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how to write a book in three steps

Draft of “1996,” a memoir of the year I went to Australia with $900 and a work visa to learn how to surf (and figure out who I was and what I wanted to do with my life).

I have written two realistic young adult novels and a full draft of a memoir. Through the writing of these books, I have figured out how to write a book in three steps. Do these three things, and voila! You will have written a book:

  1. Have an idea and a question: An idea of what you want to write about and why you want to write about it. If the need/desire is strong to express your story in words, there is no doubt it is possible.
  2. Sit down at your computer/notebook, open to a blank doc/page, and place your first word on the page. Either set a time or word count goal and stick to it. Put one word in front of the other as you’d put one foot in front of the other along a 10,000-mile trek (similar deal).
  3. Do not give up. Write like your life depends on it. Because it does.

As I said, I have written two books and have a complete draft of a third. Though I have not yet had any of these published (check out Jane Friedman’s blog for publishing advice), I have achieved 75 rejections. I haven’t given up.

Three books in and I’m still dwelling in the Unknown of a life-long journey, but I have faith if I keep going and never give up, I will write my way into my dreams.


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