How to Start Writing Your First Book Now!

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I met the gorgeous and highly talented Kelsey Humphreys at the Launch Out Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma this year. The second her feet hit the stage, she had everyone's attention. She pumps people up! I always thought I had to have this perfectly organized life to finish my novel. Hm. Maybe that's why I don't have a published book and Kelsey does. Hm, indeed! Read this, people. Kelsey is about to give you a peek into a whole new world. Follow her advice, and you'll be on the right track.


“You don't have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.”

Les Brown

 
Start with What You Have 
If you're an aspiring writer with nothing "written down," you're probably intimidated and discouraged. However, you are reading this post. You keep coming back to the idea of becoming an author, or at least writing in general. Don't let the white page, or the lack of any filled pages, scare you. Think about your thoughts. You're probably bubbling over with ideas, or else why would you feel the urge to write them out? Over the past few years, I had jotted disjointed notes in my iPhone Notes app about leadership, creativity, and marketing. I started blogging every so often about quitting my job to start my business. I had unfinished notes on physical pads of paper everywhere. Why do I have so many different journals and notepads, anyway? It's ridiculous. I also kept a long, unorganized Google Document. The term document is generous. More like Google Word Swamp. Or Google Random Paragraph Mash-Up. If I had been smart, I would have also recorded audio bites on my drive to work, when I would often think up great ideas. With the new waterproof phones coming out, we can all start to take over the world, one idea-filled shower at a time! I hope what you're gathering from this is that you don't have to have a book proposal, an outline, or a tentative title to get started. You don't even have to have one concise book idea. Just take the thoughts you have now and get them out somehow. Start a private blog or a new journal. Eventually, you will start to see some themes, or you'll be able to look back and create a theme throughout your awesome thoughts. That book proposal, outline, and title will eventually present itself, I promise you. And hey, if it doesn't, feel free to use Google Word Swamp!  
 
Start Where You Are Everything I’ve read about writing a book says to write in the wee hours of morning in a special place that is specifically for writing. Set the mood with a comfortable setting, the perfect cup of coffee, and let the inspiration flow. Some big-time authors have even rented cabins in the woods for weekends or whole months at a time! If you have a full-time job, family, or you know, life, getting in the way of that perfect picture, be encouraged today because that was not my writing reality. Instead, at random times of day, I would put my infant daughter down for a nap, run to my laptop, and type feverishly on a toy-littered couch, hair undone, still in my pajamas, until she woke up. I didn’t follow my own advice to solopreneurs about waking up early or staying up late because my child was not sleeping through the night yet. She still isn't. Lucky me. She does take pretty good naps, though, and so I am paving my own way. Maybe I’m a whole new breed of writer: the Working Mom Author. How glamourous. The vision of writing at sunrise in a light-filled study all alone with my coffee seems way cooler. My point is that you can start writing right now, where you are, in some way. Like I said above, just get them out! Write during your lunch break. Record audio while you drive. Write on your phone while you wait at the doctor's office. Let go of the idealized version of writing a book and start living your version of writing a book. If I can do it, you can!
 
What other struggles have you faced starting out as a writer? What scares you most about getting started?

Watch Kelsey talk about the struggles of getting started (and stuck) on Youtube! 

Kelsey Humphreys is an emerging authority on the subjects of branding, marketing, entrepreneurship, and personal development. Her passion for those subjects led her to become the Associate Creative Director in one of Oklahoma’s largest advertising agencies. She was then able to quit her dream job for her dream: starting her own business. Her entrepreneurial journey led to the completion of her upcoming book, due this fall. She now speaks, consults, coaches, and writes on the subjects of personal branding and marketing to help other "solopreneurs" as they pursue their passions and fulfill their unique purpose. Learn more at http://kelseyhumphreys.com/. Follow her on twitter @KelseyHumphreys.