Writing a novel is damn hard, some would say it’s insane to try. But then it’s been said that, “Sanity is the playground of the unimaginative,” so if you have the burning desire to write that book, then so be it.
But oh dear, so many words, so much imagination, so much angst and for what? The odds for best-sellerdom and financial gain are not stacked in our favour (unless we’re celebrities) and it’s hard to find a publisher or an agent, and just as hard and time consuming to opt for the self-publishing route.
November is NaNoWriMo or “(inter)National Novel Writing Month” and thousands and thousands of people worldwide commit to writing 50,000 words in 30 days. Now that’s a lot of words, but many writers manage to achieve it.
Hang on a minute. What about writing a non-fiction eBook? Unlike a novel it need not be as long, or take years to write, and you don’t need a publisher. Pause, collect your creative thoughts. Imagine, in about one month from now you could have an informative eBook written and waiting to be sold (or given away in return for email subscriptions to your blog).
An eBook can be shorter than a novel, about 20,000 words maximum, written about a subject you know well or love. The list of ideas might be endless. What do you know about and love? Could you write about writing, or travel, or write about a hobby you enjoy, crikey you could even write about the problems (and how to solve them) of your cat? Now there’s a thought. The internet is large enough for countless niche subjects to attract healthy audiences.
So where to start?
1. Brainstorm what you could write about that would be useful to others – keep in mind your readers’ first question. “What’s in it for me?”
2. Decide who your target audience is going to be i.e. who are the kind of people who want to read this information. Where do they hang out? Can you visit forums on the web to better understand the questions they’re asking? Become Sherlock Holmes for a day – find out who needs your written words.
3. Do some additional research on your subject – collate extra material and facts, including stand-out quotations from other experts in their field, interesting examples, and mind blowing statistics if appropriate.
4. Think about the structure of your eBook. Keep it simple but have a basic structure so that you don’t aimlessly ramble on and on.
5. Start writing – again, keep it simple. Your readers will most likely be looking for easily digestible information available in bite sized pieces that they can apply immediately. So adhere to all the rules about writing for a web based audience.
I’m throwing down the gauntlet. How about 30 days or nights of writerly abandon?
I’m up for it if you are?
Who’s with me? The challenge is on
Drop your comments in the reply box below, and here’s to November 1st 2012.