Getting Started on Your Manuscript
By Sylvia St.Cyr
When you are inspired to write, it can be very liberating to get started and write your thoughts down on paper (Or computer). It can also be scary and daunting.
Perhaps you’ve had an idea brewing for quite some time and don’t feel you have the time or energy to get started. Whatever the case may be, there is always going to be a reason not to write. Or a reason not to take your written works to the next level. There will also never be a perfect time to do anything, let alone write a book.
I can remember wanting to write my book; I had had an idea for roughly 5 months; but the thought of saying that aloud to my family was nerve racking. I had written speeches, but never anything close to a novel, so what were they to think?
If you are feeling lead to write any sort of book, be it poetry, non-fiction, or fiction, then it’s time to write it. You don’t need to know everything before you get started. Sometimes the idea of just starting is the hardest part, like working out. Once you start, it’s fine, it was just the act of starting that was hard. The same is with writing.
If you have not started writing yet, but you know that you want to write something, how do you know where to begin? Don’t get too hung up on the beginning process. A great way to start is to create an outline. Even start by writing a bullet point list of the common ideas or threads that you want to have in your book. Then, once you’ve created an outline, pick somewhere to start and get to it. You do not have to start on Chapter 1. Isn’t that interesting?
When I first started writing my book, I started to write in Chapter 1 but I got about half a page written. Then I stopped and stared at my computer screen. The truth is, yes, writing fiction and non-fiction are different. A fiction story has a flow, a story line that is important to follow. With non-fiction, it’s good to have one theme throughout the book.
I wrote a non-fiction book, so that is where my knowledge lies. When writing non-fiction, if you have a cohesive idea but it’s not the first thing people will read, that’s okay! In fact, I think I was mostly done writing the entire book when I finally went back to my first chapter to finish it. The important thing is to begin!
You won’t know if you have something worth publishing unless you start. On top of that, maybe you have something to share with people in a unique way that will touch their heart, or open their mind to new possibilities. It’s time to take your writing to the next level. If you need to fix things along the way, that’s totally okay. But you won’t know unless you try.
About this Contributor:
Sylvia St.Cyr is a Publishing Consultant at Word Alive Press. She is also a journalist and the Arts & Entertainment Coordinator for her local paper, The Citizen. She lives with her husband and two kids just outside of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Her first book, Love vs. Fear is set to be released late fall, 2017. For more info, check out her blog.