It has never been such a good time as now to write a book that you have long dreamed of. This has always been true, but it has an extra vibration of the spring of 2020 when this is written. Whether you are retired in isolation, quarantined or fully healthy but laid off, it is perfect for taking the opportunity and using the extra time to write. You also make a social contribution by reducing the spread of infection when sitting at home with your computer or pen. There is plenty of genres to go with, but many writers start their careers by writing about something self-experienced. Write your life and publish your memoirs.
1-START WRITING NOW!
Are you one of those who are thinking about writing a book about your life but hesitate? Stop immediately postponing the idea to tomorrow. Take care and write while you can. It is only you who can do it. Everyone has a story to tell. Write to preserve your experiences for the afterlife, as therapy or for fun. Write for the drawer box, for your grandchildren or for a wider audience. Get started and write today!
2-INSPIRED BY OTHERS
The first step to holding your book in your hands is to decide to write it. The second is to think about what kind of book to write. Should it be a fiction book loosely based on a few episodes from your life or an overview of your entire life? You do not need to decide in advance, but this may be something you have in mind while collecting material. In this chapter of the book, it’s time for you to read and analyze books that others have written.
It’s time for the phase that is often the most fun part of a book project: to do research! At this stage you do not have to make any tough decisions and do not limit yourself but can have fun.
If you are so lucky to have written diaries during your life, it is time to pick them up now. Invent your own memory, browse old calendars and look up old letters. Listen to others who were “at that time” and gather everything you think is interesting. Save selection for later. Also, don’t worry if it gets a little thin in some subjects. You will both come up with new ideas and iron out during the work.
In this chapter we have some common tips and exercises like using pictures from places where you lived and drawing a family tree. We will provide you with tools to travel back in time through questions that you can answer yourself or by interviewing other people.
4-ALLOW TIME TO WRITE
Whether you dream of starting writing or are a seasoned writer, it is always challenging to finish your book. The challenge can be divided into several parts. The first is about time. Writing an entire book is time-consuming and you need to spend the time required. Then it is essential to spend time on the right things and not get stuck. Some perfectionists pill for eternity with small details and, therefore, never get ready. The second extreme is that the first draft is sufficient to publish, although the text is so full of typos that it is barely legible, is also not successful. It is also common to experience writers block, know that it is common for writers to get stuck sometimes.
5-PLANNNIG YOUR JOURNEY
You have decided to write a book and you have collected a lot of material on your subject. You have analyzed other books. You have a plan for how and when to write. Maybe you’ve even started writing? Or are you wondering how to start? In this phase, a synopsis can be helpful. A synopsis is a summary of the major features of your book. It is suggested that you also include other aspects and make a project plan before you start writing. Failing to plan is a plan for failure.
6-DEVELOP YOUR STORY
Have you written a synopsis or first draft now? Good work! Now we will continue to work. We will spice up your story with emotion, add local color and make sure you bring the reader to your world.
The reader should be able to follow through with your eyes when the events happened. The reader should see the same obstacles as you did and feel the same feelings as you did then. This means that if you write an anecdote from your school years, you will not have the same experience or language as you have after fifty. You were not born omniscient. Every event you select should be a scene in the book.
Just as in a fiction book, you need to describe details and activate the readers’ emotions. It is this that determines how readable your book becomes. The more common your selected events are, the higher your demands on how you describe them. If you have been cannibal or lived on the moon, the reader may forgive a stylish language and non-existent narrative, to tell you about such unusual events.
This does not mean that only people who have lived a particularly dramatic life can write their memoirs. All lives are worth documenting, then the size of the audience varies depending on the content and presentation.
7-EDIT YOUR TEXT
We have now come to edit the text itself. It is a common novice mistake to worry about the language too soon. Many writers spend a lot of time hunting for the perfect first sentence when they have to solve puzzles with life events. Others focus on finding synonyms or proofreading even before the story has fallen into its place. It is almost always better to leave those details at last.
There are a few exceptions. It may make sense to determine verb forms and perspectives early. It is a big job to change from a first perspective to a third-person perspective in an entire book if you get it for yourself (probably a bad idea since autobiographies are usually written in first person form). Same thing with verb forms.
Does the whole project start to feel overwhelming? Calm, just calm. There is a long line of people who can help you along the way. You can get help from loved ones or various experts. There are author coaches, writing courses and study circles where you can get help if you get stuck. There are lecturers, editors and proofreaders who can help you improve the text. You don’t need to write a word yourself, but you can hire a ghostwriter who writes the entire book based on interviews. You can also hire a research assistant, cover designer, book publisher and project manager – to name a few of the experts available.
Since it is their livelihood to support writers, it costs a good deal to hire them. The price varies and can reflect what quality you get. The most significant factor, however, is how long it takes. A study circle can cost a few hundred dollars to hire a ghostwriter for a few monthly salaries. If you want to hire the right person, it is good to know a little more about what the different people are doing.
9-PUBLISH YOUR BOOK
If you have gone through the great work of writing down your story, you should also make sure you keep your story in hand. You should at least print a copy for yourself. Maybe you even want others to read it? The fastest way to make sure you get your book in hand is to publish it yourself simply. This way you make all the decisions.
10-ENJOY AND HAVE FUN!
We have one crucial tip left and that is to enjoy. In order not to bump along the road, it is vital to take the time to have fun. Your book project is an excellent reason for a long line of pleasures. Get in touch with relatives, travel around and learn more about yourself. Call old friends you haven’t talked to for years and days. Visit places that were important to you in your upbringing and see what it looks like today. Review old diaries, photos and letters. Browse theater programs, movie tickets, children’s books or other things that matter to you. See if the favorite movie you grew up with. Take plenty of time and use the time to remember and reflect.
Furthermore, writing a book does not have to be a one-man project. You can do a great deal of research together with others. Why not make it a family vacation to visit places you remember from before? Or start a circle with others living in the same area? Make sure you have fun together when you pinch your books. Enjoy and have fun!
All the best, Melissa.