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Are You Ready to Write Your First Book?

Updated on November 25, 2015
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Dr. Middlebrook is a self-publishing expert, author (pen name Beax Rivers), online course developer, and former university professor.

Writing a book can seem like a daunting task to a new writer. In fact, it can seem like the journey toward finishing a book will become a very long and tedious path--from conception to completion.

One thing I find most fascinating about beginning the process of writing is that the more you work on your project, the easier the writing becomes, and the more you begin to enjoy it. Because this is true, in this Hub I’m going to talk more about beginning the process of writing your first, or what you might believe will be your only book.

In my very first Hub, titled “Josie’s Story,” I wrote about a young woman who was thinking about some awful facts she was ashamed of, that were part of her family history. I posted the story to go along with this segment, and I posted it as a Hub of its own to be accessed and read by folk who might have their own family secrets that one day they might realize would make a great topic for a book. “Josie’s Story” is a work of fiction, my own. Josie is the eldest child in a family of characters that appear in five of my ten-book collection that I call “Tales from the Quarters.” Using my pen name, Beax Rivers, I recently self-published the first book in the collection and Josie is one of the central characters in Silver: Currents of Change (iUniverse, December, 2011).

My first novel. Read more about it at mybeaxrivers.com.

In the soon-to-be self-published second book of my Tales from the Quarters collection, Josie is struggling with whether or not to write and publish a book chronicling part of her family’s history that she believes is horrible. In Gold, The Heat of Refinement, Book Two of the collection, this character decides to go ahead with writing and publishing the book in an attempt to try to end what she sees as a generational curse having devastating effects on her family; one she believes has left stains that can only be erased from the lives of family members through forgiveness.

Josie believes the only way to put an end to the generational curse is to put pen to paper—to talk about the curse and how it has manifested itself in the lives of her family members, with detrimental effects. Publishing the dark side of her family’s history, along with what the Bible says about generational curses and how to end them, she believes, is the only way to destroy the curse’s awful hold on her family. In her book, Josie delineates a path she and her siblings can take as they all become spouses and parents, to help them guard against the curse and to keep any manifestation of its ugliness from rearing up, again, in their family.

Something you feel strongly about usually makes an interesting topic for either a fiction or non-fiction book. Even if you’re not planning on making a living from publishing your book, you may know there is something in your life, or in the lives of family members, that needs to be researched, talked about, and written about. You know that you want to write your book as a way to help someone else change their life for the better, or to provide them with the information they need to do all they can to avoid a tragedy.

It’s easy for those of us who have been writing all our lives to lose touch with how it feels to be approaching the writing of something like a book, for the first time. In this Hub, my goal is to convince you that you can write the book you’ve always wanted to write. No matter how daunting a task it seems, you can do it. Even if you feel you don’t know where to begin, you can learn how to write your book, page-by-page and step-by-step, and you can become a successful writer, at home, and at your own pace. In an effort to help you make up your mind for good and get started on the book you know you want to write, here are three of my most prized tips for beginning writers.

Get Past Your Doubt. Getting beyond doubts about whether or not you can or should write your book is the first obstacle you must overcome. Once you give yourself permission to begin writing down the first few words of your book, you will be on your way to becoming an author.

Forget About Writing Well—For Now. You’re not in English class, and there will be plenty of time for proofing, editing, and revising what you’ve written after you get your thoughts down on paper. Something that stops many would-be writers from ever forming their first sentence is the fear of making mistakes. Well, get over it. Everyone makes mistakes, and all mistakes can be corrected, later. However, if you don’t put the words down in the first place, you won’t have anything to correct.

Write What You Are Most Excited About. What is it that made you know you wanted to write a book? Was it something that happened to you or to a member of your family? Was it something about your past, or, like Josie, something you found out about that is part of your family’s history that you feel you need to write about? I believe it is important to begin the process of writing your book with what you’re most passionate about. Something convinced you that you needed to write a book. What was it? Now that you’ve given it some thought, write it down.

In another Hub on self-publishing, I will offer suggestions and advice to get you well underway with creating an outline for your book. In the meantime, below is a little video presentation I prepared, titled, “I Know Why I Want to Write a Book!” Watching it might help you gather the resolve you need, and the courage, to finally begin your very own journey to self-publishing. Enjoy! (See links below for more of my HubPages on writing and self-publishing.)

"I know why I want to write a book!"

© 2012 Sallie B Middlebrook PhD

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    • FitnessMarkLorie profile image

      FitnessMarkLorie 5 years ago from Longs, SC

      Would you propose a similar process for eBook publishing? I am considering writing an eBook, well I've started actually, but I hope for some success!

    • drmiddlebrook profile image
      Author

      Sallie B Middlebrook PhD 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      Yes, FitnessMarkLorie, this process works for eBooks as well. In fact, I'll make it clear in my next Hub that what I'm talking about works for print and electronic publishing. The writing process has to begin somewhere, and it doesn't matter if you're writing is for the purpose of producing a printed book, or an eBook. You still have to start somewhere. In my next Hub, I'll be talking about preparing an outline of your book. I hope you'll read it and that it will offer tips that you can use! Congratulations on your decision to write your book, and I wish you the best of luck!

    • FitnessMarkLorie profile image

      FitnessMarkLorie 5 years ago from Longs, SC

      I look forward to reading it, I am actually looking for some outline software, since I am a computer friendly person, to make the outline. I have a rather unique book idea, and I think that it may do rather well in the fitness community.

    • drmiddlebrook profile image
      Author

      Sallie B Middlebrook PhD 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      Correcting my sentence (...it doesn't matter if you're writing for the purpose of producing a printed book, or an eBook. Strike through "is" in that sentence!)

      You're on your way, Mark. Keep on with the fitness Hubs, establishing yourself as the expert you are. You'll make it!

    • mdscoggins profile image

      Michelle Scoggins 3 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Thank you for the tips, your suggestions are helpful. I have gotten over the doubt for the most part, I am more in the area of finding what I specifically want to write. I know writing a book is in my future and your ideas have helped me get a little closer.

    • drmiddlebrook profile image
      Author

      Sallie B Middlebrook PhD 3 years ago from Texas, USA

      Thank you mdscoggins, for the visit and for the comments. Wishing you the best as you research ideas for your book. I know you'll find it among those things that interest you most--because that's what it will take to keep your journey fresh as you work toward completing your book.

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