My Top Tips for Writing a Book!

Do you love the written word? Have an affinity for sharing your thoughts, ideas, inspirations, and knowledge via writing? Have you always aspired to become an author but the idea of writing a book just seems too overwhelming? If so, then you’ve come to the right place!

For some, writing a book comes naturally and they exhibit no difficulties whatsoever; however, for even more, the process is a daunting one that can be wrought with aggravation, a lot of questions, and some pretty intense headaches. To help simplify the process, we’ve compiled a list of handy tips that you can use to make writing a book an easier, more enjoyable, and more successful experience. 

Set Clear and Attainable Goals

Whether you plan on creating an outline before you write your book or you’ll be skipping the outline process and will be jumping right in, whichever way you go, make sure you start by setting clear and attainable goals. Examples of goals that you might include in a simple, yet effective action plan include specific, attainable, measurable, relevant, and timely goals. To further explain, here’s a breakdown of what each of these goals might look like: 

  • Specific – Write a draft of the first page of your book, or self-publish a children’s book
  • Attainable – Dedicate time to writing before retiring for the night
  • Measurable – Draft at least 700 words
  • Relevant – Complete the first chapter of the book
  • Timely – Write for at least 1 hour at least 4 days this week

Develop a Solid Plan of Action 

There are endless sayings about making plans, and many of them are super-clever; examples include “Failing to plan is planning to fail”, said by Alan Lakein and “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”, uttered by none other than Benjamin Franklin. 

There’s a good reason why there are so many sayings about plans: It’s because it’s true! If you have a goal in mind, in order to achieve that goal, you really need to make a plan. In the case of writing a book, developing a plan of action is a must, otherwise it could end up in draft form forever. So, how do you create a solid plan of action? Well, we suggest starting out by deciding when you’d like to have your manuscript finished and ready to be sent out to publishers. Of course, the date may be subject to change as you never know when writer’s block could set in or if an emergency may arise that could set you behind schedule; however, starting out by establishing a rough estimate for completion will serve as inspiration to keep you on-track. Once you’ve decided when you’d like to have your book completed by, break things down into smaller chunks.

Develop Your Voice

In writing, the term “voice” refers to the style and tone of the writing that conveys the subject matter and the intended goals of the books. How do you develop your voice? Before you start writing, consider how you’d like your intended readers to describe your writing style. Do you want readers to associate the voice of your writing with warmth, comfort, and wisdom? Would you like to be viewed as witty, cheeky, and lighthearted? Are you hoping to convey inspiration, encouragement, and creativity? 

By being aware of what message and/or feelings your voice is conveying, you’ll be able to highlight and enhance your strengths, and put your own unique stamp on your writing. 

Summing It Up

By keeping the above-mentioned tips in mind, you will be able to keep yourself inspired and achieve your goal of writing a book and becoming an adding your voice to the literary world. 


Looking for Creative Writing Contests?

Creative writing is a vast niche that offers plenty of opportunities for up-and-coming writers to get their stories in front of readers. While writing a manuscript and getting a book published may be the end goal for many creative writers, there are other options for publicity to be found along the way. Creative writing classes or contests are some of the best methods of getting your stories in front of the public and potential editors while winning prizes at the same time. You may be wondering how to go about finding such opportunities, well, thankfully we have a few suggestions to help you get started.

What To Avoid

Before we get into writing contests that are worth your time, we want to cover a few important signs that indicate a contest scam. While many contests may have a nominal entry fee per submission, contests that charge excessive fees or reading fees are likely just out to make a quick buck. There are plenty of no-cost creative writing contests out there to choose from, so avoid paying out of pocket if you don’t have to. Make sure that any content that you enter doesn’t ask you to sign over the rights to your work if you win, or even simply by entering the contest. These types of scams seek to gather work products from various sources without actually choosing the winner at the end. Now, on to the good stuff, here are some great creative writing contests that are actually legit.

Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest

Of all of the creative writing contests out there, Ron Hubbard’s writing contests are among the best. They host a contest every quarter, or three months, and offer a cash prize for the top three submissions. The contest is open for novelettes and short stories that are a maximum of 17,00 words. It does not matter how long you have been writing, only that your stories are in the fantasy or science fiction genre.

Drue Heinz Literature Prize

For this contest, you are allowed to enter any of your manuscripts that have never been published. The entries can be a selection of short stories or novellas, or, it can be a combination of both. The winner will have their submission published in the University of Pittsburgh Press in addition to receiving a cash prize. The main caveat with this particular contest is that you must already be a published author with at least three novellas or short stories in print.

Young Lions Fiction Award

If you are a writer under the age of 35 and looking for a legitimate creative writing contest, this one is sure to pique your interest. There is a cash award for what is classified as young authors if your submissions are chosen. The maximum age for submission is 35 years old and you are able to submit short stories and novellas that were published or will be published in the same year you enter the contest. The genre you can submit is broad, but kids’ books and YA stories are prohibited.

New Voices Award

Kids’ books are a great genre that gets far less recognition than it should. This contest targets authors who have submissions written for children and who are either Indigenous people or writers of color. The maximum length is 1500 words for each submission with pictures and the stories must not have been published previously. In addition to the cash award, the first-place winner will also receive a publishing contract.

Getting Your Stories In Front Of Readers That Matter

Creative writing contests are a great way to break into the world of publication without the hassle of chasing down a literary agent. There are many contests to be found, just make sure that you check the history of the contest before you pay a fee or submit your manuscript for consideration.