Investigating How To Write a Book

I read an interesting article yesterday that a coworker shared on Facebook. I thought I would take a second to share it here as well – take a look at the article, 9 Ways Twentysomethings Screw Up Their Lives. There are a lot of great lessons in there, and being 25, the lessons hit home. Take a look when you get a chance.

Now, onto the real post – me sharing one of the items on my bucket list, I want to write a book. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but there is an enormous difference between blogging and writing a book. So, looking for some inspiration – I Googled “How To Write a Book.”

The first post to pop up was from Scott Berkun’s blog post, How to Write a Book – The Short Honest Truth. I really like how Scott mentions that ANYONE can write a book. He also notes, that like most creative pursuits, writing is not always a lucrative career. That’s cool by me. I’m looking to be more like Ken Cosgrove anyways. I love this quote from Scott’s blog, “If Voltaire and Marquis de Sade could write in prison, then you can do it in suburbia, at lunch at work, or after your kids go to sleep.”

Scott also provides a bunch of links at the end of his post. Scott also answered a bunch of questions from his readers on how to write a book, it was like Mailbag from Grantland. (Someday I hope that Orange Husky can have a Mailbag!). Here is one question I really enjoyed reading, and something I struggle with in my quest to write a book:

Question: The problem I’m having is this , it’s all in my head, getting it on paper is the hard part. I started writing one evening about four months ago, and got bugged down with it. Telling the story is very easy, but putting it in the form of a book I’m having struggles.

Scott’s Response: Ha! Welcome to the torture of being a creative. There are thousands of musicians who can hear songs in their heads, but can’t make it sound right on the piano or guitar. Painters who imagine canvases in their dreams they can never replicate in the day. The discipline of creative work is learning how to close that gap, over time, through the mastery of craft. There is no shortcut. It doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong, it feels that way for most creative people most of the time. The difference is those who fight through and keep working learn to close the gap. Or perhaps simply make excellent work others love, even if it never perfectly matches what the creator had in their mind.

Solid advice. I also play guitar and get frustrated all the time. I’ll hear something in my head I can’t quite replicate it on guitar – but when I do, it’s magic. So, I think Scott’s resources and blog gave some good advice on how to write a book. As I keep on trying I thought of a few strategies to help me along the way:


1 – Stay Focused

Think of a good story line and really focus on developing. Don’t let yourself drift, be laser like – and once you get a solid core, build out.

2 – Stay Discplined

Try to write a few pages a night or jot down notes. I’ve noticed that so much of my writing depends on being in a good rhythm, I am trying to move away from writing/blogging in spurts, and having more consistency.

3 – Don’t Worry About Publishing

Can’t publish something you haven’t written. I’ll figure this out when I get product I am happy with.


4 – Don’t Forget You’re a Blogger

I get frustrated when trying to write a book. I just need to keep reminding myself that the style is new for me, blogging and writing a book are radically different. Trying to write a book will be a great challenge for me to learn to write in a very different style. No need to freak out if writing isn’t coming easy.

5 – Annoy Mike

Seriously, if I send Mike a ridiculous text message or ask him for a suggestion, he will say something that works or gets me thinking. So maybe the solution isn’t just Mike, but talking to others, collaborating and bouncing some ideas around just to keep my brain firing.


There it is, some of my ideas and thoughts on writing a book. So who knows, maybe I’ll knock writing a book off my bucket list this year.



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2 Comments on “Investigating How To Write a Book”

  1. mikedmitchell2
    April 25, 2012 at 6:33 am #

    I think your last point was very good. I often find that I’m most creative after annoying myself. Also, watching you try and solve the word ‘seesaw’ on Draw Something was pretty hilarious…

  2. May 10, 2012 at 12:17 am #

    I find that tip number 5 works in all pursuits, regardless of whether or not they need creativity. 🙂

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