Em’s Extras: Self Publishing Series Part II

The first step in the self-publishing journey is, of course, finishing your book! 

For that to happen, you don’t necessarily need to quit your job-like I did-but you definitely need time. In my perspective, one of the first questions that you need to answer is, “how can I create time to write?” 

Creating time requires effort-yes-but one to two hours a week to start is more than enough to get you going. 

Practical Suggestions to start your writing:

  1. Relentlessly reserve at least 1-2 hours weekly to start: starting is difficult, but like any habit, once you start and put your mind and heart in it, things start moving. And sometimes faster than you expected.
  2. Pick your creative incubator: also known as “writing spot.” Make it your own. Make it inspirational; make it private if you can. 
  3. Pick your genre: knowing what sort of book (novel, memoir, inspirational, self-help, short stories) you want to write, gives you a more robust base and a guiding star. 
  4. Just write: it sounds too simplistic because somedays it is. Other days it is hard, and it requires extra discipline. But the key is to just do it. 
  5. Tell self-doubt to go away: don’t judge your writing. Don’t think about the next steps. Don’t label your writing right, lousy good or genius. 

Key Learnings from my Writing Journey:

  1. Reading is the fuel of my writing: to me, reading is a critical part of writing. 
  2. Hard work always pays off: the hard days where you write out of discipline and will and not inspiration, those are the ones that teach you to appreciate the days where the words flow. Don’t underestimate the writing that comes from pure relentless hard-work.  
  3. When inspiration kicks-in, hold on to it for dear life: even if it means canceling a social event or rescheduling something or asking your partner for help with some of your house tasks.
  4. Make a list of topics or chapter titles: this helped me a lot; it gave a guiding star. The topics or chapters maybe will change or evolve along the way, but it gives you a reference point. 
  5. Identify your writing moods: call me crazy, but some days paper and pen worked better for me. Other days I would be glued to my laptop for hours.
  6. Sharing your journey makes a difference: even if it is just with your mom, your partner, your best friend. Share your dream, share your plan, sharing about a good writing day or not-so-great-one in a blog, or with a loved one makes it real and holds you accountable to keep trying. 
This page has been my faithful companion since August last year. It is the first Chapter List I created.Making a list of topics or chapter list is KEY in my opinion. It has so many scribbles that is hard to read, but, this simple piece of paper was my compass.

If this is something you want to pursue, I really hope you find this useful, and you start creating the time!

Thank you for reading me,

M.

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