Ever wondered how to write a book? Wonder no more. Rands wrote a tongue in cheek blog post about the process: How to Write a Book. In his article, he advises:
Even better, stop thinking about writing a book. Your endless internal debate and self-conjured guilt about that book you haven’t written yet is a sensational waste of your time. My guess is if you took all the time that you’ve spent considering writing a book and translated that into actual writing time, you’d be a quarter of your way into writing that book you’re not writing.
My initial read of the above quote was shock. His words chased me around the kitchen as a cooked up a batch of strawberry chocolate quinoa protein pudding. I had just taken the finished recipe off the stove when his words stopped bothering me and started to make sense. Obsessing over what you’re not doing, (writing the book) you’re expending a lot of energy and time better directed at achieving that goal. I opened my laptop back up and reread his article with a new eye and what I read contained a lot of really good advice. Some of it is totally new and I have been scouring the web, writer’s blogs for tools, tricks and tips to help me finish off my book.
He goes on to justify the above quote saying:
I’m just about done with my book, Being Geek. This is my second book, so having gone through the process once before has given me experience that I am using for planning. There was an arc that I wanted to write about and a table of contents eventually did show up, but, by far, my most productive move regarding writing a book was — wait for it — writing.
Rands article tells you exactly how to get to the actual writing. So that book gets written and it tells the story you want it to tell. He talks a lot about process, especially on planning. His article has a nonfiction slant but it’s still sound advice for those of us on the other side of the fiction fence.
His suggestion to create the TOC right off the bat and keep altering it as you go is something I wish I had done at the start of writing my novel. Since I’m publishing it as an ebook, I need that TOC badly and pulling it together after the book is 90% written is a real pain in the ass.
I leave you with one more quote from How to Write a Book, which I find particularly apt:
A blank page. A scribble in a Moleskine. That tweet that captured your thought better than a chapter ever would. Quietly crossing out paragraphs you loved. These are the acts that comprise writing a book, not talking about it, not announcing that you’re going to do it, and certainly not reading an article by a blogger who at this very moment is procrastinating finishing his own book by writing about how you should start yours.
I’m going to take Rands advice and stop procrastinating writing those last couple scenes for my book by ending this post here.