by Angela Enos
For me, the easiest part of being a writer is the actual writing of the book. After finishing the manuscript, I believe the real work begins. Years ago, while attending my first writer’s conference, I found that the most significant challenge for many writers is writing the book. I have a proven plan for not only beginning but completing a manuscript.
Let’s jump right in!
Take these steps, and you will be able to complete your manuscript.
1. Plan and Anticipate. Writing a book is like planning to go on a diet. Plan, think, and anticipate. Take time each day to plan your writing experience and anticipate it. Clean and prepare your office or your desk. If you don’t have an office, prepare a special place to write. Begin to organize your calendar and plan what time of day you will be writing and for how long. Take time each day to plan and think about every aspect of your writing experience and get excited!
2. Get in a position to write the book–spiritually and mentally. As a spiritual writer, I have to be in “position” to write. I cannot have a bunch of chaos in my life. I have to be in right standing with my husband, family, and friends. I have to be in right standing with God!When I am about to write a manuscript, I focus–I get more spiritual. I spend more time with the Lord, more time in worship, and more time in His Word. My relationship with my Lord is where my inspiration comes from, not from the world. Ensure that you are right with those around you and that your “world” is not filled with chaos and distractions. Remember to focus on the Lord and seek His inspiration.
3. Begin Your Research. You may have to research and get some background information. Many times that involves reading other books in your genre, listening to podcasts, or watching videos. Take some time to fill your tank with the knowledge and ideas needed to inform and inspire you, making your writing accurate.
4. Write an Outline. Get a general idea of the flow of your manuscript and begin to outline it. This outline will change. However, to start, you need to have an idea of direction. Just like planning a trip, you have to go to Google Maps to find the path. Get an order for your manuscript-discover your path.
5. Pick a Start Date. If you haven’t chosen a start date by now, choose one and know that you will be disciplined on that date, your schedule will be cleared, and you will write!
6. Begin Writing.You have planned, anticipated, and you are in a position to write. You have your research and outline; now (according to your rough outline), write the book from beginning to end. Keep a log and write 1,000 words a day. Get in your writing “closet” at your specified time each day, and spew a minimum of 1,000 words a day. Do not stop to correct anything–simply type.
If you come to a place where you believe that you need to research or check something, put an asterisk at that point in the manuscript and continue typing. Later, you can go back and search for the asterisk and do the research required. You will also go back and fix spelling, grammar, and content at a future time.
Keep that Log! Hold yourself accountable. I commit to writing a minimum of 1,000 words a day for at least six days a week, allowing myself one day off each week.
I have written three manuscripts using this writing method, and it has been successful for me each time. After drafting the manuscript, the real work begins—the editing, the query, the proposal, platform building, more editing, etc. Now that is work!