I want to be a writer. Where do I start?

Most important—Don’t be fooled into thinking there is only one way.

There is no single guaranteed path to producing a best selling book. Asking yourself a few questions before you start, after you start, once you finish your first draft, after your book is published, and in the years that follow may help you find the right starting point for you at that moment in time. You might even find more than one place to start.

Here I offer 16 questions to get you to start thinking, with links to more information. All of them are suggestions, not ingredients in a book-making recipe.

Caveat: I list resources here that I know of, but including a resource is not an endorsement. Do your own research into writing coaches, for example, by checking their references before making a commitment.

Sixteen questions to ask and answer if you want to be a writer. Subsequent posts on the dates indicated below will provide links to resources based on your answers to these questions.

Questions requiring research to answer

1. Do you have a story or idea in mind? July 2
2. Do you know who your audience is? July 5
3. Does your audience want books? July 6
4. Is your book idea fiction, memoir, or creative nonfiction based on history? July 8

Questions regarding writing

5. Do you have an outline, summary, or synopsis for your story? July 9
6. Have your written a first draft? July 12
7. Have you had your draft edited by a developmental editor? July 13
8. Have you had your draft reviewed by beta readers or manuscript reviewers? July 15

Questions regarding book production

9. Do you want to publish your book through a traditional publisher? July 16
10. Do you know what indie authors must do for themselves? July 19
11. Do you have an agent? July 20

Questions regarding marketing and publicity

12. Has your agent sold the publishing rights for your book? July 22
13. Do you have a marketing plan for the lead up to the launch of your book? July 23
14. Has the book been published? July 26
15. Do you have a marketing plan for the continued promotion of the book? July 27

Nonfiction research

16. Do others consider you an expert on the topic of your nonfiction book? July 29

Featured image credit: Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

One response to “I want to be a writer. Where do I start?”

  1. Whoa, these are great questions indeed, and they will surely help a budding writer find their way into their first project. A good resource, and I’m looking forward to the extra links you have to share. Thanks for this post!

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