Now that you have a plan that includes an outline of your book, you have just enough structure to avoid writing chaos with enough open opportunity for your written creativity to flow. There are two milestones in this stage, and by the time you reach both milestones you will have a complete book manuscript.
Reaching Milestone #2: Write Your Book
This milestone focuses on finishing your first draft of your book. If you are writing a short non-fiction book of 10,000-50,000 words-which is recommended-then you can finish your first draft of your manuscript within 90 days if you are keeping at least 3 hours of book appointments per week. You can keep this commitment by ending each writing appointment by scheduling your next writing appointment and making sure that nothing comes in the way of you keeping that appointment.
Your first book appointment dedicated to writing your book can begin by looking at your draft for your table of contents, picking the chapter that is easiest to write, and use your favorite writing style and the tips for your book genre to write your book one chapter at a time. After you have words on paper-or in an online document-that represent the entire message you want to share in your book, you will have reached your second milestone.
Browse the following posts for specific tips for your book:
- Start Writing Your Memoir with These Two Activities
- 7 Tips for Writing and Editing a How-to Book
- Which Recipe Should You Use to Write Your Book? (Great for informative and persuasive books on a specific topic like religion, family relationships or investing.)
Editing is the author’s secret weapon, so don’ try to write the perfect book during your first draft. You will have time to edit it later.
Reaching Milestone #3: Polish Your Book
Milestone #2 focused on getting your book out of your head and onto paper, and Milestone #3 is all about refining your message into an ideal reader experience while you double-check your facts and make sure that you are not breaking any copyright laws by securing permissions for any work that is copyrighted by someone else.
You can do self-editing during this stage, but you will also want to have feedback from members of your target audience and professional editors. Just to be clear, when I say “feedback” I am referring to both the general commentary you receive from members of your target audience and the detailed recommendations you receive from professional editors.
Your book should go through at least three rounds of editing and revision before it is published, but it’s more likely that you will go through five or more rounds-even if you are a well established author.
Sometimes the hardest part of writing is staying committed to sitting in a chair long enough to write. There is something about sitting down to write that suddenly helps you remember that person you need to call back, or that chore you meant to do or a long list of other things. It will take a bit of grit to get past those obstacles. The thing that helps me is to think about the people who will read what I am writing and how much they need what I am writing. Reminding myself of the need for what I’m working on helps create a sense of urgency. Maybe it will do the same for you.
Now that your first three milestones have been met and your first two stages of book publishing are complete, it is time to move on to the PUBLISH Your Book stage.