realize. Writing will help bring it to the surface.

One last thing. My friend Casey is running a free conference this week for folks who want to write a book. You can sign up for the conference by clicking HERE.