Are you a writer who hasn’t written?
Many people feel called to write or know a book will help their business or ministry, but they have no idea how to start the project. Here are a few things you can do to help get the ball rolling:
1. What matters to your heart?
Start thinking about the topics that are near and dear to your heart. What would you love to write about? What do you feel passionate about? What makes you come alive when you think about it?
2. What do you know about?
What would be fairly easy for you to write about because you have experience in it? Do you know a lot about marketing? Babies? Cave exploration? Carpentry? Photography?
Pray about it and see what God says. Compare the things you care about with the things you know about, and see if you come up with a topic that covers both. This should be a topic you love, AND you have experience in it.
Maybe you’re passionate about homeschooling, and you’ve been homeschooling your kids for twenty years. Maybe you’re passionate about missions, and you’re about to move to Africa. Begin to see these for what they are: book opportunities.
3. Make a wild list of messy ideas.
When you feel you MIGHT have a pretty good topic to write about, sit down and brainstorm the different things that could potentially go in your book. For example, if you’re writing a book on how to be a better spouse, you could include topics like ideas for date nights, how to be a good listener, how to deal with frustrations in marriage, ways to help with the housework, etc.
Make a rough-and-dirty brainstorm list that includes all your different ideas. This list doesn’t have to be perfect—it should serve as a “bucket” for all the possibilities, and you can dig through it and sort it out in the next step.
4. Arrange your list, giving it some kind of order.
Sort through your crazy “brainstorm bucket,” and make a rough list of the topics you think might fit well in your book. (Keep in mind that some items from your brainstorm list might do well as subtopics instead of main topics.) You don’t have to make everything perfect right now. All you’re doing is coming up with a list to use as a reference point.
Arrange your chosen topics in a way that makes sense to you. What order works best? What should probably come first in the book? What should probably come last? Again, this does not have to be perfect. The goal is to have some arrangement—any arrangement. You can always rearrange your arrangement later.
4. Feel successful—you’ve started your book.
Congratulations. You’ve written your first outline. This list will serve as a rough roadmap for your book. It can be changed at any point, so don’t feel any pressure. It is simply a first step in crafting this book that is on your heart.