So many people have a burning desire to share their life stories but need a little help. It takes discipline and experience, as well as dedication and determination. Plan for the writing process to take a few hundred hours. However, if you’re not a professional writer, don’t despair. You don’t need to abandon the dream. If you need help writing a book, you have options.
When writing a book, you basically have three choices:
- Write your book on your own
- Hire a writing coach
- Hire a ghostwriter
My door is always open. If you’d like to reach out, I’m here. Feel free to email me at any time!
Write your book on your own
If you wish to write the book yourself, you’ll need to gain experience. The best way to do so is to write. Get words on paper. There is no shortcut, I’m afraid. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and write and write and write, and then write some more.
What should you write?
Anything and everything!
If you’re eager to write a novel, start with a few short stories. Once you complete a few, you might see if you can get one published. There are numerous avenues for submitting short works of fiction these days. Some magazines will even pay you if you are accepted. There are many good resources for finding magazines where you can submit for free. Here’s one book that I recommend that will provide you with many options.
A few more writing ideas
If you’re interested in writing a memoir or a novel in the first person, it might help to keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings. Practice by describing objects in your home or people you know. Record family stories or funny incidents that happen to you using the first person.
You might also go to a public place (like a park or a shopping mall) and write what you see. Eavesdrop on people’s conversations and write down what they say. Try to get it as verbatim as possible. When I began to write, I found this technique very helpful. I discovered that people often had unique ways of communicating and that they often didn’t speak in complete, grammatically correct sentences. I found it fascinating.
Another way to gain some writing experience is to start writing good old-fashioned letters to friends and family. You might write a love letter to your partner or write a letter of gratitude to your parents.
Did your folks tell you bedtime stories when you were little? If so, jot them down. Maybe turn them into a short story or a children’s book.
Bottom line, the more you write, the easier you will find it t get the ideas out of your head and down on paper.
Read a lot of books
If you have a great idea for a story but need help writing a book, any good writer will tell you that you will learn a lot by reading. For one thing, it’s also a good idea to pick up books on how to write. These will teach you basic techniques that will allow you to bring your thoughts to life. If you’re working on a novel or memoir, I highly recommend Save the Cat Writes a Novel. This book will teach you how to structure your story.
In addition, you should read the works of other authors who have written books in the genre you wish to write. Notice how they tackle challenging scenes. How do they approach dialogue? How do they incorporate descriptions? When you find a passage you particularly like, dissect it and see how they were able to communicate their vision to you.
If you don’t have a lot of time to read, you’ll still gain a lot of insight by reading the first few chapters of a few good books.
Now that you have improved your writing skills, tackle that story! For more information on how to get started writing your book, check out my Ask a Ghostwriter series. Or feel free to reach out to me!
Hire a writing consultant
If you need help writing a book because you feel you don’t have the experience and skill set to do so on your own, one option is to hire a writing coach. This person’s job will be to guide you as you navigate your project. When you hire a consultant, you will still do all the writing but you’ll have a guardian angel on your shoulder.
Find an experienced writer to help you. She should have a few books under her belt, preferably within the genre of your work. If she has never written a book, she will not understand the process and will not be able to guide you in the right direction.
It’s a good idea to lay out your writing goals early on. Share them with your coach and ask her to keep you accountable so that you finish your book in a timely manner.
Of course, it goes without saying that you’ll need to pay the consultant for her time. If you’re interested in hiring me to be your coach, please email me directly so we can discuss it further.
Hire a Ghostwriter
If you need help writing a book, another option is to hire someone to write for you. When you hire a ghostwriter, all you’ll need to do is provide the basic, raw information and then give feedback about their writing. Of course, this is the most expensive option available (somewhere between fifty cents to two dollars per word), but it’s also the least time-consuming one. Although you’ll need to review their work and be available for interviews, it will only require an hour or two per week of your time.
If you have limited time and a low budget, you might consider hiring a ghostwriter to write a novella. A novella is a shorter book, usually about 100 pages long.
Once you have your finished book, plan to spend a little extra money on an editor to polish it up and do your proofreading. Personally, I include editing in my pricing (and always hire an outside professional to read my book with an expert eye), but not all ghostwriters do. Strictly speaking, it isn’t usually included in the deal.
So, as you see, there are options for you to get help writing your book. If you need help sorting through these choices, please don’t hesitate to email me for a consultation!