Writing and publishing a book is a rewarding experience. Yet, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, and receiving compliments on your great book. The journey includes actually sitting down and writing it, and requires a lot of work.
For many first-time authors, the process of writing a book doesn’t go as smoothly as they initially thought. They might have a fantastic idea but then have trouble getting that idea down onto the page. Or they might have gotten off to a marvelous start but then have trouble finishing the book to the end. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t or they won’t. It just requires a little more work to get back on the right track.
It’s normal for writers to look for assistance in bringing their literary dreams to fruition. That’s why today I’d like to share with you five places where you can get help writing a book.
Books On Writing
The first port of call for writers and aspiring writers looking for help can be a book on writing. Over the years many seasoned writers have shared their processes, tips, tricks, triumphs and failures in book form for the benefit of other writers. These books can inspire and motivate you to bring your book to completion.
Books on writing are available at any bookstore, online or brick and mortar. Two popular books on writing include: On Writing Well by William Zinsser (for nonfiction writers) and On Writing by Stephen King (for fiction writers). Do you have any other favorites to share?
While writing is typically solitary work, a group dynamic and the support of others is beneficial to plenty of writers. Find a writing group or a writing community that you can join, or start one yourself! It can be in your neighborhood, in your local community or completely online.
In a writing group, the writers often take turns sharing, critiquing each other’s work and supporting each other’s progress. These critiques can help the writers to gain new insights into their work and feel supported by others who are undertaking a similar journey.
However, it’s very important that group members know how to adequately provide and receive constructive criticism. No one wants to feel like their work is being attacked. One technique is to require two positive pieces of feedback for every negative piece of feedback. But whatever techniques or ground rules the group uses, the key is that everyone gets something positive out of the exchange.
Not quite convinced about joining or starting a writing group? That’s okay.
A writing course can provide all of the benefits of a good writing group but in a more structured way. A writing course typically provides students with writing instruction and writing exercises, as well as a guided forum for sharing their work and supporting their fellow writers. The teacher’s job is to serve as a gentle moderator and navigate the group towards greater progress. While a writing course can be helpful for many types of writers, a writing course can be particularly invaluable for writers who are relatively new to the author’s journey.
Are you the kind of writer who knows exactly what you want? Going to a writing coach is a one-on-one opportunity to zero in on your writing project’s problem areas and make real progress under the guidance of an expert. All feedback and discussion are laser focused on your writing and how to get the book results you crave. Unlike a writing course, it’s you who sets the pace and then the writing coach provides you with the personalized accountability you need.
The key to having a productive working relationship with your writing coach, however, is good communication. Try asking your writing coach specific questions about each chapter or section to help you identify what needs improvement and how to go about it. Also, let your writing coach know what is and what isn’t working in your sessions. This is your time and your process. Help your writing coach help you to get the most out of it. After all, both of you are determined to see your book succeed.
Time to hit the panic button? If things really, really aren’t working and your book looks like it won’t take shape anytime within the next century, then it may be time to consider the services of a ghostwriter. A ghostwriter is a professional writer who can take your ideas, an outline or a partly-finished book and fairly quickly turn it into the masterpiece you had in mind all along. While a ghostwriter typically isn’t cheap, a ghostwriter’s services might just be the investment that your ideas require.