You can write your book as you work your day job
Author | Josephine Ngatia
First-time authors usually wonder how they will write a book. Those who work a day job, want to know where to find time to write. The three keys to writing your first book fast will prepare you to write your book within a short time frame and with no stress. To write your first book fast, create a plan that helps you write consistently every day or week.
The three keys are: writing all your ideas, outlining your book and time allocation. They will ensure you write in an organized way, eliminate writer’s block, capture all your ideas and schedule your writing.
I have adapted the three keys from my latest book titled: Maiden Book: How to Plan, Outline and Write Your First Book. The book goes into detail about planning your first book. It is suitable for those who work in corporate and are hard pressed for time.
Below are the three keys to writing your first book fast.
Key #1 – Writing your ideas
Before you write your book, write all the ideas that come to mind, not in any order. The goal is to get the content in your mind on paper. This way you capture all you want to write. You can then do your research if you require additional information.
The ideas or points will form content for your book. Group similar ideas together under major topics. Organizing your ideas will give you a vision of what your book will look like when complete. Writing your ideas will pave the way for creating a book outline.
Key #2 – Outlining your book
Once you have organized your ideas into topics, you are ready to outline your book. The book outline is the skeleton you will flesh out as you write. It organizes your topics and subtopics and comes in handy when you want to allocate time to your writing project.
List your major topics as the book chapters in the order you want them to appear. Select 3-5 subtopics under each topic. These are the main points of your chapters. Each subtopic can have 3-5 paragraphs. Include an introduction and conclusion paragraph for each chapter. Be sure to include the introduction and conclusion chapters.
Other items that can feature in your outline are front and back matter, which include a dedication, preface, acknowledgements, author biography and book description.
Key #3 – Time allocation
With a clear outline you can allocate time to writing each section of your book. You can decide how much to write each day, or you can pick a deadline when you want to complete your book and work backwards. Time allocation is the act of deciding how long you will take to write each section of your book.
When you have a time limitation because you are working a day job, allocating time will help you slot in writing time to your schedule. You can allocate time according to: your free time, the number of words you want each chapter to have, the number of A4 pages you want to write per sitting or chapters you want to write each week. This way you always know what to write. For example, if you have 30 minutes free, you can write a subtopic in a chapter and when you have 1 hour, you can write two. You can write 1000 words or 1 chapter each day.
Allocating time enables you to write consistently and you will complete your manuscript within no time.
Bonus Key – Self editing
Once you’re done writing, you can edit your manuscript to prepare it for publishing. This is not professional editing and does not require you to be an English expert. Its purpose is to polish your manuscript and make it presentable.
You can do two rounds of editing. In round one, check that you have expressed your points with clarity. You can re-write and add or remove paragraphs or sentences as you see fit. In round two, check basic grammatical errors like misspellings, missing commas and full-stops, wrong choice of words, etc. Do this to the best of your understanding.
Online grammar checkers can be helpful when you are self editing. These include Grammarly, ProWritingAid, Hemingway Editor, among others. They will help you with punctuation, spotting difficult sentences to read, passive voice, excessive use of adverbs, etc. Be sure to read reviews about them online to know the most suitable for you.
Writing a book does not have to be an insurmountable task because you have a day job that takes most of your time. The important thing is to come up with a plan that will ease your writing burden. By writing your ideas, outlining your book and allocating time to writing, you will have a complete manuscript faster than you think. Where you need an in-depth guide, be sure to get my book on writing.
Start writing your first book today!