How to Prepare for a Writing Project

If you’ve got a big idea for a book, how do you begin? I talked to a gentleman the other day who’s got a big idea. He’s given his project a lot of thought and prepared a lot of research material. But what about the writing part? If you’re in a situation like that, how do you get started?

Establish your goal. Identify what you want this book to achieve (or what you want the readers to be able to achieve). In marketing, this would be identifying “the pain point.” What is missing in the readers’ knowledge of this material? How would they benefit from learning more? Establishing your goal for the book will help you maintain focus as you write.

Or, just start writing. Sometimes you can write your way into the questions and answers that will guide you through the rest of the project.

Identify your audience. The Bible is probably the only book where “everyone” is actually the intended audience. Most other books start to segment based on demographics, interests, needs, etc. If you can’t name your audience, picture a person or people you’d most like to know this information, and keep them in mind as you write.

Find samples of the type of book you’d like to write. If you have found similar books that look like what you want to create, take note of the format, structure, length, tone, etc. This can help you create a roadmap for where you’re headed. As you go along, you may even wish to consider other formats, such as turning your idea into an online course.

But do start writing. You can figure some of this out as you go, and even rethink initial assumptions.

Schedule your writing time. Consider how many hours a week you will spend on this project, then put it on a calendar. Creating a schedule helps keep projects on track. Also…

Start writing… one sentence at a time.

Minnie Lamberth is a marketing copywriter and creator of Story Shaping, an encouragement platform. 

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash