How to Get Your Book Out of Your Heart and into the Hands of Your Readers

Since I have begun writing and blogging, I don’t know how many people have told me that they have a story to tell.

One friend that told me this grew up as a missionary kid in a country in the southern part of Africa. His stories are funny and entertaining. Another friend has fostered several children, adopting many of them. I know her stories would impact people.

The next thing everyone says is something like “I don’t have the time” or “I don’t know how to start.”

I understand this sentiment. It took me a while to take myself seriously enough to begin writing. Jeff Goins made this comment recently on a Master Class on Platform University “When am I a writer? When I say that I am a writer.”

Maybe all you need is a nudge, a few ideas to get you started. Here are a few to do just that:

  • Decide why you want to write. Do you have a story that you want to tell? Do you want to make a lot of money or be famous? Or, do you simply enjoy writing regardless of who reads it?
  • Just write. Don’t put much thought into grammar, spelling, or making sense. I call it “chunking it down.” Sometimes it helps get you started by just putting the thoughts in your head down on paper or computer. The editing will happen later.
  • Keep a journal. I have kept a journal for several years. Now that I am writing, it is a valuable resource. Many of my best ideas are forgotten by the next day. A journal captures at least the seed of an idea that later I can expound.
  • Start a blog. Blogs began as online journals. Then people began to read these online journals. Many books have evolved out of a blog. Now experts urge to writers to “blog their book” first. This gives the writer an opportunity to receive immediate feedback. I did this backwards. I began writing my book before I began blogging. But I will blog my future books.
  • Don’t worry about whether someone else has already written on the subject. Odds are they have, or at least some version of it. But you have not told the story before. You are the unique aspect, especially if it involves your personal experiences. The book I am writing now is about foster care and adoption. Many books are already written about this subject. But, no one has heard my thoughts about it, nor my experience with foster care and adoption.
  • It is never too late to start. I have heard this a lot. People receive encouragement for years to write a book about something, but they never do. For some reason, we think that if many years go by without starting it is too late to start now. It is never too late. If people tell you that you have a story to tell then it still needs to be told, no matter how much time has passed.
  • Don’t try to figure out everything before you start. You don’t need to know how you are going to publish, edit, or market your book before you begin writing. Just write. I spent hours trying to figure this out when I began writing. All it does is dampen your creativity.

I hope that you are feeling that urge to at least begin writing that book that has been in your heart. I have heard it said that everyone has a book in them. Will we get to read your book?

Question for you: What is the book that you need to write?

 

I am a longtime Austinite. Married my beautiful wife over 25 years ago. Adopted our son September 2012. Currently a writer and loving it. Previous jobs and careers include project management, missionary, and pastor. I enjoy sports (both watching and playing), traveling, reading, digging in dirt and hanging with my friends and family.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “How to Get Your Book Out of Your Heart and into the Hands of Your Readers

  1. This kind of encouragement is very helpful. I often feel disheartened about writing about because of some reasons you give in this blog and the blog from March 19. My story sounds similar to so many others. I don’t want to take the time to put it on paper. The second primary reason is time. Which I am sure is a “biggie.” Kenny, you are role modeling devotion and commitment to the writing process. I am inspired by you and what you are doing. Thanks!

    • Hey Lance. I for one look forward to what you have to say. I know that I am not alone. It is true that time is a big hurdle, especially when writing is not a part of your “job.” I guess that applies to almost everything we consider worth doing.