One way to kick start a slow writing process is to speak your book – at least initially – and then begin the writing phase with the transcription.
As a book coach and ghostwriter, I’ve never met a budding author who wanted to write their book slowly. What a surprise, eh? It’s understandable: when you’ve got the bit between your teeth, and especially when you’re working to a deadline like NaNoWriMo, speed is of the essence.
But there’s a problem. You’ve got a blank page to fill, and somehow the words just won’t come out. You know what you want to say, but translating those thoughts onto the screen in front of you, via your keyboard, just isn’t happening.
You see, for many people writing isn’t a very natural process. It was something you were taught to do at school, but that can make it all the more difficult. I don’t know about you, but I can practically see that teacher’s red pen come out as soon as my first draft appears on the page.
Not only that, but you may not be used to writing regularly at length, so your writing muscles are a little out of condition. All of a sudden, NaNoWriMo comes along and you’re supposed to be sprinting out of the starting block like an Olympic athlete who’s been training for years. With all this, the only thing that’s happening fast for you right now, is demotivation.
Speak your book into the world
If you prefer to talk rather than write, I’ve got some ideas to help you get your book out more quickly, easily, and naturally. It’s for you if you’re blasting through your novel for NaNoWriMo, but equally for you if you’re writing a book for your business.
So what do you do? You speak your book instead of writing it. I’m not talking about audio books here, I’m describing a different way of creating your written manuscript.
Are you a talker or a writer?
Here’s a test. Ask yourself:
- What do I do for a living? Does it mainly involve talking to people, or communicating via the written word?
- When I have a problem or a decision to make, do I best solve it by talking it through, or by writing down the pros and cons?
- Do I think aloud, or silently?
The answers to these questions will give you a good idea as to whether you’re a candidate for speaking your book.
How to talk through your book
- Make sure you have your book outline pinned down before you begin. Whether you’re writing a novel or a non fiction book, you should know what points you want to make in each chapter before you start speaking it; this is especially important when you’re talking rather than writing, as otherwise you will meander off track.
- Get ready with a recording device of your choice. Make sure you can export the recording file into a format you can save onto your desktop or email to your transcriber.
- Speak your content. Get your outline out, and imagine your target reader is sitting across from you, eager to hear what you have to tell them. Speak to them as if they were there, following your outline as you go. Another way of doing this (especially if you’re writing a nonfiction book) is to ask someone else to interview you, using your outline as a guide for their questions.
- Get your recordings transcribed. You can find very cost-effective transcribers on freelancing sites online; another option is www.rev.com. Remember, you don’t need your transcription to look beautiful as it’s for your eyes only, so make that clear when you negotiate a price.
- Refine your content. Once you have your transcription, you have the raw material for your book! Instead of a blank page, you’re looking at words already written. So much easier. Now your task is to read through and re-write what you’ve had transcribed. You need it to read fluently and powerfully, so your spoken words will need a lot of re-working; natural conversation is definitely not suitable for reading in a book. You may even find yourself moving chunks of text from one place to another, deleting passages, combining others, and re-doing entire sections. That’s ok. It’s still a lot easier to do this than to start writing from scratch.
Congratulations, you’ve got a book that wasn’t so hard to write after all! Have you tried speaking your book, or know anyone who has? What advice would you give to someone starting out in this way?
Do you want to get your book written quickly? Get your copy of Ginny Carter’s free guide, How to Find Time in Your Busy Schedule to Write Your Business Book, by clicking here.
Image via ShutterStock.com
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