A lot of people ask me how I wrote my book, Surviving Singledom. The question comes up quite often at book signings in particular. So I thought I would share how Surviving Singledom came into existence in five easy steps.
Disclaimer: All I can tell you is what I did. It worked for me. It may or may not work for you too.
Find your passion
Surviving Singledom was initiated by an angry outburst of prayer. I got a real bee in my bonnet about the lack of Christian resources available to singles. I complained to God about it.
He, in turn, politely pointed out to me that I was as good a person as anyone to write such a resource. Once I swallowed this idea, I became passionate about writing an honest self-help book for Christian singles like me. This passion fuelled every day of my writing.
Think about what you are passionate about and make that the focus of your book. It might not be something as serious as singledom. It might be the migrating habits of lesser-known mosquitos. Just find something.
And if you discover you have more than one passion, you might have more than one book in you.
Write an outline
I am a list person. So help me, I love lists. It was therefore inevitable that I would write a list of chapter headings for my book idea. I gave each chapter a topical focus: “Sex”, “God”, “Family”, “Survival” and so on, til I had about twelve chapter headings in front of me.
I had my whole-of-book focus. I had my per-chapter foci. It was time to get going.
As soon as my outline was on paper, I just started writing. And it flowed. It was effortless. I guess that was because I had plenty to say. So I quickly moved into the next step.
It took me three years to write Surviving Singledom. Even when I was not writing, it was always on my mind. I was always working on it – just not always on the computer.
This is where the passion from the first step becomes vital. Writing can be hard to maintain. It can be difficult to prioritise writing over work, ministry, chores, shopping, family time and many other important things.
Just keep going.
I was forever editing and re-editing Surviving Singledom. But I needed to reach a point where it was good enough, where I was satisfied enough, to put it out there.
Books are not written to be hidden. They are written to be shared. If you are prepared to write a book, you must be prepared to reach that point of “That’s good enough” and putting it out there.
Get it published. It does not matter what form the publication takes. You can do traditional publishing. You can self-publish, like I did. (That is a subject for another blog.) You can print it out on your home printer and give it to your family for Christmas.
Just do something with it. Anything.
Do you have a different method of writing? Have you got an idea for a book but never knew how to begin? Was this blog helpful for you? Share your stories – let’s have a countercultural conversation.