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The Lazy Writer's Guide to Starting Your Book

Updated: Mar 21, 2023


If you're a writer who struggles with getting started on a book, don't worry, and definitely don’t psyche yourself out! You don't have to be an overachiever to start your book, just keep it simple. The first step to overcoming your self-doubt is setting a goal. Imagine you're a marathon runner at the starting line of a race, and your completed manuscript is the finish line. Now, visualize the feeling of achieving your goal and take that motivation to get started. You’ll be surprised at what you learn about yourself throughout the course of your journey.


Here's a few tips to get you going:


1. "Just Do It" - It may sound cliche, like a NIKE t-shirt but the best way to start is to just start! Don't overthink it, literally just put your pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard and let the words flow out. Don’t be overcritical of yourself, you’re building momentum.


2. Get inspired - Take a walk and observe your surroundings, listen to music, read a book, or do something adventurous for inspiration. Sometimes all it takes is a little seemingly mundane action for a creative snowball effect. Remember there’s a story in everything, you just have to notice it.


3. Start with an outline - If you're struggling to come up with ideas, start by outlining your book like a blueprint. Create the skeletal structure and fill in the details later.


4. Write in short segments - If you're feeling overwhelmed, try writing in short bursts. Set a timer for 10-15 minutes and write as much as you can during that space. This will help you build traction and get into a writing flow.


5. Don't worry about perfection – This is your first draft it doesn't have to be perfect! Just get your ideas down on paper and worry about polishing the gems later.


6. Take plenty of breaks – Breaks are vitally important to avoid burnout. Give your brain a rest and do something else to switch modes. Don’t put pressure on yourself, because then it feels like a job or task you may never get paid for instead of something you enjoy.


Reward yourself at each milestone, whether a page or a completed chapter, each step is a success. Remember, you’re further than you were when you started, which means you’re better than you were before. A page a day gets you a 365-page novel by year end or 3 scripts if you’re writing screenplays. So, clear your space and create a calm inviting atmosphere. Light a candle, play some melodic music, and make yourself comfortable, so you'll look forward to spending time there. It’s only been difficult starting because that’s what you believed, but with these tips, you'll see literary victory in no time. Happy writing!


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