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The One True Way to Write a Book

If you Google “how to write a book” you’ll get 10,850,000,000 results. Ish.

There are “ridiculously easy” methods.

“Proven guides.”

“Simple steps.”

Many “foolproof” systems.

Some of them claiming to be the One True Way; most of them sharing the method that worked for the person writing the article.

What most of them won’t say, though, is that how to write a book depends very much on you.

Who you are.

How you work.

What you enjoy and don’t enjoy; what you’re good at and what you’re not so good at.

And that, in fact, what works for you one day, or with one book, won’t necessarily work another day, for another book.

Take me.

I wrote four books using my detailed outline method, and it worked pretty well, mostly… then I started to write the book I’m writing now, and when I sat down to plan, it just slipped away from me.

My brain said “absolutely not” and my idea remained inside my head.

So I just started writing, and out came the stories and ideas, and one idea begat another, and it’s in no particular order and a lot of it is trash, but I can see a seed in the middle.

During my random writing, I put together a reader journey because I did want to see more-or-less where I was going, and that helped. I managed to steer some of my stories in the direction I wanted them to go.

I’ve got nearly enough word-splurge, now, to start banging it into shape.

And for that, I’ll need a plan. An outline.

Which I’ll put together early next year, probably.

I haven’t needed it until now.

And this is my point: I’m a planner, until I’m not. Then, I’m a get all the creative excitement out right now, until I’m not. Sometimes I do both at once. Sometimes I just doodle shapes on a page.

Here’s what I never, ever do, though: proclaim that there is only One True Way to write a book because that isn’t true. I’ll always give you options. Ideas. Suggestions.

I watch my clients work, see what they create and what they send me, and discover what they love doing, where they get stuck, and what unlocks the stories, then I figure out the best way to help them take the next step, and the next.

Working with my MicroBook authors has been so much fun for me because they all have different approaches to writing, and although they all share similar struggles (because we all do), everyone has found something slightly different to unlock their flow.

I love seeing that happen.

Be wary of the writer who says they’ll teach you how to write a book, and then proceeds to show you how they wrote a book.

I’ve had so many conversations with people who’ve said they’ve tried and tried to write their book, they’ve got so far then no further, and all the “foolproof” methods they’ve tried have made them feel like they’re broken.

You’re not broken.

I promise you.

You just haven’t found the best way for you, yet.

(Psst: this is my superpower — helping you get your book out of your head and published, even when you’ve tried “everything” and it hasn’t worked. Come and join me on January 10 when I run MicroBook Magic again. If you enrol before Dec 1, I’ll comp you in at this year’s prices — they go up on Dec 1!)