Writing tips


Writing a book is tough. It is hard work and it requires a lot of determination backed with a good dose of discipline.

Finding an idea to write about is never the problem but getting into the work of writing is where all the work begins.

Don’t get me wrong, some people still find it difficult to find ideas to write about but if that is anything thing to go by, it shouldn’t bother you. Seriously, it is the simplest of all your writing problems.

I always tell my trainees that the reason they think they do not have anything to write about is that they are looking to high up and failing to see the low hanging fruits.

Before you ever put pen to paper, before you start sitting up on the edge of your bed, laptop on your lap at 2:30 am on a Saturday morning struggling to draw the battle line between sleeping and staying awake, a detailed plan should already be put in place.

Your book publishing and marketing plan should have been laid out. Before I begin to sound too lofty about a book marketing plan let me add that you cannot start talking about marketing if you don’t even know who your audience is by carrying out some researching and determining who your audience are. That is the foundation of your book marketing.

As much as you need to determine your readers before writing your book, you also need it for the marketing of your book.

You have a book on your laptop and you haven’t even touched it in about three weeks, that is why that book will not be released in another ten years then when you finally release it after ten years, you will start telling us about how you spent ten good years writing a book. Don’t worry, we know now that wasn’t your intention, you just couldn’t cook up enough motivation to stay on it.

When starting out on a book writing project, set out with a timeline of activities.

When I used to organize corporate events in Lagos for the organization I was working for, three months before the event, I would write out every activity that I must complete for the project to be successful and then I will add dates to each activity.

This is nothing different from planning out a book writing process. Instead of saying complete first draft 20th March, this might put a lot of unnecessary pressure on you so what you should do instead is chapter out your book and write each chapter on a small piece of cards. You can then tag a date on each piece of card to indicate the exact date you expect to have completed that chapter.

You can then decide whether to have a daily time belt dedicated to your book or just plan to write for 30 minutes each day.
When you topic out your book, then you can carry out researches on each topic even before you ever start writing the book.
This will unclog your writing time so that instead of writing and researching at the same time, you will focus on writing because you have already done your research and made notes.

Do you need someone to edit your work?


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Sam Onaivi
Sam Onaivi is a writer and editor. Lock me up in a room with assorted biscuits, coffee, and a laptop and I will write my heart out.

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