Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

10 Ridiculously Simple Tips for Writing a Book

Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.
–Mark Twain

The hard part for most writers, despite what we say, isn’t getting published. Now, there are more opportunities than ever to become an author. No, it’s not the publishing part we struggle with. It’s the writing.

I’ve just finished my first book. And the hardest part, to my surprise, wasn’t the difficulty of getting published. It was the writing process. Looking back, I can see how I learned some things. Important things worth sharing.

What does it take to write a book? Here are 10 of my best tips.

10 MORE BONUS TIPS: I actually have 20 ridiculously simple tips for writing a book. Want the other 10? Get them free here.

Getting started

  • Start small. 300 words per day is plenty. John Grisham began his writing career as a lawyer. He got up early every morning and wrote one page. You can do the same.
  • Have an outline. Write up a table of contents to guide you. Then break up each chapter into a few sections. Think of your book in terms of beginning, middle, and end. Anything more complicated will get you lost. If you need help, read Do the Work by Steven Pressfield.
  • Have a set time to work on your book every day. If you want to take a day or two off per week, schedule that as time off. Don’t just let the deadline pass. And don’t let yourself off the hook.
  • Choose a unique place to write. This needs to be different from where you do other activities. The idea is to make this a special space so that when you enter it, you’re ready to work on your project.

Staying accountable

  • Have a set word count. Think in terms of 10-thousand work increments and break each chapter into roughly equal lengths:
    » 10,000 words: a pamphlet
    » 20,000 words: short eBook or print book
    » 40,000–50,000 words: good-sized nonfiction book
    » 60,000–70,000 words: longer nonfiction book
    » 80,000 words–100,000 words: typical novel length
  • Give yourself weekly deadlines. It can be a word count, percentage of progress, whatever. Just have something to aim for, and someone who will hold you accountable.
  • Get early feedback. Nothing stings worse than writing a book and then having to rewrite it, because you didn’t let anyone look at it. Have a few trusted advisers to help you discern what’s worth writing.

Staying motivated

  • Ship. No matter what, finish the book. Send it to the publisher, release it on Amazon, do whatever you need to do to get it in front of people. Just don’t put it in your drawer.
  • Embrace failure. Know that this will be hard and you will mess up. Be okay with it. Give yourself grace. That’s what will sustain you, not your high standards of perfection.
  • Write another. Most authors are embarrassed of their first book. But without that first, they never would have learned the lessons they did. So put your work out there, fail early, and try again. This is the only way you get good. You practice.

Every writer started somewhere, and most of them started by squeezing their writing into the cracks of their daily lives. The ones who make it are the ones who show up day after day.

You can do it, too.

Beating overwhelm & staying creative

Click here for 10 more ridiculously simple tips for writing a book. Tips that help you:

  • Beat feeling overwhelmed.
  • Stay creative so you never “run out” of ideas.
  • Stay focused, so you get your book done faster.

Get these 10 bonus tips here or by clicking on the image below:

10-more-tips

About Jeff Goins

I write books and help writers get their work out into the world. I am the best-selling author of four books, including The Art of Work. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity.

Start Building Your Audience Today

Download my free eBook and learn exactly what I did to grow my blog from zero to 100,000 readers in 18 months.

In this book, I share everything I’ve learned from building a tribe and becoming a full-time writer — and how you can do the same.

Click here to download the free book now.

  • Roel

    Dear Jeff,

    I have a story in my mind which will have to cover at least several books.

    I am not a writer whatsoever, I’ve never written more than a short-story and that was at least 10 years ago. How do you organize writing a long story. I now have a short summary of my entire story. Should I narrow it down to a summary for every antagonist, or would you stick to a summary of the story you want to tell in this part?

    I have no experience, but have a lot of faith in the story I want to tell..

  • Ryan.A

    Hey Guys, im 17 and certainly not a writer, but I want to write a book as I am very passionate about History, and Im quite keen on ancient history, in which I want to write a book on the fascinating survival of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. I roughly know what each chapter will be on, but considering this goes back at least 3,800 years ago, there may be quite a bit of information that is not entirely based on fact, but rather on estimations. And I understand this, as its a difficult time period to get much out of, but it makes me a bit nervous as I think that during research, what if say two different sources were based on the same thing but the information is different or incomparable. But, perhaps it might be a case of digging deep to find the facts, then ignore what is fictional. Any advise would be very helpful and much appreciated. Thank you.

    • Rachael Dixon

      I personally like to read Historical Fiction revolved around the English Tudor and Victorian eras. Those eras obviously have some documented history to base things on. That being said, a lot of the big authors that cover the time periods I like to read about might name chapters after general seasons. Example: Winter 1856. Or they might be even more vague, example: 1843-1845. And even then, you have artistic license to twist and bend things.
      But since you really don’t have anything that specific to go off of, I think you’re pretty safe in being vague if you want. Just make sure if you’re referencing historical periods, that you at least refer to things in order and make sure that you don’t refer to two events that span 1,000 years on accident. You should be fine.
      That’s just my opinion as a reader.

  • Zenake

    hi

  • Zenake

    hey everyone im 10 and im using my familys email for this but Ive been making a fictional story for kids I was thinkin, should I make a chapter book or a story book wich one do kids like better

    • beinghonest

      maybe you should try both. don’t make them long books, but try to write and see which one is better. I would say story book, but it’s your choice

  • Zenake

    so what does the publisher do with your book, besides selling it?

  • Nicole

    I’m 14 and I love reading so much. I have an idea for a book, but I don’t think it could be published due to my age? I have already written a plot and will begin writing as soon as possible – but am I wasting my time??

    • Tony

      You are definitely not wasting your time. The only way to get good at writing is by doing it, as much as you can. If you just wait around until you are magically ‘old enough’, *that* will be wasting time.

    • Rachael Dixon

      One of my very favorite young adult writers published her very first book when she was 13! And she’s written a book every single year since! Don’t be afraid!
      (Her name is Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, by the way.)

  • matthew glayzer

    I’m interested in witting a book like Ronald dahl but has this opportunity passed as David walliams already ripped him off!!!!!

  • matthew glayzer

    On a serious note whats the best way to go about writing comedy scripts that would be taken seriously by potential tv producers??

  • Isabella_Leigh

    I haven’t done what I wanted to do with my life, because I didn’t exactly have a whole lot of support growing up educationally. I am 45 and just graduated with my Associates Degree in Medical Assisting, and that was due to the support of my ex boyfriend. Just recently I’ve been thinking about everything I have been through over the last 30 years, I realized that my experiences or lack thereof could inspire someone else to wait to get married, have children, or make commitments before they have what they want out of life. I’m not sure if this should be a regularly titled book or biography??? Or even how to start????

    -Isa (said e-sah)

    • Mace Latour

      Just write. Tell your story and if it reaches one person that needs it, it’s worth it, no?

  • Good inspiration.

  • Amanda

    I am a teacher, I have been for 15 years. I work with children with social, emotional and behavioural needs and specialise in supporting young people with challenging behaviours. I’m also a mum of three great children. I’d like to share some of what I’ve learned to support parents through difficult times. Would people be interested? X

  • Mace Latour

    I am writing a fictional (non-fiction) book about an 80’s era suburb kid
    who got tangled up with the Kansas City and New York Mobs. Joined the
    Marine Corps at 17, and then went legit. Spent several years in Vegas
    running errands for a few fellas in Nellis to gain emancipation from the
    Company and went to the top quick in small, but definitive Corporate
    America. Several wives and lost souls along the way. Anyone interested
    in the actual story?

  • Luc Delpierre

    I’m 15 and I’m busy writing a book about a teenage love story. Is this wired in anyway and would someone read it?

    • Michelle Pfaunmiller

      Luc- I’m sure you have an interesting perspective on life, being a young person. I think as adults, we get mired down in the details of everyday…the hum-drum of boredom. As long as you have a novel idea…something that will interest your readers (target audience) why not!

  • Gabby

    Hey Luc delpierre I would love to read your book

    • Luc Delpierre

      Thanks. I feel more motivated now!

  • I think one tip that’s often underrated is to use a writing environment that suits you. I’m a little biased – I’m the created of a writing app, ApolloPad.com, but I wouldn’t have created it if I didn’t think it was important to the writing process! Writing in something not built for the job leads to difficulty organising your thoughts, and that’s an easy easy to end up discouraged.

  • TY

    Im a 12 year old girl and I’m writing a fanfiction for the “Throne of Glass” series by Sarah J. Maas. The series isn’t completed yet but I’m assuming the antagonist is defeated and everything is back to normal. I’m just scared that a fanfiction wont count as a book. (I’m not going to actually publish and sell it, just show some of my friends or publish it on a fanfiction website) So my question is: Can a fanfiction be a good book? (Im currently up to about 4000 words, not much.)

    • Mel

      Sure, it can. There are websites that are dedicated to fanfiction stories and people read eachother’s, it’s really fun. Of course, you can’t publish it though since it would be plagiarism but its good practice so that when you have an idea of your own, it will be easier since you would have technically written a book already. And 4000 words is a pretty solid start, you just have to stick with it until that last word :))

  • Luke

    I have jad an idea for nearly 10 years. It is about a young man called toya, he is a being made up of 2 guys from parallel world. One from our earth, the other called Thear, similar to others and yet very different.

    • Julia Surratt

      Interesting I like it But I think you should add more characters and add an adventure on which goes along with your main character. GOOD LUCK on your story

    • Haiyan Reng

      i’ve jad an idea for nearly 2 jays. I jave gotta say that you are deing too creadive. No one will reat that psycohpathical nonsens4e

  • Daniel Grant

    I’m preparing for publishing my first book, “I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it!”.
    Thanks for a fresh breath of motivation, Jeff, your tips are priceless.
    Honestly, it’s pretty hard to get back to work and stay motivated after a vacation. Procrastination is my worst enemy but you inspired me to fight it.
    Your tips of how to stay creative are not less useful. I’ve noticed that my writing creativity has started to grow but I stil use a plagiarism checker to avoid accidental plagiarism. Anyway, I keep writing and my book will be published soon. Thank you for your help!

  • Brooke

    I’m 17 and starting on my first novel, which has supernatural elements as well as dark humor. I have around 4,000 words but so far I’ve wanted to give up about 50 times. Does anyone have any advice on how to stay motivated? I’ve wanted to write a book since I was a little kid and I really want to finish it:)

    • A

      Same for me. I’m 16 and English is not even my first language. However, deep inside I know I can do it, and you can too!!
      Good Luck 😉

      • Haiyan Reng

        Haha how’s it like not speaking english?

    • Julia Surratt

      My advice is to finish it to keep you motivated you can use other interesting things you think should go in the story make sure it goes along with the story, if you do that you will not want to give up. Trust me I’m 12 and I know how you feel ive been wanting to write a book ever since I was 6 and on my stories now I get stuck and want to give up . But if you stay positive and have faith in your story you fill finish it IM even taking my own Advice. GOOD LUCK on your book

  • Sathyanand S

    Thank you Jeff for such a great article!

    The importance of writing cannot of overstated, especially in a
    knowledge economy like ours.

    However, I am really glad that you were able to make the
    connection between writing and clarity of thinking.

    While I agree that clear writing is the result of clear
    thinking, I would also push the thinking and recommend using Writing as a
    ‘Thinking Tool’.

    ~ Sathya

    http://sathyawrites.com/on-writing/

  • Hovsep Yacoubian

    I’m only 15, and I might start writing my first book soon enough. I just want to say that this article helped me get more motivated to write. The only thing i’m missing is a way to get enough ideas so wont run out of ideas.

  • Elliott

    Hey there, I am a 14-year old, and I recently started a novel of my own. It was for NaNoWriMo, which, for you non-NaNoers, stands for National Novel Writing Month. Basically, from November 1 to November 30, you try and write over 50,000 words. It was really helpful to push me out of my comfort zone and get started. Now, writing has almost become like colouring a picture – second nature, relaxing, and fun. Sure, I still have those OH MY GOODNESS WHAT DO I THINK I’M DOING, THIS IS THE WORST BOOK IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD moments. Every time I read the last sentence I wrote, actually. But what I learned is basically this: This. Is. Just. A. Draft. That is all it is, and ever will be. Once you have it all figured out, that is when you turn on your inner editor and tear your story to shreds. Once you are finished, that is when you can be critical of what you did, and rewrite a paragraph 1,000,000 times just to get it sounding just right. Until then, tell that little voice inside your head to SHUT UP and mind its own business. You are trying to write a freakin’ story, for heaven’s sake. You can’t waste all that time worrying over what you already wrote!

    One last tidbit: The world needs your story. Yes, that is true. But you know what? This book isn’t for the world. It is for YOU. So, you need your story. You need to write it down, and even if you only write two chapters, then that is still TWO MORE CHAPTERS than a lot of people in the world have ever written on their story.

    Thanks for listening to my rant…It’s a little long, but hey, what can I say? I’m a writer…

  • Cianna Grummer

    Im 14 and im writing a book about a guy named Baron who is a prince of a fictional kingdom. He is kidnaped by a girl named Hera who can turn into a human or a dragon at any moment and her two friends Seth and Strem who can do the same and Rain who is a master theif. They kidnaped him to yeild a sword that only he could use due to his ansestory, to kill Hera’s sister Arabella who also a dragon shapeshifter and is suposidly a good person and Hera is evil but Baron starts to fall for Hera and Hera for him. Would anyone be even be intrested in this book or am I wasting my time?

    • John-Zander Guida

      Sounds Good You Should Do it

    • Julia Surratt

      I Think you should What your Idea is, is totally interesting I love stuff like that. You should not give up the Idea If You ever publish it I will definitely read it. GOOD LUCK with your story

    • Haiyan Reng

      LOL what level conjuring? Im Level 93 but going to 100 soon gonna legendary! ]=D

  • Aditya Rao

    Hey i am Aditya and i am twelve years old and i am writing a book called ‘Thomas William and the unexpected truth .In this book Thomas discovers that he is a wizard and he goes to Alstrod school of wizardry in which he makes friends and finds something fishy in the school . I’ve tried to bring some dark magic into the book but, many times i feel like my book is a copy of Harry Potter. So can you suggest me whether to write on this topic or leave it.

    • Sandesh

      don’t add a part of a wizard going bad and seeking more and more power just like harry potter series but try adding parts and topics like corrupt systems ,love fallen apart,near ones double crossing and of course new innovations in wizardry world and new creatures from different mythologies.also don’t sum up everything in one book and break the entire plot in different series revealing old and dark secrets in every new book. i am sure if u do this ur book will beat HP series.

  • Julia Surratt

    Hello My name is Julia I’m 12 and I’m writing three books. One called The Spooky Forest, and The Castle Secrets, and The curse of Midnight. Your advice is really helping me because I’m having a struggle writing my stories. I know to pace myself and to go to a place I’m comfortable in to write them. I should also take time and focus on one story at a time. I’m into Fairytale stories and Mystery stories for kids. I love to write fun stories and stories that show girl power and mysterious events. The Spooky Forest is about 4 syblings whole go with there parents to a Forest called the Shining forest. but the story behind the forest is more fantasy and interesting. The forest haunts the family taking away each family member and its up to there sister Milly to save all of there lives. The castle Secrets is about the Devil kingdom being taken over by the army of good. A royal family settles in and has a baby girl who has the most amazing powers of good. The devil tries to lead her towards him to set him free from 12 elements. The princess finds out the truth if she and her brother don’t find the 12 elements and destroy them by midnight on her 16th birthday the Devil will haunt them forever. If they find all of the elements and don’t destroy them by midnight the Devil will come back destroy everything and the princesses powers will be taken away forever. Then The Curse Of Midnight is about 4 fairytales. Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Rapunzel. There storybook villains Maleficent, The Evil Queen, The Evil Stepmother, and The Evil Witch. They want to rule fairytale land so they do the curse of Midnight. It is when the storybook victoms of the villains who cast the curse get switched with each others fairytales. It starts at midnight and lasts three days. If the storybook victoms get a happily ever after by midnight on the third day they will return to there original tales and the villains who cast the curse will disappear forever. But if they don’t the villains who cast the curse will rule fairytale land forever and the victoms will disappear forever. I’m going to focus on the Spooky forest, and finish it, than ill do and finish The Curse of Midnight. Than I will do and finish the Castle secrets.THANKS FOR THE ADVICE- let me know what you think about my stories and if you do please be honest!

    • Jen S.

      Not the blogger, but your writing just in your comment comes across with good literacy. You seem to have two things many of your peers lack: direction (knowing the stories you want to write) and competency (grammar, spelling, etc). As someone who encourages young writers in my community, let me just say I am happy you are working toward your storytelling and seeking advice. Good luck!

  • Kepler Norélia

    I’ve been writing that book for over a year now, but I need some tips. Should I let other people (friends and family) read the thang or should I just send it to whatever publishers????

  • George Miller

    My name is George Miller and I am 13 years old. I am currently writing a book but am having trouble finding time to sit down and write. Our family has one computer and my parents are working on it most of the time. I am just looking for some tips. The story alternates between a mysterious chain of events all seemingly caused by the same person and a secretive but outgoing student at a junior high school. The two narratives eventually collide at a large acting competition where the climax happens. If anyone has any ideas for me on how to find time to write or tips for the story please share them with me:) Thanks!

    • David Goodliff

      Dear George, most things in life people say you have to “get off your backside to do”. Writing though, you are discovering is the exact opposite because you have to get ONTO your backside and stay there. For active people this is hard. Especially when a novel for young adults like you have plans for are upwards of 40,000 words. Just head for a library an hour a day. It is quiet, safe and you won’t be disturbed. I am writing a novel too and have hit 30,000 words so far! Wanna hear more? Kind regards David

    • Haiyan Reng

      Hi, I’m writing a book about a guy called Jimmy Miller, as a fellow Miller would you like to edicate me on being a Miller and what it is like?

  • Moneku

    My name is Yanique Fairchild, i am 25 years old. I have been debating in my head for years now, about writing a book. I actually have at least 4 books in my head, i just do not know where or how to start putting these words on paper. The book i am more interested in writing is one about my life, i know “what life”, “you barely lived”, these are some of the comments i get when i tell people i want to write my story. The issue about my life story is that i may put factual information in the book that will stir up conflict and i am do not like confrontations. This is why i wanted to know if it would be best to write “My Story” as a fictional narrative or true story with Author X…

  • Joel Maynard

    My name is Joel Maynard, I am almost 17 years old. I like books. And genres I like are sci-fi and adventure. And I thought to myself, “What if I can combine those three and make an entire story out of it.” for my 16th birthday, I decided what I want to do with my life. I am creating a trilogy of three books and i’m calling it “Dimension Rebels.” I’m already half way through the first book, for the rough draft. I’m gonna edit it one i’m finish, and during that edit I’ll work on the next one. I hope my trilogy becomes successful. (well maybe not that successful.)

    • Joyce

      You are already successful! Perseverance is your reward. Good job dude

  • Nate S

    I sit here and read the inspiration of young ones, distant ones, and most of all people who all have the feeling that they need to write some words across paper for people to get their point. It was not until that moment I had realized it was all just a dream, the walls swayed and the ceiling looked as if it was staring back at me. My cat sat there “Sluuuuuurp!”, it was so gross hearing him clean himself but I tried everything to stop him and he just wouldn’t no matter what I did. This obviously wasn’t helping my problem that I had just ingested half of a bottle of nyquil. I didn’t know what I was doing but my mind was moving a mile a minute. So I instinctively pushed my cat aside and ran out the door into a world of disbelief and disparity. There was nothing out there but the realization that I was going nowhere, I could keep walking yes but I had no where to go and no means to get anywhere. No matter how much I tried to drown my sorrows with that sweet green it would never change the outcome of what I had walked into.

  • Ibrahim Khan UPSC

    Hey,,, I am always lost in my world, I try to introspect to find out what I can do, what I am capable of? what is my purpose in life? my strength? One thing here which I like to mention is that I love reading a book, interesting one, since my childhood I have this likeness towards fiction like addiction, can’t resist myself from reading a good novel. I am 25 now and without job like a burden on my family, which has led me into frustration, daydreaming, and beautiful stories that used to crept up in my mind into horrible ones, hatred and jealousy. I still wonder whether my likeness towards book has something to do with my purpose of life? Am I destined to write a good story? But chores and surviving in this mean bad world discourages me from even thinking about a book.. am lost,what shall I do? I have found myself having a suicidal tendencies too..am pushing myself in darkness… into obfuscous

    • Kay

      I believe that each one of us is created in a unique way and is destined to do good things. Do not let the devil push you to the darkness, all he wants to do is to hurt you, make you feel useless and unworthy. You have to find your giftedness and enhance it. Writing might be your gift, so explore and make it happen. We all have our moments, but you are stronger than your emotions. You have to look at the bright side of life. Not sure if you are a believer. But do you know that there is God who created you out of love? In fact, He loves us so much that He sent His Only Son into this world, to die on the cross as the atonement of our sins, so all of us, if we believe in Him will have eternal life in heaven with Him. Where can you find a God who sacrificed His life for His people? Try it, it wont right. Look Him up in the Holy Bible. Good luck, Jesus Christ loves you so much. He said “Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy leaden and I will give you rest”.

      • Andrea

        I love your comment and I love God more than anything on this planet but why do I keep sining?

        • Timothy Hunter

          I have been in your situation before. Sincerely seems like it’s very fun and worth doing but truly it’s not. It leaves you feeling guilty and ashamed, and like you’re not good enough for God to love you. First of all our God is beautiful, loving, and merciful God. He loves us more than anything!! The reason he has given us the guidance you find in the Bible is because he loves us and if we follow his guidance it will be better for us in the end. He always knows and wants what’s best for us. The best way to stop sinning is to get a deeper intimacy with God. You do this by spending time with him (praying, reading the Bible, etc.). If you do these things you will find yourself not wanting to sin anymore and getting strength from God to resist temptation. I hope this helps :)

    • Lala Mansoni

      Don’t worry, just write. Start writing every day as a tool to deal with life. Write to purge your soul of despair. Use it as your voice and to question the state of affairs. Good luck to you.

    • Taylor Woodward

      I’d use your feelings and thought and put them on paper or screen, there could be many other people out their with the same problem, turn it into a positive and keep moving forward.

    • carl oiler

      you just wrote a very interesting story of yourself that left me wanting to read more of it..you have what it takes because of your life events..and I just read a short piece of it..keep writing,writer.

  • Melissa

    I have been on a True Story book , my hardest thing is reliving that horrible time that has affected so many people in my direct family..I don’t know should I just put what I wrote as it opened up to become real or should I just start with now and go back day by day..I am sure it will truly be a inspiration for many , while it could save the lives of plenty..Just thinking, When will I finish or even start..Sincerely Melissa.

    • The Elegant Chic

      I would love to read it when you are done :)

  • Loendi Westhuizen

    My name is Loendi Westhuizen, I am 62 years old, still going strong working as healthcare professional in KSA. I have been debating in my head for years now, about writing a book about my experience and life. I actually have a few stories in my head, i just do not know where or how to start putting these words on paper. The book I would like to write is about my live as a international employee, traveler and international conference speaker in Asia. The impact this had on my life and what was so unique about it. I know I lived a full life, did a lot and are still working on leaving something behind for the younger generation especially from my wonderful time is KSA.

    • Lachlan

      Sonds interesting- you should definitely give it a shot.

    • asannders

      Hi Loendi.,
      How do you like being a healthcare professional? Your life sounds awesome and you seem to have some interesting facts about things that had happened when you traveled. I am also in the health care world but I haven’t been able to finish my dream of becoming g an RN. I also have thought about writing. I look at your career and your age and it makes me wonder if I could ever compare to your thoughts , stories and success. For me (like others) reading of others success may help lead us to better ourselves if we can by comparing to the ideas of others or from what others have been through. You seem to have a lot of experience at your job and it seems interesting. I just wish I had half the opportunity that you have had in life. I just about bet you live fairly well (moneywise) off of your job and experiences. I suggest if you have the meabs to go for it write away ! If i had the means i soure would give it a shot! Maybe even tey to fulifill my deeams so my kids and I could have more in life as well. Take care…
      Sincierly
      Ashley S
      Nebo NC
      sandersa2007@hotmail.com

  • Brooke Nickolaus

    My name is Brooke Nickolaus, I am thirteen years old. My writing, whether childish ambitions or a dream that will become reality, is still mine, and something I enjoy a lot. I am in eighth grade and am in the Independent Study program in my district. My mom told my teacher about my writing and my teacher said that it could count for English which would be incredibly awesome if it weren’t for the fact I won’t let anybody read my stuff except for my mother and grandmother. I don’t write regularly and keep starting different stories. Normally when I write it’s because of a book I recently finished and enjoyed immensely. Sometimes I get inspired by something going on in my life. Like a year ago, my family and I were in a homeless shelter. That experience helped me to start another story that I kind of left hanging, newly uninterested in the fiction I created. Now, however, I feel determined to finish a story. Just a single story, to have my family read first than perhaps others as well. Sometimes I’ll sit at the dining room table with my laptop opened in front of me, with earbuds in my ears, listening to my favorite bands. A notebook alongside the laptop and a pen in my hand, alternating between typing and writing with pen and paper. Sometimes words just come from my hands and I have to pause to look back and read what it is that I wrote. Writing is something more people should do, I desperately desire more books to read, my local library cannot possibly hold enough.

    • Sabesh Bharathi

      Hello Nickolas.. I am in my Ninth Grade and I think we both share exactly the same feelings. I have a great passion for writing books. I write out my feelings and I get great new ideas only after I finish reading a book, just like you. But as I get immersed in one book after around 10000 words, I just seem to think that the plot isn’t good so, I dump it in my hard drive like a draft. I have a dozen incomplete books like that. But currently, I have determination on my book that I am working on. I fancy genres like mystery, adventure, suspense and science… Feel free to contact back… Would love to have contact with budding authors like myself..

      • Taylor Woodward

        I have the same problem, I have at least a dozen books unfinished, though i’m more of a historical era type of writer, and good luck in your future writing

      • The Elegant Chic

        I am exactly like that. I start writing, and feel its not good enough, so i can’t continue.

    • Megan Eustice

      Hello Brooke I as well am 13 and I would love to write but I just can’t decide.

      • Megan Eustice

        I do have a great passion for writing. .

    • Oscar

      How many 13 year olds are on this site?
      Yes, as you may have inferred, I am also 13, and an intrepid writer. As I can see from this comment’s comments (badly phrased) I’m not alone in my pursuits. When I wrote my first book, I was so embarrassed at how it came out that I literally burned the hard drive it was on, then buried the ashes. I tried to write a second book, and it was better than the last, but admittedly still terrible. I wrote a third. This was the first that I shared with my family, and they loved it. It hasn’t been sent to a publisher yet, but it will soon. I would love a collaborator, so feel free to contact back.

      • Haiyan Reng

        HI, im 33 years old. I am learning to write recently after failing 10th grade over 27 time! Would you like to give me your contact info so that we may get intouch and speak/learn together x)

      • Tea

        I agree about the lots of 13 year olds. I however am 12. I recently started a book. I have so many emotions in my mind that I have trouble expressing and I’ve found even if not about myself, writing has helped. I’m almost finished with the 4 th chapter I think. The main conflict has only just began. I personally feel you shouldn’t have tossed your first/second books. Even if they were bad, they would be fun to go see how much your writing has progressed. I want to finish my book but I’m not sure if I will. I usually write in the morning before school(I wake up really early). I haven’t told anyone about it and don’t plan to until I’m done. Is that bad?
        I wish you all the best of luck,
        A 12 year old girl

        • Alex Avellan

          Hi, I’m 11 and I’m writing my first novel. I’ve started heaps and they’re just sitting around on my laptop but this one I’ve been working on for about a year. I’ve found it really hard to get all my ideas on the doc but I recently found this PDF on a site that’s really useful. The link’s just here:
          https://s3.amazonaws.com/becomingwriter/10+Steps+to+Become+a+Writer.pdf

          A site I’ve also found useful is The Write Practice.

    • Sam

      Hey Brooke
      I’m 14 and enjoy writing greatly. It also appears I am not alone in this passion, so maybe I can looking forward to writing a book in the near future. Good luck.

    • Haiyan Reng

      Hello, you are not a good righter though? A real write take inspiration from the heart, not from the earphones? Please go back to the school LOL. A true right only types on pen and paper, or MacBook Pro 2016 edition.

  • peddo-jan

    i tink its racist

  • Taylor Woodward

    I am infact, not 13 but, 15, I think these could be very helpful tips, and have thought hard about who will need to edit my story, and I have decided on my English teachers. What better? This is a great site for new writers such as myself, and am deeply amazed at what some people my age can do with words. words and the mind are an amazing combination, they are the embodiment of our world. I am recently emerged in the world of history the early A.D. times with vikings. I think my next novel will be a historical fantasy, it’ll be an exciting new adventure.

  • Eline van Dam

    Hi! I am 14 years old, Dutch and I like writing. I am writing a book but I’ve got the feeling I’m going too fast. In my sotry, a girl is stuck in a world, but in four chapters she escaped! Is that too fast? It’s not that I have no ideas anymore, i’ve got a LOT of inspiration, it is just that I don’t know how to extend everything I have written already.

    • 234134

      You could try to add more detail to the three chapters before when she escapes or add more little things that happen. Little details make big differences that make books amazing, you could try to describe characters more then you already have, or spend a page or two describing the area around them. Or give the characters more thoughts or something. (Im 13 if ya wanna know for some reason)

    • Aditya

      Hey!!…we both are same!!
      Me also 14. I love writing. It’s my passion. I just get lost while doing it!!
      All the best for your book!!!

      • Haiyan Reng

        Hello. Ako Haiyan Reng, from filippnes. I have to say your’e grammre is quite bad hhaah xD. I want to wish you the best but we are both same in our book writing. In my sotry i have a young girl who gets kidnapped and rapoed

    • Eric Castonguay

      to me I am not a big writer but for me your question will be not too fast if you will make a serie of it beside that I think that too fast for only 4 chapter

      • Eric Castonguay

        good luck to you

    • Alice

      Definitely add as much imagery as you need to have your reader actually see, hear, smell, feel, and even taste what you are trying to show him or her. You can turn a single sentence into an entire paragraph just by showing the reader what you see in your head. Say you have the sentence, “The fire was lit and the marshmallow was sweet.” You can add so much more detail using the five senses (taste, touch, smell, sound, and sight) and not just telling the reader what to see, but showing them. “The fire glistened brightly in the rock pit against the dark of night. My stick in hand and marshmallow on the end, I began twirling it in the fire, taking in the smell of burning wood, listening to the gentle crackling of the wood as the fire licked away at it. I watched the marshmallow slowly turn into a golden brown as it rotated in the fire. As it began to bubble, I pulled it out and gently blew on it to cool it down before placing the gooey fluff at the end of the stick in my mouth, tasting it’s sweetness on my tongue. I then closed my eyes, taking in the warmth of the fire on this cool night.” I know that when I was younger, about your age, I just automatically assumed the reader knew that shorter sentence was all I needed to show the reader the long paragraph which I pictured while writing. A thesaurus is definitely an excellent resource. Stories can get dull if you repeat the same words over and over again. If you haven’t already, I’d try challenging myself not only to use the five senses as well as use different words, but also to try to make every sentence in each paragraph start with a different word.

    • Alex Avellan

      Maybe she has to go back there for some reason and she can’t get out again for some reason….

  • bob

    Ugh I love writing and have so many ideas for a book but I can’t stop myself from reading and wanna read more than I want to write. I feel like If i sit down and take the time to type my brain is going to go faster than my fingers will go and I’ll make too many ideas to write down. I basically am making a story in my mind before I go to sleep which I would love to write down but.. It’s going so fast I dont think I can write it all down.

  • lean6

    What I’m concerned about is the potential for being accused of stealing ideas. I haven’t read that many books in my lifetime, but i’ve read a lot of articles, watched a lot of movies, etc. I wonder how easy or common it is to find yourself accused.

  • Richard Fish

    Somebody told me that I must have a big gap after each sentence. Like this, but it looks wrong to me. What is the rule here?

  • Aditya

    THANKS A LOT!!!!
    This is my dad’s mobile. Thank you to share ’em.
    Can anyone explain me ‘how to set outline’ in detail?…I’m aditya and I’m 14 too!!and by which website this website is made?

  • Eric Castonguay

    I am writing my first book and the word won’t come out why and a few days I could not write fast enough . this is not I running out of idea that just the word won’t come out why?

    • Claudia H.

      When I have that issue, I free write. Basically, I just sit down with a pencil and paper, and write about a broad topic. For example, you could write about an abandoned house. What may happen to the house? Who is involved in the homes history? Is it spooky or caring? Maybe the owner of the house passed away and their child is looking back on fond memories of the home. Maybe the house is haunted. Free writing is my favorite way to encourage my imagination to just flow. Once I feel the writers block has gone away, I can usually return to my novel and be able to finish out my topic.

      • Alex Avellan

        That’s actually a really good idea. Thanks :)

  • Carmen Mir

    How many chapters would be good for a novel or personal autobiography?

  • rendori

    Hi , I plan on writing a fiction story. id like to ask what is a good amount of chapters and pages per chapter to start with on a first book?

  • hannah

    Hi im writing my first book and I have lots of ideas thank you

  • Dashy

    Well, I’m starting a book and my first chapter is 2600+ words, i hope that’ll be ok. how many chapters should i have if i keep about that word count?

    • I aim for 5,000 per chapter and try to write at least 10 chapters. This usually gives me an aim of 50,000 per book but, I normally go way over this number after I revise it and then edit.

  • As the eldest girl of 11 children, I had to take care of so much at a young age. It taught me to take shortcuts everywhere and if I wanted something I had to go after it myself. This helps me so much with my own writing and completing projects! Love this post.

    • carl oiler

      That’s whats so wonderfull and interesting about each one of us.Each of us has life events that make us so different in how our storys come out.Yours has sparked my interest already.Keep writing for all those reasons. I’m ready to read your work!

  • Alicia

    Thank you for this article. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Great tips!

  • Novel Start

    Book writing is changing: Read this gem. (Take a lovely trip down memory lane with me). The beleaguered postman menaced by a pack of thuggish dogs; the man who decides if he can’t have a convertible, he’ll just make one; and the chaos that ensues when three madcap Northern Irish teens are loosed upon the city of London. All of these await you within this memoir, each woven in alongside harrowing tragedy as a poignant reminder of how life goes on even in the most unforgiving of circumstances. newbooks1@outlook.com

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Belfast-Laughter-1957-1977-Alan-Croft/dp/1634134095

  • Elaine Dawson

    What do think of these titles. A Sisters Bond is Forever, Journey to Victory. Or A Journey of Sisters Victory Over Adversity. Or A Journey of Sisters. The Victory over Adversity

    • Kitti.F

      First one. Main title is really nice and welcoming, secondary title is easy to remember and catchy.
      I wouldn’t choose the second one, because it seems long and doesn’t feel like it has an end, anywhere at all, can’t remember it at all, people won’t find it after one hearing.
      The third title is quite good, but then again, main title seems a bit too cliché and secondary title, for me, feels too heavy, not as light or catchy as the first’s one is.

      Good luck with writing! 😀

    • SL

      Okay. I found them all a little unmemorable. How about …

      Two Sisters: Trouble and Triumph

      (or obviously Three Sisters, Four, whatever)

      Good luck with it, Elaine!

  • Has anybody here ever used the Amazon Kindle platform to sell an ebook? Have you had much success with it?

    • Kathreen

      @Khun, Hello. Just published for the first time on Kindle.
      Too soon to say if it is worthwhile as I still have some loopholes to close.
      Didn’t complete an About Page and apparently that is
      preventing me from getting the link to share with others.
      Also, the Name of Jesus got spelled with a small “j” either by the converting tool or someone else. So I don’t want to publish very far like that either.
      Looks like it all just takes perseverance and faith to continue.
      The name of my Book is: “We are Loved by Jesus.”

      May God bless and lead you, and all of us to success. Amen.

      Sincerely,

      Kathreen Margaret

  • rohitsaw123

    Helpful article…for latest updates and reviews on smart phones..visit https://goo.gl/xC4jr6

  • Ken

    Good information here Jeff many thanks for the basic steps that will greatly assist me in getting my first book underway. – Martha this is for you thank you for the inspiration and assistance with sending me the link for this information. You are a legend.

  • Janet Lathrop

    I am currently writing a book. I am almost done with it. Almost. I still havent wrote the first chapter. I know it is probably very important to, but I just cant. It is very hard for me to start the first paragraph. But, after I do, I just blast off, and write like crazy! Please help.

    • Nelisa

      I have the EXACT opposite, I know how to start, but the rest of the story just fails. Maybe you should try picturing the beginning in your head, and describing the feelings of the main character. That is Always how it starts with me.

    • LisaLeigh

      What I would do is go someplace where you feel the calmest and most focused so you can “reflect” so don’t bug yourself out with overwhelming thoughts like a freight train racing through your mind, that’s part of obsessive creativity! I suffer from objective creativity! It’s awful, I feel like I have two sides conflicting with a middle ground that does not agree with either one of those! I hope you get what I’m saying because I cant even understand why this happens. But one thing I do most definitely know is that most creative people, if not all, are very compelled to be perfectionists and this can be good and extremely bad when it has much to do with the completion of any goal that will be scrutinized by others! Our biggest fear is the four letter word YUCK!! Not what you thought, but close! We, as a whole are more aware of our mistakes than others, so let it fly and see what happens! Keep writing, practice makes almost perfect, because nobody on this earth is perfect!! Believe in yourself and most others will!! What hinges on a beginning and an outcome is your desire to succeed!!

  • Wannabewriter

    Where does one go to get their work published? Are there any publishers that are friendly to new writers?

    • LisaLeigh

      First and foremost you need to look inside YOU!! Have confidence and work at your own pace! Have a goal, for instance a story you’d like to tell and are passionate about! Then begin with a few pages of maybe100 words and have a time set aside to write, even if its on a Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. and Thurs same time, etc.. This will be your time, so therefore have it etched in, well, sand because if you’re too rigid you’ll burn your creative brain right out, so sad but true! Call Page Publishing! Tell whomever you speak to what goal month you have in mind and some details about your book, make sure you do not rush yourself and try not to give them a specific date and time that exceeds your own ability to complete or meet that deadline! Too stressful, and you’ll feel so overwhelmed that you will get a tremendous amount of writers block. I If If you are thinking your book will be completed in December of 2016 do tell the publisher you are aiming for January 2017. But, try to get it marketed sooner for your own sanity! Make sure that specific publishing company has your email and phone number and they touch base with you every month or so to see how you are coming along, that is the sign of a publishing company that will help you all the way to your destination, book signing!! Page is the best choice in my experience, they are welcoming and very friendly to new authors!! Good luck!

    • Ruth Rutendo Madanhi

      As for me I managed to publish my books through Authorhouse, I think its good for self publishing

  • Annonymous

    I feel uninspired whenever I start to write my stories out onto paper but I feel really impelled to do it I give up because I become disinterested almost everytime I start writing and if I do start writing a page a whole bunch of new writing ideas may come and I cant concentrate or my mind just diverts onto something else or the idea comes while I am at my job and is gone when I get home if I dont write it immediately my mind diverts and I cant concentrate on anything even if I leave it a few minutes after diverting my attention on something INTERESTING. Sometimes I just cant think of the words to put on the paper but I have ideas. And I need to get them out. I know Im not the only one.

  • LisaLeigh

    This is so helpful to be able to get a link to “sanity”! I’ve been writing for years and have been stricken by the deplorable writers block aka procrastination in my world anyway!! I’ve gotten lost in the pages and always thought of more that I should have said and then the blurr between sleep depravity and the usual, ” Can I really accomplish this task at hand?”, VERY NORMAL! The ugliness of self doubt and an overwhelming & uncontrollable secondary brain comes into play and I stop writing! I still do it and I have found this is common and a very natural response to, well, laziness! For inspiration and expansion of your writing capabilities you need to be in a semi-quiet space and around others that are also reading, writing or a little of both is awesome when it includes coffee in abundance for the sheer lust of a jolt of much needed caffeine at your favorite “happy place”! Lisayoumans777@gmail.com..Remember baby steps? One page at a time! Enjoy the ups and downs, the good bad and otherwise! That’s part of life and, unfortunately part of writing a book! ;)) Good luck!

  • dan pre

    jeff thank you for giving us such a great article to get more flow

  • Susan

    Hi i know this is weird for me to kind of write this but, i havent been true to myself of what i wanted to do in life i know it may not relate to this but it will soon. I read this andi think its amazing, i wanted to write books from when i was 7 but i couldnt because i was too afraid of what people would think about my book i had high hopes of becoming an author but never did becasue of fear i grew up in a small town where i was bullied alot and i wanted to write a book about a girl overcoming so many negative things in her life but also i wanted to spice it up a bit you know My sisters and brothers hate reading but i do i think thats when it first started most of my classmates hated reading but i enjoyed it so much i wanted to become a writer when i started reading this book when i was 7.

  • michelle

    I am a land lady and have being for 30 years how do I go about writing a book about it but not using people names I would love to write it but would need some one to check it out

  • Ruth Rutendo Madanhi

    My name is Ruth Rutendo Madanhi. I have written two books so far. The first one is called Be Encouraged a daily inspirational book and the second one is called Obedience to Sonship Call. Both books are on sale on Author House, Amazon and so forth. My journey was magical because I never thought in life I would write a book in fact books so to say. And reading such tips is really helpful and encouraging. It is so true that you mentioned such tips to motivate authors in this generation. I truly feel that I still have more to learn as you have said we learn more through our failures and our constant practice is what makes it different.