Writing Help

How Not to Write a Book

The first thing you want to do is not plan at all. Sit down at your computer, pull up a blank document, and stare at it. Wait for an idea to come to you. If nothing comes to you start looking for inspiration. Keep up that blank document and pull out your phone.

For inspiration, I like to split my time between Instagram and Pinterest. Pinterest is my favourite for writer inspiration because of how you can use boards to pin ideas for characters, prompts, and anything that you think will be helpful for your writing process. I even have a few boards dedicated to pictures that remind me of my settings so I can really picture them.

But before you do that you might want to put on some music. Look through all your songs and playlists for the perfect inspirational jams. Nows also a good time to put together a few writing playlists to help along later in your writing process. A playlist for every emotion or type of scene is so helpful so you don’t have a song completely ruin your writing groove. Songs for fight scenes are very different than songs for those sad death scenes.

If you don’t have music on your phone you can always surf YouTube for good music. It doesn’t hurt to spend an hour or so watching videos while your brain works on that idea. Try and find videos pertaining to your genre.

By now you’re probably hungry. Writing is a brain activity so you better go to the kitchen and make a good meal for yourself. While you’re at it make some tea as well to drink at your desk. Don’t eat really bad greasy foods like chips because they won’t fill you up and aren’t healthy for your brain. Take your time to make a full and healthy meal.

Now if you’re someone like me you probably have a cat or dog in your house (except when I’m at university). By this point, my cat would be needy after a few hours of neglect. So after you’ve had your meal and cleaned up (a clean house helps free up my mind for writing) take a little time to play and cuddle with your furry friend.

Okay, so clearly you’re not coming up with any ideas so try doing the only way to get good at writing, read. Pick up a book in a genre you would like to write and read. If it’s good and captures your interest it’s good to learn from it. Figure out what styles work and what don’t. Never copy another writer’s idea, just learn from how a book is written. Learn about inciting events and building tension.

But be careful, if you a pick a book that’s too good because, before you know it you’ve read away your whole day. By now you might as well sleep on it and try again tomorrow.

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As this is my last post before the New Year I wanted to do something comical. I did mix in some good ideas if you’re stuck but really there’s only one way to write a book, sit down and write. Even if you don’t have an idea just brainstorm. Free write everything that pops into your head if your hands can keep up. You may get an idea if you sit around and wait for one but I have more ideas when I am writing. It’s almost a curse if I’m busy with a project.

I will leave you with a little advice to get those ideas down on paper. Write when you’re groggy, in the early morning or late at night. That way you question what you’re writing less. Write on a full stomach of good food and bring tea or water. Set aside time for writing and only writing. Write every day. These are all pieces of advice that I try and live by, I’m not perfect in them but will strive to follow them because they work.

I guess these means the next time I upload will be next year on January 1st. I wish you the best of luck in your writing. Happy New Year.

Leave a comment below with your own thoughts, insights, or tips