How to Write a Book
Do you feel overwhelmed by the thought of cranking out enough material for a full-length book? Don't dispair. This advice from a successful author should help.
I've had the good fortune of meeting Alan Cohen twice now. He's the author of many books in the spiritual genre, including such titles as Why Your Life Sucks (and What You Can Do About It) and Dare to Be Yourself. He's a prolific writer with an engaging writing style.
Here's a passage from Alan's book I Had It All the Time:
If I considered the prospect of writing an entire book, I don't know if I could or would do it. The idea of filling a volume with quality material seems overwhelming. Instead, I record one idea at a time -- the one that excites me the most -- and somehow all the ideas add up to a book.
I've written eight books in the last thirteen years. If at the outset someone had asked me to do that, I would have laughed and told them, "No way!" But there actually was a way -- one insight at a time.
When I write, my attention is fully with the word and sentence at hand. The aliveness of each idea carries me to the next one. Each word is as meaningful as the final production of the book. The journey is rewarding for its own sake.
I love the simplicity of his thought process. Focus on the word, the paragraph, the scene, and the section you're writing in that moment. Of course, you may have an outline or an overall theme that guides you, but as you write, all that matters is the microscopic viewpoint.
In fact, this is how many of my own books were written -- as articles or blog posts that I later compiled into collections of my work on a certain topic.
Maybe you can do the same as you write your next book.
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