Writing Tips 1 - How to Start | Jessica Jarlvi

How to start writing a book: 6 writing tips

If you want to write a book but don’t know where to start, you are not alone! Even the most established authors who have been writing for a long time, struggle with how to start their next novel, or they get half way through their book and hit a blank wall. I’m currently writing my third book, and have certainly learnt a few tricks of the trade following my previous books, ‘When I Wake Up’ and ‘What Did I Do?’ These techniques have kept me accountable and have made sure I kept going.

 

If you are wondering how to start, or you’re struggling to keep going, then try my top writing tips:

 

Set up your creative environment

 

The wallpaper in my office was the first thing in our house to go up when we moved in, and the monochromic pattern makes me feel incredibly inspired. I love to get into my writing mode, sip my ‘writer’s tea’ and give shape and colour to my ideas. Sometimes, I listen to music (especially if I need to drown out

How to start writing a book:

6 writing tips

noise). You can’t force creativity, so it’s important to set up an environment that entices it out of you. If you don’t have a study, you can also set up a space in the kitchen, living room or your bedroom. That’s what I used to do.

 

Develop a writing habit

 

People often ask how I manage being a full-time author while also being mother to four children! Firstly, remember that it’s not easy, and I’m sure any mum would tell you that. Secondly, you have to be efficient with your time and prioritise writing every day. Often, I will write when the youngest is napping, or stay up late. But, I’ve made it a habit to write something every day. It’s easy to convince yourself that you will “do it tomorrow.” But if you want to achieve something, there is no time like today!

 

Keep your goal clear

 

Staying motivated can be tough, so I envision how good it will feel to have my book published, holding it in my hands and signing it at events – there really is no feeling quite like it.

 

Create an outline

 

Some authors develop a structure for their book beforehand. This can really help if you have limited time because it means you know what to write next when you do get the chance to write.  For me,  this stifles my creativity, but it is good however, to have an idea of the main characters and events, your book’s setting and how you want it to end. There really is no right or wrong way of doing things, so work out what’s best for you.

 

Enter competitions

 

Winning the Montegrappa Prize at the prestigious Emirates Literature Festival, was a game-changer for me. I hadn’t finished writing the book at the time but knowing that someone was waiting to read the manuscript was very motivational. It helped me stay focused. So find any competition that is relevant to you and submit an entry. To attend events is also great. Not only is the energy awesome at literature festivals - to be surrounded by so many passionate writers and book-ish friends - but it’s also a great place to meet likeminded people and important contacts.

 

Stay strong and persevere

 

To be an author, you need to have a thick skin. It is a lonely profession, and people will always have something to say about your writing. Take their opinions into consideration but not to heart. It’s your book, and your ideas at the end of the day. You can’t please everybody.

 

Yes, writing a book can feel intimidating and at times, it can seem like an unachievable feat, but just imagine how GREAT it will feel to share your awesome book with the world

 

What are your tips for writing a book?

 

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Much love

Jessica

© 2019 by Jessica Jarlvi