5 Tips From Top Writers to Help You Write Your Dream Book

Hi there! It’s Mindy McHorse, back to close out our week of learning about profitable self-publishing opportunities.

You know, as editor of Barefoot Writer magazine, I’ve gotten to talk to some incredible writers over the years. I’ve interviewed New York Times best-selling authors, Wall Street Journal best-selling authors, million-dollar copywriters, and direct-mail marketing legends.

Want to know what virtually every one of them said about the secret to writing a book?

You have to put yourself on a schedule.

I know, I know, that hardly meshes with the romantic idea of following your creative whims and writing when the mood strikes you …

Which you can still do, of course. No harm in it.

But, if you follow that route, you’re hardly likely to reap any profits or meet any goals. You may not even ever get the book written.

So, take the advice of dozens of top authors and put yourself on a schedule. More specifically:

  1. Set a deadline for finishing your book.
  2. Figure out when your ideal writing time is (i.e., when you’re most creative, awake, and focused).
  3. Stick to a set amount of writing hours every day, or a daily word count.
  4. Don’t show anybody your book until you have a full first draft. Early feedback can kill a book before it’s ever finished.
  5. Edit and revise over and over and over again. It’ll be worth it in the end.

Along with that advice, most of the top authors I’ve interviewed recommend the following two books as writing resources:

  • On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
  • Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

And beyond that? The best thing you can do is simply to stay connected to this world. Once your book is finished, continue to read a little about self-publishing every week. Continue to post things on your chosen platform on a daily basis. Continue to reach out to other writers for feedback and ideas.

The Barefoot Writer is also a great way to stay in touch with the book-writing and self-publishing industry. In fact, this month’s interview is with Brian Klems, online editor of WritersDigest.com and published author. You can bet he shares some valuable insight on getting a book written and out to the public!

Plus, in each issue of Barefoot Writer, we make it a point to offer actionable tips on how to improve your writing, stay motivated, make the best use of your time, and enjoy the writer’s life.

Our May issue is out today, in fact (go here if you’re not already a subscriber). Read and enjoy – and be sure to share your feedback and successes as you navigate the world of self-publishing.

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Published: May 1, 2015

2 Responses to “5 Tips From Top Writers to Help You Write Your Dream Book”

  1. Thanks, Mindy.

    My book goes on sale today -- as soon as I pick up the first copies hot off the press.
    [It is my 2nd published book.]

    It's a fantastic feeling!

    Now working on my 3rd book.


    Guest (Kristi)

  2. Hi Mindy, Thank you. I started on a book. I've decided on the story and story line, (some of) the characters, and the end. My problem is that my typing is very slow, and I get frustrated at the time it takes to finish a chapter. I have done three so far, and a prologue. I tried Elance, but I find that the ones I got are not in the same frequency, except one, but she dropped off to care for her very young son with special needs. Learning to type fast is a pain (yup. I am lazy and old). Any ideas-recommendations? Thank you.

    Guest (Rabindra)

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