You mean I actually get to start writing? Yeah, you do. But you know what? Because you did all that P stuff – the planning and preparation, seasoned with a pinch of perspiration – the writing itself is gonna be a snap.
If you took the time to create a proper outline, you know exactly what you want to say. All you have to do now is say it.
I know, it’s your first book. You’re a little nervous. You’re thinking, “How am I gonna fill 200 (or 150 or 350) pages?” See, that’s what all the planning was for. Without that, you’d be staring at that blank screen, agonizing over where to start.
But not you. You have your trusty outline.
You don’t have to start at the beginning. With non-fiction, you don’t have a beginning, middle, and end the same way you do with fiction, so you can pretty much jump in anywhere.
I always like to have dessert first (not that I do it all that often, dang it all), so what I usually do to get the juices flowing is start with the easiest section. That could be the one you know the most about, the one that’s the most fun… basically, whatever meets your criteria for “easiest.”
And it doesn’t have to be a whole chapter. It could be a section of a chapter. As long as you use your outline to stay on track, you can skip around all over the place.
Just think of the book as a series of articles. It’ll be less intimidating that way. For each chapter subheading, all you need to do is write 300-500 words, the length of an article or a blog post. Easy, huh?
When you created the outline, you may have noted some sections that needed more research. Well, don’t get bogged down with all that research at once. Remember, you’re just writing a series of articles.
When you get to a section that needs research, do it. Then write about it.
Remember, it’s your book. The outline is there to help and guide you, not to put you in a straitjacket. You have my permission (as if that matters) to make adjustments as you go along. Add stuff, get rid of stuff, move stuff around. As you write, certain topics may need elaboration. Others may seem irrelevant or misplaced.
You already did the hard work. Now just keep writing those sections until you’re done.
Here’s a satisfying way to make sure you complete everything in your outline. As you finish a section, use the strikethrough feature to draw a line through it. I know it makes me happy to see all those crossed out sections. They keep adding up, until, before you know it… nothing more to do.
Congratulations, you’re an author!