One Key Habit To Help You Write A Book

If not you, there’s someone you know who wants to write a book. I know, I know, it’s easier said than done, writing a book. But surely the desire to publish is good.

Why do I think so? Well, every living human has a unique path to travel on earth, and taking that path creates a story. To live, then, is to tell a story. And surely every story is unique, and if every story is unique, every story has it’s own unique lessons. With that, everyone has something to say, something to teach, something to give.

And to give, share, or teach, you need a medium to do it, a way to package what you have and give it away. This is why even presents are wrapped up nicely to be given away. A book is one of the best mediums to share what you know, give away what you have, and make a difference.

And if you choose to use a book to share what you know or make your difference, here is a key habit to get into right now.

If you have spent a good amount of time with the writing craft, you will realize that most of writing comes out of living, daily living. And if living happens everyday and everywhere, there’s got to be a way to pick up content everyday and everywhere you go.

But how do you capture your content? One of the easiest ways I know is to keep a notepad with you. A notepad should not be far off from you wherever you are. A turn of phrase, an insightful idea, a supporting argument, or a related story, and other unexpected content can hit you at any time.

And when I decided to share the lessons of my personal project — A 21-day interviewing and writing challenge — in a book, I simply took the baby steps I needed to get going — wrote down every lesson I got from the project, how it impacted me, the benefits, and everything else that I needed to share; and then I created a comprehensive outline for it all. But some of the best of what I wrote came when I was out and about — riding a bus, reading another book, visiting a store, when in conversation with someone, and others simple daily activities. I noted them many of them.

Something funny happens when you dedicate yourself to a project. Things seem to come out of nowhere to help you move closer to your goal. I call this God’s grace, for there’s no other way to explain them.

And what’s funny is that they hit you when you least expect them. Some of the finest lines could come to you when you are eating, walking about, looking at something, and so on. You get it. So buddy up with a notepad or your favorite mobile writing software when you do decide to work on your book.

And since a short pencil is better than a long memory, capture it before it flies off. There’s often too much going on in our lives to commit things to our memory with the hope to recollect them later. A pencil takes out the head-scratch and keeps it noted.

Why wait till you sit down to think up your ideas? Heard of the writers block, right? It often hits the very moment you sit to punch the keys.

And this note-taking habit is shown in one of my favorite movies, Finding Forrester. Ever seen it? Rob Brown, who plays the Jamal Wallace, the young 16 year old with a talent for writing, befriends William Forrester, a reclusive writer (Sean Connery’s character in the movie) always carried a back pack with him.

In his backpack, he had a little notebook which he used to write down some of his favorite lines and other notes/thoughts. In the movie, he ends up losing his backpack while he and his friends, out of curiosity, visit William Forrester’s apartment.

They get spooked and ran off, and Jamal leaves his bag behind. William ends up looking through his backpack and notices the young man’s writing habit and some of the lines he had penned. These little pieces of sentences are what the renowned author sees and likes, even comments on them in his notations in Jamal’s book. This ultimately became the tissue/link to their friendship and Forrester mentoring Jamal.

All great writers catch things daily, and developing this habit will put you in good stead for all your writing projects. In the end, it’s the ‘littles’ put together that become the great thing, the great book, and these pieces could come to you anywhere. So have a pen/your own writing software at the ready.