Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

10 Ridiculously Simple Steps for Writing a Book

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

The hard part of writing a book isn’t getting it published. With more opportunities than ever to become an author, the hard part is the actual writing.

In this post, I offer 10 steps for writing a book plus 10 bonus steps. To download all of them for free, click here.

How to Write a Book

As the bestselling author of five published books, I can tell you without hesitation that the hardest part of this life is sitting down and doing the work. Books don’t just write themselves. You have to invest everything you are into creating an important piece of work, and this requires discipline.

For years, I dreamed of writing. I believed I had important things to say, things the world needed to hear. But as I look back on what it took to actually become an author, I realize how different the process was from my expectations.

To begin with, you don’t just sit down to write a book. That’s not how writing works. You write a sentence, then a paragraph, then maybe if you’re lucky, an entire chapter. Writing happens in fits and starts, in bits and pieces. It’s a process.

The way you get the work done is not complicated. You take one step at a time, then another and another. As I look back on the books I’ve written, I can see how the way these works were made was not as glamorous or as mysterious as I once thought.

How to really write a book (what’s in this article)

In this post, I’ll teach you the fundamental steps you need to write a book. I’ve worked hard to make this easy to digest and super practical, so you can start making progress.

And just a heads up: if you dream of authoring a bestselling book like I have and you’re looking for a structured plan to guide you through the writing process, I have a special opportunity for you at the end of this post where I break the process down.

But first, let’s look at the big picture. What does it take to write a book? It happens in three phases:

  • Beginning: You have to start writing. This sounds obvious, but it may be the most overlooked step in the process. You write a book by deciding first what you’re going to write and how you’re going to write it.
  • Staying motivated: Once you start writing, you will face self-doubt and overwhelm and a hundred other adversaries. Planning ahead for those obstacles ensures you won’t quit when they come.
  • Finishing: Nobody cares about the book that you almost wrote. We want to read the one you actually finished, which means no matter what, the thing that makes you a writer is your ability not to start a project, but to complete one.

Below are 10 ridiculously tips that fall under each of these three major phases plus an additional 10 bonus tips. I hope they help you tackle and finish the book you dream of writing.

BONUS: Download a quick reference guide for all 20 writing tips. Get them free here.

Phase 1: Getting started

1. Decide what the book is about

Good writing is always about something. Write the argument of your book in a sentence, then stretch that out to a paragraph, and then to a one-page outline. After that, write a table of contents to help guide you as you write, then break each chapter into a few sections. Think of your book in terms of beginning, middle, and end. Anything more complicated will get you lost.

2. Set a daily word count goal

John Grisham began his writing career as a lawyer and new dad — in other words, he was really busy. Nonetheless, he got up an hour or two early every morning and wrote a page a day. After a couple of years, he had a novel. A page a day is only about 300 words. You don’t need to write a lot. You just need to write often. Setting a daily goal will give you something to aim for. Make it small and attainable so that you can hit your goal each day and start building momentum.

3. Have a set time to work on your book every day

Consistency makes creativity easier. You need a daily deadline to do your work — that’s how you’ll finish writing a book. Feel free to take a day off, if you want, but schedule that ahead of time. Never let a deadline pass; don’t let yourself off the hook so easily. Setting a daily deadline and regular writing time will ensure that you don’t have to think about when you will write. When it’s time to write, it’s time to write.

4. Write in the same place every time

It doesn’t matter if it’s a desk or a restaurant or the kitchen table. It just needs to be different from where you do other activities. Make your writing location a special space, so that when you enter it, you’re ready to work. It should remind you of your commitment to finish this book. Again, the goal here is to not think and just start writing.

Phase 2: Do the work

5. Set a total word count

Once you’ve started writing, you need a total word count for your book. Think in terms of 10-thousand work increments and break each chapter into roughly equal lengths. Here are some general guiding principles:

  • 10,000 words = a pamphlet or business white paper. Read time = 30-60 minutes.
  • 20,000 words = short eBook or manifesto. The Communist Manifesto is an example of this, at about 18,000 words. Read time = 1-2 hours.
  • 40,000–60,000 words = standard nonfiction book / novella. The Great Gatsby is an example of this. Read time = three to four hours.
  • 60,000–80,000 words = long nonfiction book / standard-length novel. Most Malcolm Gladwell books fit in this range. Read time = four to six hours.
  • 80,000 words–100,000 words = very long nonfiction book / long novel. The Four-Hour Work Week falls in this range.
  • 100,000+ words = epic-length novel / academic book / biography. Read time = six to eight hours. The Steve Jobs biography would fit this category.

6. Give yourself weekly deadlines

You need a weekly goal. Make it a word count to keep things objective. Celebrate the progress you’ve made while still being honest about how much work is left to do. You need to have something to aim for.

7. 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. These can be friends, editors, family. Just try to find someone who will give you honest feedback early on to make sure you’re headed in the right direction.

Phase 3: Finishing

8. Commit to shipping

No matter what, finish the book. Set a deadline or have one set for you. Then release it to the world. 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. The worst thing would be for you to quit once this thing is written. That won’t make you do your best work and it won’t allow you to share your ideas with the world.

9. Embrace failure

As you approach the end of this project, know that this will be hard and you will most certainly mess up. Just be okay with failing, and give yourself grace. That’s what will sustain you — the determination to continue, not your elusive standards of perfection.

10. Write another book

Most authors are embarrassed by their first book. I certainly was. But without that first book, you will never learn the lessons you might otherwise miss out on. So, put your work out there, fail early, and try again. This is the only way you get better. You have to practice, which means you have to keep writing.

Every writer started somewhere, and most of them started by squeezing their writing into the cracks of their daily lives. That’s how I began, and it may be where you begin, as well. The ones who make it are the ones who show up day after day. You can do the same.

Want to go to the next level? Take the next step and learn how to write a bestseller.

The reason most people never finish their books

Every year, millions of books go unfinished. Books that could have helped people, brought beauty or wisdom into the world.

In one way or another, the problem is always the same. The author quit. Maybe you’ve dealt with this. You started writing a book but never completed it. You got stuck and didn’t know how to finish. Or you completed your manuscript but didn’t know what to do after. But here’s what nobody told you:

The secret to finishing a book is having a process you can trust.

As a matter of survival, I’ve had to create a clear book-writing framework for myself, what I call the “five draft method” which helps me get a book written and ready to launch. This is the part that I never learned in any English class:

In other words, the writing process matters. You have to write a book worthy of being sold. And if you want to maximize your chances of finishing your book, you need a plan. Writing has changed my life. It helped me find my calling and provided an opportunity to make an impact on the world and a living for my family.

If you’re serious about doing the same, click here to learn more.

10 more writing tips

Need some help staying motivated? Here are another 11 tips to help you keep going.

11. Only write one chapter at a time

Write and publish a novel, one chapter at a time, using Amazon Kindle Singles, Wattpad, or sharing with your email list subscribers.

12. Write a shorter book

The idea of writing a 500-page masterpiece can be paralyzing. Instead, write a short book of poems or stories. Long projects are daunting. Start small.

13. Start a blog to get feedback early

Getting feedback early and often helps break up the overwhelm. Start a website on WordPress or Tumblr and use it to write your book a chapter or scene at a time. Then eventually publish all the posts in a hardcopy book. This is a little different than tradition blogging, but the same concepts apply. We created a free tool to help you know when your blog posts are ready to publish. Check Don’t Hit Publish out.

14. Keep an inspiration list

You need it in order to keep fresh ideas flowing. Read constantly, and use a system to capture, organize and find the content you’ve curated. I use Evernote, but use a system that works for you.

15. Keep a journal

Then, rewrite the entries in a much more polished book format, but use some photocopies or scans of the journal pages as illustrations in the book. You could even sell “deluxe” editions that come with photocopied versions of the journal.

16. Deliver consistently

Some days, it’s easy to write. Some days, it’s incredibly hard. The truth is: inspiration is merely a byproduct of your hard work. You can’t wait for inspiration. The Muse is really an out-of-work bum who won’t move until you do. Show her who’s boss and that you mean business.

17. Take frequent breaks

Niel Fiore, the author of The Now Habit, says, “There is one main reason why we procrastinate: It rewards us with temporary relief from stress.” If you’re constantly stressed about your unfinished book, you’ll end up breaking your schedule. Instead, plan for breaks ahead of time so you stay fresh: minute breaks, hour breaks, or even multiple day breaks.

18. Remove distractions

Try tools like Ommwriter or Byword or Scrivener to let you write in a totally distraction free environment. That way, email, Facebook, and Twitter won’t interrupt your flow.

19. Write where others are writing (or working)

If you’re having trouble writing consistently by yourself, write where other people are also working. A coffee shop or library where people are actually working and not just socializing can help. If you’re in a place where other people are getting things done, then you’ll have no choice but to join them.

20. Don’t edit as you go

Instead, write without judgment first, then go back and edit later. You’ll keep a better flow and won’t be interrupted by constant criticism of your own work. And you’ll have a lot more writing to edit when it’s time to do so.

And now, let’s get writing

Most books go unfinished. That’s the reality. If you want to be different, you’re going to need a plan. I’ve tried to share that with you in this post. But maybe you want to not only get your book done, but you want to make sure it’s something worth selling.

What do you do, then?

Remember: Before you can launch a bestseller, you have to write one. Fortunately, I’ve broken down that process piece by piece and can share with you exactly what it takes to write a bestseller. To learn more about that and have me walk you through each step of writing a best-selling book, click here.

You can also download a quick reference guide for all of these writing tips here.

Get the tools you need to write your book. Stop dreaming and write a bestseller.

What do you want to write a book about? What is your best writing advice? Share in the comments.

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.

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  • Daniel

    I don’t speak english very well but I would like tô Shear my ideal the frist book u want to write write about u real life story the good and bad time u passa thr belive some where for some one it well make sence

    • Robotcyborg

      Mmm no sorry..not sure what you are saying. Please learn English.

  • Daniel

    Have ever watch a movie FREEDOM TO WRITE

    • Ashley


  • lorna


    I have already written one chapter but my problems is that feedback or help from a writer. i do not know hwere at the end of my writing i can publish i dnt know the process. can you help me with that.

    • Nico Wonderdust

      Hey, join reddit and head over to reddit.com/r/WriteWorld give you all the feedback you require and offer you all he help and support you need as well as sharing some great resources.

      • Michelle

        This doesn’t even make sense all he help and support? I think you mean all the help you need also after your link say for example: (my link) will give you all the help….
        So (…writerworld) will give you all the help…

    • Robotcyborg

      Are you writing in English?…because your grammar is terrible. Maybe start with fixing that…but keep writing anyway..you will improve with each page!

  • Sanya

    Can you please tell me about how long a chapter in a book should be?

    • Nico Wonderdust

      Hey, join reddit and head over to reddit.com/r/WriteWorld and we will answer any question you may have and offer you all he help and support you need as well as sharing some great resources.

    • Robotcyborg

      Go to the library pick up a novel…read it..count pages in chapter..pick up another book…rinse,wash,repeat.

    • Yoongi’s Tongue Technology

      I don’t think there’s a specific number to how long a chapter should be, but I, personally, like my chapters to be between 2500 and 4000 words.

  • Yoongi’s Tongue Technology

    This was very helpful. I started writing when I twelve, and so far I finished writing five novellas, and a lot of short stories and one shots. I haven’t written anything in months, I just can’t choose which story or idea to tell. Should I show the ideas to a bunch of friends and ask them which one’s the most interesting?

  • Deborah Starling

    I LOVE THIS BLOG! This particular post really inspired me. Thank you for sharing all of these wonderful and informative tips with your readers. My writer’s mantra is “do not let self-doubt diminish that gift.” I recently read a writing guide that I have been recommending to my writer friends called “Creative Visualization for Writers.” The author Nina Amir delivers on so many levels with this book, and has come up with a truly “holistic” approach to writing. Without sounding condescending, but rather quite consultative, she almost provides a handbook on how to tap into one’s creativity and writing innovation. I actually have made more progress on my own novella in the month since I read her work than I had made in the previous 18 months. I applaud you, Ms. Amir! Anybody that is feeling stuck should give this a try. It’s hard not to gain momentum after taking this one in. Hope you will check it out. Her website is super information too: https://ninaamir.com/

  • Dana Winkler

    A writing coach can help. There’s a couple of great ones at http://www.heart-of-roses.com. Check it out.

  • Kitaab Deals

    “Hello Jeff Goins”,
    Thank you for sharing such valuable article and all of these wonderful and informative tips with your readers .really you Are too Good Plese keep continue and connected with us

  • Jake Koenig

    Hey, great blog, or whatever this is, it’s really inspirational- despite the fact that I have no writing talent- but some people have asked “What word do I start with?” I belive that it depends. Some genres might start with an onimonipia (sound, like putting BOOM!) and some might want a dialog that describes how the book is going to be like (if it’s about some middle school kid’s life, then maybe like[as I’ve heard before {and yes this is how you parenthisis within a parenthisis}] it was a hot summer, or cold spring) and some should be an action without dialog for a while. (I quickly strided down the boardwalk, in pursuit of the suspect….) and, as this blog, or whatever this is, states, MAKE AN OUTLINE FIRST, this can make the actual writing easier, help the title be easier to make, and as some of you readers/writers wanted, the genre, so, as above, ^ you can decide your firs word(s). And as this suggests, the first word doesn’t matter as much as the words that follow them, therefore, don’t stress on that first word, you can just stress out about those next words! 😀


    I have a unique style in writing stories/novels. I will have the full story (from beginning to end) in my mind before writing it. Then I start writing some key dialogues or situations, followed by other parts.

    Its like covering an entire paper with blue ink using a dropper. First put some drops here and there. A large area will be covered like this. Then fill in the gaps by putting smaller drops.

    It is really interesting to write in this way.

    • Random Young Author

      I do it the same way.

    • Tim Weikle

      Yea, I write close to the same way, i have the big picture in mind and make the little pieces of the story fall into place with it or let those little pieces change the direction the book is going completely.

  • Laura

    First I love your suggestions! I have BA in Communications for the University of Washington and wrote for the state legislature in daily newspaper. I also free lanced with query letters and was never turned down. Went back to college and have MLS (master’s degree as a public children’s librarian) from Texas Women’s University.
    I want to write a board book about my chuchuchia ( I need spell check!) The title is “Another Day in the Life of SoSo.” Do I need an illustrator or kid friendly drawings I can do?
    Can I also do a play on words, so parents enjoying the book? Here is an example – where’s the meet instead of meat?
    Thank you!

  • Kelly

    I have been wanting to write a book for years. I have never set myself to just one category either. I read mostly sci-fi and fiction but my children encourage me to write children’s books. I think because all of the reading I do, it has affected my dreams and given me new ideas for books. Then when watching my children I remember feeling the emotions they feel and seeing the world through a child’s eyes. I have even thought of mixing the two together. The hardest thing for me was finding the motivation and how to go about it without wearing myself down. I read your post and this has been very inspirational and given me the mindset to start my book. Thank you so much.

    • Brian

      Kelly, frustration ends when you make a DECISION to get a system going that guides you. Check the course on writing stories for children http://www.nzibs.co.nz
      Take a look. Then you’ll be on your journey.

  • Nelly

    Hello. My problem with writing my book is I gave too much information/ of the story way to soon. Sometimes me getting started is a problem also but not as much as me writing way too much way too fast Help! Thanks

  • disqus_URUQ4U2zba

    Thanks for the tips. I am looking to write a political piece. I would like to put the book chapters at a time on Amazon. I’m having alot of trouble deciding how I want to go about it. Basically I want to start introducing myself and explaining how I’ve came to my ideas and political beliefs. My question is were do I start

    • Drew Peacock

      save yourself the time, nobody cares or wants to read about that

      • xXTitaniumArcherXx

        That’s a little harsh. While I myself wouldn’t enjoy reading that much (I hate politics), I know some people who would probably love to read a book like that.

  • Chinedu Ozulumba

    Great work Jeff. Thanks

  • The ruins of Kanzore !

    I love hockey, snowboarding and i’m creative. I fcking enjoy writing my fantasy book with my heroes: Arsenal, Balsamine, Tozan!

  • Radu Str.

    Hello! I am only 13 years old, but I already started to write a science fiction book. I wrote the first page already,but I don’t know how to pass from the description to the actual action… What should I do?

    • Erky Kayla

      The description should just be the intro then go to chapter one

    • Austin G. Gilson

      I would love to help you out with your book, find me on Facebook and we can message about it. What is the book about?

      • Radu Str.

        Thanks a lot! What is your facebook name? (and what is your profile picture?)

        • Austin G. Gilson

          Austin G. Gilson, my picture is the same as on here 🙂

    • keez1979

      Do not friend this person (Austin Gilson) on Facebook or message them without your parents knowing about it. You don’t even know them and you are only 13-years-old.

  • Mistick_Girl

    I have been wanting to write a book. For past three years i have started a book and kind of never finished. when i write, i run out of ideas and i end up delaying the book. Can someone help me figure out how to keep going and not stop?
    Also i have an Wattpad account, its a app where you write books and also you can read others people works.

    • xXTitaniumArcherXx

      And same, I don’t know how to actually get the motivation to finish a book either

  • Adrianna McClain

    Can you use writing prompts and then turn them into your own story????

    • No, I don’t think that would make for a very clear book. But writing prompts might be a good way to begin a story.

  • Cococococococo

    Hello. I have been wanting to write a long biography about someone and I don’t know how to start. These are my favourite ones. Which one is the best? If you have any more please tell me.

    1. I miss my father. Even if I didn’t know him for long.
    2. Why do I have to be the eldest?
    3. Little sisters are annoying.

  • Helder Almeida

    my name is Helder Almeida and I would like o talk with you more on how to write a book.
    my email is helder.arch@hotmail.com

  • Martin lauder

    I have written a book but it’s mostly just speech does that matter?

  • EnglandLover_15

    Hello, I am currently trying to write a book. You can call it a novel, a fictitious romance, or even a short story because all I got right now is something small. It’s only 3 chapters long and about 4 to 5 pages each. I’m wanting to make it longer and more interesting. I am running out of ideas and I really need help with how to make my conversations in my book better. I find myself going from 3rd person pov to 1st person pov constantly and I can’t seem to figure out how to keep the story smooth and creative. I feel like I’m stealing others ideas without knowing it, because so many people have made stories and books, countless people in fact, and I just wish I could figure this out. I really love writing with it and what I got is pretty good but I can’t seem to get anywhere else with it. Is there any ideas you can give me?

  • cherry

    I have wanted to write a non-fictitious book for yours about my chaotic life. I believe people could learn from it as its about jealousy, love, abuse, racism and changing my character to survive while I was beaten repeatedly just because he could. How do I begin! Should I start from the beginning of my life and try to remember my childhood happy days or should I start from the outcome of surviving the pit whole of hell from my teenage years to now. I’m unsure; it will be interesting no matter what. I think its like attending an interview for an English teaching post when you only speak German; (you have to learn it) Can anyone advise.

  • Ashley

    Hi there! I found a book that I really connected with and it has inspired me to write. I guess it sounds a little weird to myself to say that I am writing a book. I have written from a young age in journal form and in attempts to write something. Though the difference for me now and then is that now I have three kids and it is kind of tough to find time to write. I really appreciate you putting this out as it has helped me answer many questions I have wondered to myself. Feeling surprisingly confident about this whole thing! Thanks again!

  • Marcia Bingham

    How do I begin? I have been told many times I should write about my life. As a young child of sexual abuse, being harassed in junior and senior high school, joining the military at 17, onto my adult years of trying to over come the abuse I had endured, telling my husband, telling our children, seeking counseling, telling mother in law, then having to endure years of more abuse at my job. I really do not know if this is something others would be interested in reading or not. What do you think? I read your outline to start smart, set a goal, etc. I do not remember dates, times, etc just situations, etc of the abuse. I have recently been diagnosed with PTSD stemming from my childhood until now. Thank you for any and all advice!! 🙂

    • Laura

      I think it would be a blessing to many to hear your story!

    • Aj

      Writing will bring healing, also give courage to those going through the same. It’s really sad to see what you went through. I pray God gives you healing and forgiveness for those who wronged you. May your book be a great bestseller

    • Dee Dee Brown

      Hi there:-) reading your message is like looking into the mirror with my life experiences to date. Almost the same struggles etc.. I am also starting to write about my life and day to day survival etc. I would say that yes many many like ourselves would be able to have an instant connection to what we have been through..I am writing my book to inspire those who felt and still at times feel helpless or unwanted but have overcome over the years. We still have our demons in the closset but we keep them there only allowing them to come out in the form of “our 1st book” about our life. 🙂 Good luck and get busy writing! I have only starting writing my book, my story and I am 55 years old. Never to let to help others with similar tragic experiences that have made us who we are today.

  • Carrie Guay

    I too have a story, I was abused by a man when I was 16 years old (he was 28), he forced me into prostitution, made me watch as he murdered my tiny defenseless puppy. He was a diagnosis psychopath and it took 2 years and 10 days to finally be free of him! I would love to find other writers and form a online writing group. Every week we can skype together and be partnered up and we can share our writing with each other like once a week or so. This way we have a real deadline which I know for me would keep me on track! If anyone is intrested in starting a group with me please contact me on Facebook Carrie Guay, Calgary Alberta, or email carrieaguay@gmail.com

  • Jay Simon

    I’m writing an inspirational type book about self evaluation and the ups and downs life can throw at you and the things that I use to inspire me, in hopes it could do the same for someone else. Could this be a good writing topic? I’m new to this.

  • Thanks for creating such a great post with full of resources. It’s a
    complete post that will help me to to improve my writing skill. Thank
    You again.

  • spencer acevedo

    hello there i am new to this and i mean i want to write a book but i do not know about what because i want it to catch the readers eye i mean i been through so much when i was little till the present as if everything catching up to me as an adult and it messes with head and don’t know where to start any comments or suggestions would help

    • Aj

      You could start with writing about “the story of my life”.. A memoir on your personal life experience

  • Brandi

    Hi, I just recently started following your blog and I went through your steps to start a wordpress blog through bluhost. Now I’m getting a ton of texts and phone calls and even got a message that they’ve sold my contact information! Is there a security step that I missed? Thank you!

    • Huh. Weird. I’ve never heard that happening. I’d contact their support.

  • Janet Martinez

    I am writing about life and what is our purpose on earth. Sending a messsge about you matter. Although we aren’t where we want to be in life such a doctor or an actress or a nurse etc. I want my reader to know that regardless of their social status they are important. And that God knows exactly why he created each unique individual. We just have to trust his timing.

    • Andy89

      I’m writing a book on the injustice if there was a good (it means that forever we should be something inferior to something). Also many other metaphisical questions. Send a copy or replay to this comment when your book is finished. I would like to read it. Thanks and happy writing.

    • LLY

      Janet Martinez- EXACTLY!!! I love what your book will be speaking of already! I, too, want to give my readers a sense of significance in this “mess” we call life.

  • Sikata Sitiratna

    very helpful and inspiring for aspiring writers. Thanks a ton .

  • Mita Franco

    First off, I am so grateful for this informative website. Thank you for sharing your stories, you all inspire me. I have never written a book and today is my first day to start writing one. It seems like a herculean task but before I decided to put ink into paper, I began to internalize this old adage: Success is the fruit of 80% psychology and 20% strategy. Hopefully adding this to my thinking cap will pull me through.

    • Thanks for sharing, Mita! Love that 80/20 breakdown.

  • Moni

    HI Jeff: I have written 2 novels that I would like to present to Hallmark for movies. Hallmark will only accept materials through agents. Can you recommend an agent or how I go about finding an agent to present to Hallmark? Thanks. Moni

  • Adrian Lowe

    This is so helpful. I have just embarked on a 3 months sabbatical and after lots of encouragement from a friend I have decided to write a book! I have struggled with all the reason why not to do it! Your advice is so clear and straightforward. Thanks

  • john

    how could I get the publisher?

    • poop

      buy poop

    • taylor

      Justbreathepublishing.com offers ebook publishing for free!

  • Elizabeth

    I’ve wanted to write a book and finally doing something about it. This question may seem stupid as I’m hitting middle age and struggling to keep up with modern technology. How is it done nowadays when sending a finished product to a publisher? Is it all electronically done? Is it better to print it up and send it as a fully fledged manuscript of days gone by? Or is it as simple as sending an email? (Providing a link, downloading onto a US stick etc?)

  • poop


  • Sara

    How do you get a publisher

    • Taylor Beardshear

      Just Breathe Publishing can help get you published today, at not cost to you!

      Check us out at JustBreathePublishing.com for more info!

  • Taylor Beardshear

    Just Breathe Publishing is an Indie Publishing company, looking for more authors. We bridge the gap between traditional publishers and today’s new technology! We offer free publishing services at no cost to you. Out literary agents will work with you to bring your eBook to market quickly.

    Check us out at JustBreathePublishing.com or email us at info@justbeathepublishing.com

  • Zoe

    Thank you so much that’s really helpful

  • wb63

    Jeff, how much time do you spend on research? I’m trying to ensure the dates and places of my fiction novel are accurate. Do you consider this to be a necessary part of the process?

  • Great post. The key is to finish!

  • Mzh

    When I was in middle school I enjoyed writing even if I wasn’t so good. After that I started high school. I started writing again in the beginning of 2016. I started writing fanfictions, but during the process I got idea for a book. I created the plot, but the actual writing (writing chapters) gave me a hard time. I created my characters there.
    Finally I saw a helpful advises here and I think I will rewrite my book.

  • Louise Belcher

    😱 Thank you for sharing this with everyone, this was more helpful than anything else I have read so far. 👏🏻👏🏻


  • Bill Poorman

    Great post. Thanks for sharing!

  • Dickcock

    Can someone

  • followbait


  • sam

    The main thing is make sure you use proper tools to help with grammar, duplicate content, etc. It makes life a lot easier and there’s plenty of free tools for that

    • kevin

      what tools do you use?

      • sam

        I use grammarcheckr.com pretty much takes care of everything

  • Kulitha Ranaweera


  • Olin

    I cannot imagine writing without structuring the key points for myself. Simple notepad is sometimes enough when the idea bumps your mind but keeping all the sketches in mindmap form is priceless. I chose ConceptDraw MINDMAP 9 http://www.conceptdraw.com/products/mind-map-software, shame it is not free but at least can trial it…

  • Marlene

    Thank you very much for this inspiring article. I have just started to write my very first book (almost 20,000 words are written so far). When self-doubt is appearing around the corner, I have a look at your motivational words – and keep on working 🙂 Hopefully the result will mirror these efforts. Until then I just try to do my best. Marlene

  • Dastory Daimon

    Thax ..its really helpful

  • jaz boswell

    This has been quite helpful.

  • alecberg

    Great Post! Thanks for the inspiration to go back and finish two of the many books I’ve started like 69 Immutable Laws of Weight Loss and Wisdom of a Dad

    The first step of Write the argument of your book in a sentence seems vague to me. Is it the argument of:
    1. Why someone should buy the book
    2. Why someone should read the book
    3. What the book will convince you to do or believe
    4. What the book is about

    I’m looking at a number of books on my shelf and I’m not sure what the “argument” would be for any of them. It might help me if you listed some commonly read non-fiction books and listed their “argument” in one sentence.

    Also could you address “How to decide which book to work on if you have multiple” because this seems to be my biggest problem. Also, how to get feedback which I’ve been unable to do.

  • Heidi Cato

    Hi there! My name is Heidi Cato and I’m a graphic design student. During my studies I created a brochure called “How To Write A Book In 10 Steps” and I used your content for it. I’ve always given credit to you, as for class projects they told us we could just barrow content as long as copy fitted well and never intended on using it for real purposes.

    That being said I’d really like to enter into a competition with this brochure and I’d like to keep your content on it. I’d just like your permission. It will never be sold or used for anything except to show my designer quality. If it won it would appear in Communication Arts Design Annual and be distributed around the world.

    Please let me know either way. I want to make sure I’m not infringing upon you. You worked hard and deserve all the credit for the great advice you’ve given.

    You can contact me at hcato01@baker.edu

    Thank you for your time.

  • Robert Salter

    My first time even considering writing a book actually I lack is writing and reading I want to challenge myself and let out all my imagination and thoughts that are overflowing it’s overwhelming just thinking about it wish me good luck I’ll be following most of the steps listen

    Robert salter -robsalter1993@gmail.com

  • Glenn

    Give yourself weekly deadlines.This actually sounds like a good idea. I already know how I will celebrate my weekly achievements but have no idea how to motivate myself in case I’ll start slacking.
    As for giving a feedback, I usually ask my sister opinion on each chapter after I’ve wrote it down. But sometimes I just want to finish the whole book so she would read it in one go and not pieces by pieces.
    Glenn from How to Write
    P.S. Thanks for sharing such wonderful tips!

  • Anss Khurana

    i am fresher for this work
    i start a writing……
    but am not understanding
    how to make a new ideas for my title
    in daily rutine………

    • Azlam

      New ideas is not something which you can have in the market. In the market, ideas you are getting that belongs to someone else. For your idea you have to be honest and genuine, keep on searching, thinking or exploring on your area of interest and eventually your will something very interesting that you may want to share with others in the form of book or blog or could be any form. Just start creative thinking and start putting it on the paper! that is it you are done with your mission.

  • very helpful and inspiring for writers. Thanks for great story and tips on
    How to write a book.

  • anonimous

    very helpful for anybody fiction or non-fiction it can be a great help I listened to all the steps and now I’m an author and its all down to these steps

  • Mtr

    I am new to writing and it’s a struggle.
    I do not feel comfortable sharing my work with others especially those who are related to me.
    But recently I have started a blog call thought at random
    And I do force myself into writing
    I am struggling little to find myself and to develop some skills. I am not a very talented person but trying my very best to find some happiness and sense of achievement through writing.

    • Daneja Kirkland

      Your mindset is important. To say you’re not talented is hindering you. You’re writing to your audience, you are speaking to them through written word. What are they going to find when they read what you have written? Writing a book or blog sometimes has to be selfless…. thinking of others instead of trying to get something out of it for yourself.

  • Rehan Wangde

    I have a love story on my personal life. Can any1 help me how to start with it. Its about a relation for about 14 years with many twists and turns. Can anyone help me write a full fledge book with my POV.

    • Amber Moore

      It sounds like you should be looking for a ghost writer.

    • John Stephen Walsh

      Start writing from the beginning. Keep going until the end. The opening isn’t set in stone, but you won’t get anywhere until you have something written down. Don’t worry if it’s wrong–you can change that later. Just start writing, or you’ll never get anything written. Good luck.

  • Ashley Lyons

    I want to write about my personal life mainly on how my parents got together. My parents have known each other since they were in high school. I also want to write about my dad’s bipolar and alcoholism how its worsen’t. I want to show readers bipolar and alcoholism can effect family and relationships. There are so many things that I want to write in my story. I don’t know were to begin. With my father’s alcoholism and bipolar is worsen’t my parents are getting a divorced. The only thing is I’m having trouble started it. Any advice ?

  • Lisa Barab

    One of the things that have held me back is publishing venue. Do I pay HayHouse? Do I try Amazon? I am unfamiliar with the ins and outs as well as which direction is maximizes profitability, which is very important to me m.
    Help there would be great.

  • Mehedi Dipu

    hello Jeff Goins,
    tk, for your service I like you in my work you can ad mehttps://web.facebook.com/Benefit-Of-Ramadan-318490378583747/

  • Teresia A Wade

    Awakening from A Dream

  • Michael Thompson

    So I have a a title, I have most of my characters and I have a vague and rough plot (which I keep on changing) and most of the general ideas I need for my very first book, but for some reason I cannot seem to get going. It’s not that I’ve hit a wall, it’s more a case that I genuinely do not know how to start it. I would greatly appreciate any sort of advice that anyone can provide for this. I have ran the premise by a few objective friends (work colleagues etc) and received positive feedback so far.

    • Foteini Androni

      Hi Michael..I think that the beginning of a book is one of the most
      difficult things to do. I would suggest to take some time first and
      think about your story and your plot.Live into your book, love your
      characters, embrace them Then I would suggest to simply start without
      trying to make an impressive start. If you are not satisfied with the
      start of your book you will come back later and make it better. That is
      what I intent to do, because I am not satisfied with the first page of
      the book I am writing. I wish you the best..

  • shamim kamal

    I have few doubts .
    I want to write a book about how to use a particular software with it’s tricks how to use easily .so this will not bring any copy rite issues ? Can I write ?
    Initially I want to write about advanced topics . Later I want to write each and every step by step procedure to show how to use that . First writing advanced topics later improving the same book with start up topics is that correct pls guide me . Waiting for your advices .
    Thanks in advance .

    • Azlam.

      In which language are you willing to write? And btw writing instruction how to use anything doesn’t violate copyright issue! No It’s not correct to write advance topics and then write startup topics. First be clear about your mission in writing why you are writing and for whom. Go for startup and then gradually on advance specifically if you are demonstrating particular software. Hope this would help. Thanks.

  • Floridian

    I just finished writing my eBook. What is the next step? I understand there is a format for eBooks, is that next? How do I proceed? somebody help me please !

    • Michael Brooks

      You can look up how to publish ebooks through amazon and I do believe they provide software for formatting

    • Jon Bird

      I think I can save you some time and effort.

      Find a windows 10 pc, download Scrollistic from the windows store, it’s free.
      Import your book, tidy up a bit and then click generate.
      It automatically give you mobi and epub files including a table of contents.
      Upload the mobi to kindle direct publishing and most other place will take the epub.
      Hope this helps, oh and you will need a cover image.

      • Nick Muffin

        THANK YOU !!!

  • Hiba Koubeissi

    Thank you very much Jeff for sharing these tips, its helpful.

  • I downloaded and printed your sheet right away. Love this post. I am an addict of the practical and love the quote about inspiration being a by-product. It is so true I have found. Thank you again for a jam-packed treasure here.

  • Steve Bennett

    Thanks a lot! These tips are very helpful and inspiring to me as a new writer.

  • Gwen Phillips

    Hello everyone…I am new to writing. I have a lot to say. Everyday I have thoughts of what my book would be about. I have a title but not sure whether or not its taken. I eager to get started but don’t know how to start. I pray that some day when I start and finish my book it will be a blessing to many. Any advice???

    • Eli Githiria

      i got alot of content we can share

  • Robert Jacob

    I am very interested writing novels, EBooks and stories, but I am not sure how to write the top notch novel, I did a Google search and found one of the guide it helps me to write top notch novel book within few days, The method explain in the guide it created me to think differently, I felt some writer had come to my mind and I done perfectly, Before writing any novel, books or stories, I recommended this guide to all, before writing any E-books read at least one time.
    Check here >> ( http://go2l.ink/novel
    Writing good eBooks is god gift.

  • bobby p

    I have several journals that i would like to compile and publish.I am glad i came across this.

  • Floridian

    Thank you, thank you, thank you !!! You surely help me !!! Many thanks again!!!

  • Floridian

    Thank you Michael, I’ll surely check that. Thanks again.


    i have a title in mind but don;t know what to write

    • Nick Muffin

      Sir. Read some books or listen to songs that roam around your title.

  • When you are writing a book, grammar and lexical correctness are very important. That is why I recommend you to use grammarly.com app and pro-essay-writer.com service

    • kre8tivempulse

      Yes, you’re right I have both of these and even I am just starting out I love these apps.

  • Cortney Swar

    Thanks for useful tips. I think sometimes the problem is not in lack of knowledge how to write a book, but in lack of confidence and belief in oneself to do it. You need to be brave and motivated enough to try yourself as a writer. But if you dare, that may fundamentally change your life.

  • Cortney Swar

    Thanks for this guide. I think that very often the problem is not in lack of knowledge of how to write a book, but in lack of confidence and belief in oneself to do it. You must be brave and motivated enough to try yourself as a writer. But if you dare, that may change your life fundamentally.

  • Shiney Kurian

    Thank you for this guide. It was really helpful and very thorough:)

  • Ali Ramadhan

    I ‘d like to make this formulas to realize my dream…

  • Richard Rees

    Great list, Jeff! I found myself following lots of these points while writing my first book, and I found them to be extremely helpful in staying productive and not losing focus. Particularly writing at my desk consistently, and writing every day, writing and refining one chapter at a time. It’s a great way to stay confident when you move forward.

  • LeJessica Henderson

    Im only 16 and I want to be a writer and other things I just don’t know if I can do it…do you think I can?? Anyone??

    • John Sanders

      Hi LeJessica,

      Absolutely! Yes you can become a writer.You are only 16.This is the PERFECT
      time for you to get started.I would start getting my hands on any BOOK,TAPES,
      VIDEOS and PRODUCTS I could find,and start learning about writing.We are liv-
      ing in the INTERNET age.There are so many websites like this site(THANK YOU
      JEFF GOINS) with so much valuable (free) information.

      If you want to become a writer.You have to study writng.Anything you want to become good at in your life.You have to dedicate your MIND,BODY and SOUL to it.

      I wish I could be 16 again.There are a lot of things I would do different.To follow
      my dreams.

      I don”t know you personally LeJessica.But thank you for asking the question.”do you think I can”.As long as you keep on asking questions.You will find the answers

      I BELIEVE IN YOU LeJessica!!!

      • kre8tivempulse

        Hi John, as you were giving LeJessica great advice you gave it to me also and thank you for all that you said especially the part about dedicating my mind, body and soul to take each step of writing and that means studying about writing.

    • Taylor Wattigney

      Hey, LeJessica
      You can do anything you put enough effort into. I’m 17 and I have written 3 full novels. Though so far none of them have been published. I’m working on my 4th now and I am very excited. My advice would be to let the characters write their own story and you just follow what is going on. Its a hard thing to do at first but once you get used to it, it will be like watching a movie. Don’t stress out about it and have fun. A good book is written when you having fun writing and not stressing. I believe in what you can do. 😉

    • kre8tivempulse

      I have wanted to be a writer since a small child had no parental support. I found out later in life through a lot of ups and downs that you can do what you put your mind to do and if this is a passion of yours, GO FOR IT!!! That’s what I am doing now at the young age of 60 years.

  • andrew

    I’m a writer living abroad, can i get published by international agencies? I have +200,000 words English-written historical fiction trilogy (+250k in my native language). Any tips?


    this is a wonderful guide……pls can i finish and publish a short book in less than 3 months

  • Laura Elein Hurd

    Hi, I want to write a story about my life. I want to the world to hear my story. I think it make a difference. I don’t know where to begin.

    • kre8tivempulse

      I am doing the same thing and this would be my first book…..I have been told for many years to do this but I had to wait until I knew for sure I was ready. I’ve gotten a lot of good advice but still my thoughts were all over the place however, after many days and nights of research I finally came across something that works for me. I found a mind-mapping site and it it great, it has given me the outline I needed to start using my ideas. This does work for me…I hope it will help you. it’s called bubbl.us Happy Hunting!!!!

    • call 1-609-402-9590

  • Hannah Deeley

    I am currently writing a novel and I was wondering if I could have some feedback on the plot.
    The book is set in the medieval ages in a kingdom called Evermere. A young maid, Mary Rawling, is taken advantage of by the King and becomes pregnant. The Queen, (Queen Elin), is made aware of the situation with the unborn child because Jaeger (Mary’s baby), is officially the true heir to the throne.
    Queen Elin orders the guards to kill and dispose of Mary and her unborn baby silently. In among those guards that were ordered to murder the young woman, a man named Ademar Cromwell realises the danger Mary is in and aids her to escape the kingdom of Evermere into a distant village, Little Oxinden, into the neighbouring kingdom (The Vailes Empire).
    The guard, maid and child are now accused as traitor’s to Evermere because of the Queen’s lies against them. Ademar leaves Mary and the unborn child (Jaeger) yet stays in the village in order to protect the woman if any danger occurs because he is in love with her.
    After a number of years, Jaeger is now 14 and his mother has fallen rather ill. She has not received the proper medication because of the little money they have and the lack of resources in the village of Little Oxinden. Jaeger now has to steal bread in the village (which can result in death if the thief is caught).
    A few months pass and Mary’s condition continually worsens until the fateful day when she dies in her home. Jaeger is grief-stricken. He runs out of the small, cramped house and is met by a strange man. The unidentified man has scars and marks on his tanned face and his fingers were long and cracked–evidence of a merciless past. The man grabs Jaeger’s arm, swings him around and lifts him onto his back. Although the protests of Jaeger were heard, the strange man still trudged down the path until the couple were stopped by a handsome house in the middle of the area, standing proudly amongst the multiple trees that were guarding the building.
    The strange man carried Jaeger into the house and rested him upon a rough seat. The man sat down next to him and explained to the best of his ability that his mother asked him to take the boy in if anything were to happen to her. When Jaeger asked what the man’s name was, he whispered, “Ademar”.
    Ademar then told the whole story of what happened in the castle all of those years ago and how the three (Ademar, Mary and Jaeger) escaped into the very village they were in at that moment. When Ademar came to the topic of the royal family, hatred was seen in his eyes. He blamed the royal family for Mary’s death (he was in love with her) and wanted revenge for the injustice of her death.
    The rest of the book is about the training that Jaeger went through as Ademar teaches him the ways when he was a guard in the castle of Evermere. After years of training (Jaeger is now 19 years old) both of the men leave the village and start their journey to the kingdom of Evermere. Along the way they go through many adventures and meet a woman, Fae Hollings, (17 years old), and she too hates the royal family because her father was worked to death in the kingdom. So the trio endure pain, loss, happiness and laughter in their voyage to the kingdom to attempt to kill the royal family (the King and Queen sent the kingdom into destruction and war for years). Then… They find themselves on the border of Evermere.
    That is going to be in the first book. How do you think it is? Does anything need to change in the plot?

    • Hannah Deeley

      Copyrighted Hannah Deeley 2017

    • Vamsi

      It’s good and interesting. One more thing, the 17 years old girl Fae Hollings is going to marry Jaeger, right? It gives some interesting conclusion at the end.

      • Hannah Deeley

        Yes, Fae is going to marry Jaeger in the end! Also, thank you for the feedback.

    • JC Meza

      I like the plot. You have some great writing skills by just describing the summary. I wish you the best in finishing your novel. I am writing a book myself after having the idea in my mind for 9 years now. If I dont write it now, I may never write it at all.

  • I Brew the Tea..

    How do you publish a book? Do you just type it up and send off?

    • Sam Srn


  • ChristineMeany

    Thanks!Nice article!
    If you don’t mind ill tweet it https://twitter.com/MeanyChristine

  • Hm, whe I need to write something I use their help

  • Very fascinating article. I wish you success in your work.

  • A great resource. Often I look to you.

  • Ankita Anwala


  • Ankita Anwala

    I want to write on love marriage versus arrange marriage

  • J. D. Bradley

    I keep getting controversial input about how long a novel is supposed to be. I did research into how long a decent best seller is. they are as long as 70,000 words to 120,000 thousands words.
    my ex-sister in law has gone to many writing fairs and writing groups. my ex-sister in law says an authors first book should be around 35,000 to 45,000 words and to get published by a real publisher you have to get a real editor.
    people I’ve talked with keep saying “harry potter is the exception.” to this rule.
    why would I want to start a book off with 35,000 words when I ended my first rough draft at 92,000 words.

  • Ayukachale

    I’m not a proficient typist. I find it tedious and my ideas are stilted. I focus on typing the words instead of building a story. I only write on loose leaf or in my journal 1) learn to type 2) write by hand and have another type 3) write then type as I go?