Todd's Top 10 TIps to Writing Your 1st Book
- Write the book first, don’t find a publisher first.
I know this goes against the mainstream about seeking a publisher with a marketing proposal, but if it is your first book, you have no idea what you are in store for. Obtaining a publisher is a book in itself. Don’t worry about your publisher- just yet. Finish the book first. You will thank me later.
- Become obsessed.
Live and breathe it. Think about it during the day, at night. This will be your greatest achievement. Be maniacal about it.
- Set goals for yourself- how many pages per day, how many pages per week
Writing a book is like when I ran the Chicago marathon. It was not 26.2 miles. It was 26 races of 1 mile each. Success is merely repeating things over and over again.
- Get it all on paper first.
Nothing is worse than looking at a blank screen. Don’t massage it to make it perfect- not yet. It’s much easier to make changes to what is already there. “Write first. Editing comes later,” said Sean Connery, in the motion picture Finding Forrester.
- Don’t write at home, find somewhere in public.
Some may say it’s harder to concentrate. Not likely- at least not for me. Our first books are always personal, whatever they are, but we are writing for others, to share our message. Start sharing at the onset. You will be amazed how inspiring society can be.
- Wear a costume.
I don’t mean to put on a Halloween mask, but I do mean have “writing clothes.” Pick items that will inspire so that when you put them on you become a different person. You must be able to escape as a writer. Give yourself a method to change from Clark Kent into Superman. For me, I wore an Israeli t-shirt that was a gift from one of my friends on the kibbutz and an Israel hat I purchasedthere.
- Surround yourself with the best books you’ve ever read.
Visualizing your success through other’s success is huge. If they did it, why can’t you do it? Give yourself those visual reminders.
- Celebrate your small victories.
When you’ve written for 10 hours straight, your fingers are cramping up, and security is kicking you out of wherever you are because it’s time for them to go home, enjoy the moment. You may not have finished the marathon but you’ve endured and conquered much.
- Read out loud when editing time comes.
After the rough draft is done and you return to make it perfect, read the words out loud. It will help you realize whether you are brilliant or just on the way to brilliance.
- Backup/Backup/Backup your work.
This is not one of those legendary stories you hear of the writer who only had one copy of his book before it was published, because he was superstitious. I’m into the costume, inspiration, hanging out in malls and coffee shops, but back up your work. Save your work every 15 minutes, put it on a floppy disk, and e-mail it to yourself.
Now Karpe Diem! Go do it! Remember, I believe in you!