Tag Archives: content edit

How to Write a Book when You Can’t Seem to Get Around to It

Dan Poynter (used with permission)

Many experts have all the ingredients to be successful published authors; they have a book inside them but cannot get it out. What they lack is the “recipe.”

Recipe Secret #1: Write in pieces. It is hard to get started when you visualize the entire project. What is interesting to you right now? How do you explain something verbally? Write it down. Write a paragraph or two or more on it. You will figure out later where it will be in your book. Then write another piece. Skip around; write on whatever interests you. I wrote my last book in less than two weeks because most of it was just assembling pieces previous written for my newsletter, website, and speeches.

Recipe Secret #2: Assemble chapter piles. Divide your articles and short thoughts into piles; one pile for each chapter. Visualize what you have and see what you do not have yet. Write some more pieces to fill in the holes.

Recipe Secret #3: Don’t start at the beginning. Pick up the chapter that is the shortest, the easiest or the most fun. I find that the smallest chapter pile is the most fun.

Recipe Secret #4: Draft the first chapter last. The first chapter tends to be an introduction to the subject and book. Writing a book is an exploration, a journey. You will do a lot of research on line as you write. The book will evolve and take a different shape than what you initially had in mind. So write the introductory first chapter last.

Recipe Secret #5: Rough draft the entire manuscript before going on to the second draft; the Content Edit. Do not improve, rewrite, or massage each chapter. Progress to the next chapter pile. Just get the piles off the floor and into the computer.

Now, sit down and write something.

Dan Poynter is an author (100+ books), publisher (since 1969), and speaker (CSP) who provides information products on book writing/publishing/promoting, parachutes/skydiving, expert witness and aging cats.

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