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Ask yourself these questions before you write

You know that thing you've been wanting to write? That really, really important project that has been calling your name for as long as you remember? Maybe it's time to start.

You've decided to finally get serious about writing your book. How do you begin? Does it matter? Are there questions you can ask right now that will get you off to a great start? Yes.

Prepare for the journey

“You have the freedom to just start writing. You also have the freedom to give yourself the best chance of finishing.”

The beautiful thing about writing is that you can do it anywhere, any time. If you're like me, you probably have boxes of half-finished journals lying around full of snippets and random thoughts. Can you just start putting those together? Or maybe you have an idea, but you're not sure if it will work. Here are a few things I've found that have helped me start off from a strong place.

Where do I start?

The decision to write a book usually comes after spending too much time being afraid and procrastinating. Here are a few questions to ask yourself in the beginning.

Why am I writing this book? It helps to identify your "why". When things get tough, when your schedule overwhelms you, when you start to feel afraid, remembering why you are writing will help you power through.

What kind of support would help me? Are you the type of person who works better with accountability? Do you thrive when there is a reward involved? Whether it's inviting someone into your process or buying yourself little goal rewards along the way, figuring out what helps you feel motivated and encouraged is really helpful.

What is my end game? It's helpful to know what the "takeaway value" of your book is. In other words, what do you want your readers to know when they turn the last page and close your book? Do you want them to see life differently? Do you want them to learn something new? Knowing what your goal is will help you start out on the right foot and fight until the end.

Who is my reader? I know many writers want to just write what they are passionate about, and that is fine if you are just writing something only you will read. However, if you're hoping to share your book, it may be helpful to get to know your ideal reader. Spend some time researching and asking questions, and you'll be leagues ahead of where you would have been otherwise.

Am I really committed? One way I knew I was committed was I finally decided to commit at least 15 minutes per day just writing. That meant fingers on the keys, phone on silent, intently and furiously writing. To do that, I had to get up at 5:00 am before my family woke up. If you can't commit to even 15 minutes a day, are you really committed?



Photo: Gabriel Ramirez

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I'm so glad you're here. 

Happy writing!

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