Every writer has been in your shoes—even the prolific authors who have published numerous books. Nobody wakes up as a masterful storyteller or flawless writer; everyone has to begin somewhere.
Many people fall into the trap of thinking they can’t do something because they’re not instantly good at it. If this is your thinking regarding writing a book, it’s time to put an end to that narrative.
You can write a book with no experience. You simply need to take the leap and begin writing. Every single day. Yes, committing to the discipline of writing daily is hugely important.
There are some important steps to keeping yourself on track once you commit to writing a book. These steps will help you stay on task but, perhaps more importantly, help you become a stronger writer.
Read below for DartFrog’s foolproof 8 steps to write a book without experience successfully.
1- Why Do You Want to Write?
You want to write a book but are unsure of where you should start. First, asking yourself why you want to write is an important question.
Since you’re reading this blog, you must have a strong motivation for considering writing a book despite having no experience.
Do you have a heartwarming children’s story you want to tell? Or maybe you thought up the perfect murder mystery.
Do you want to inform the public on a topic you’re passionate about? Perhaps you want to start writing a book about your life?
Whatever your book may be about, discovering the driving force behind writing will help to keep you motivated.
2- What Genre Do You Want to Write?
Narrowing your book down to the topic you want to write about will provide a structure for you to follow. The first distinction you’ll want to make is whether you’ll write fiction or nonfiction.
The fiction genre hinges on your creativity and ability to tell a story. You can choose from numerous subgenres in fiction: horror, romance, sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction, etc.
When writing fiction, you should have a rough idea of the plot, some characters fleshed out, and a general idea of the setting. For many authors, good ideas come to them as they write, but for most, it’s helpful to have an outline to work from.
Some people may find starting with nonfiction easier because your book could be research-based, or if you go the route of a memoir, you’re writing about what you know: your own life.
You might be asking yourself: how can I write a nonfiction book with no experience? If you write a research-based book, the first step is to begin digging for reputable articles and data.
Make sure that there is enough existing information to support an entire book.
If you’re choosing to write a memoir or a collection of personal essays, you should settle on an overarching theme. Ask yourself what message you want to express and what personal stories you feel compelled to share.
3- Don’t Compare Yourself to Other Writers
As Theodore Roosevelt said: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
It can be hard not to compare yourself to other writers, especially when starting. But, the comparison will only limit you from growing as a writer and may discourage you from continuing to write at all.
You can take inspiration from other authors, but your writing is yours. Don’t try to be more like other authors or books—allow yourself to develop your own unique style and voice.
4- Strengthen Your Writing: Daily Writing Prompts
A great way to sharpen your craft is to flex your writing muscles. Writing outside of your book project will expand your creativity and ability to write in different styles and genres.
The writing prompts don’t have to be a massive undertaking—it could be as simple as setting a timer for five or ten minutes and writing in response to the prompt during that time.
Or, one of these prompts might spark your imagination and leave you with a new idea for a book or short story.
There are many journals on the market with various writing prompts and online compilations of prompts. Explore the different options and choose the writing exercise that makes you feel the most excited to write.
We recommend checking out these free writing prompts:
5- Read Books On Writing
Plenty of great books from successful authors have detailed their writing advice. As with any advice, however, take it all with a grain of salt. Some of what they say might resonate with you, whereas some advice might be irrelevant.
Another option is to watch interviews conducted with your favorite authors. These videos might provide insight into the art of writing that inspires you or answers the question you’ve been too afraid to ask.
Here are some titles that we suggest:
6- Devise a Plan: Scheduling Your Writing Time
It’s vital to set a realistic timeline for yourself. You should ask yourself how much time you have per day, per week, or per month that you can set aside to write.
There’s no one correct timeline to adhere to. The time it takes to finish writing your book will depend on your lifestyle and how much time you must devote to writing.
Some writers can write a book in seven days, while others might take seven years. You will have your writing journey and timeline—try not to pressure yourself to commit to an unrealistic deadline.
After you’ve settled on a realistic timeline for writing your book, it’s time to sit down and start writing! While working on your first draft, you should let everything spill onto the page.
At this stage, there is no room for self-doubt or criticism. Your main priority should be getting your story out of your head and onto the page.
Don’t worry about syncing plot lines perfectly or developing each character to the max. Just write!
8- Edit Your Book With the New Tools You’ve Learned
Now that you’ve written your book, odds are you’ve learned a lot along the way. The next step is to go through your book with the lens you have now as an experienced writer.
You’ll likely notice a vast difference in the quality of your writing from beginning to end as you re-read. Rather than condemning your earlier writing, you should take pride in your progress!
Refining and editing your writing will bring your entire book to the same high standard you’ve achieved. Think of editing your book to test your new and improved literary skills.
Once you’ve finished your work review and done all that you think you can to your story, it’s time to submit it to an editor. Every writer you’ve ever heard of requires someone else to edit their work.
Choosing an editor is important, as that person will help fine-tune your story into the gem it can become. You want an editor who is tough and honest.
Do not ask a friend or relative. Hiring an editor is a business decision; you are hiring someone who will point out every flaw, interruption in flow, character disconnect, and so on.
Your manuscript will come back with red ink everywhere. That’s good. You are refining your work of art. It is getting better.
If you deprive yourself of the opportunity to work with a professional editor, you are depriving your book of the potential to be the best possible version of itself.
We hope this blog helped you write your book and we hope it helped you become a stronger writer. You may have started with minimal or no experience, but now you have an entire book under your belt!
If you’re interested in discovering your options for publishing or editing, DartFrog can help! We would love the chance to read your manuscript. Contact us today!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do you start writing a book for beginners?
A: The only way to start writing a book is to start writing your book! Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned writer, you must get words down on the page.
There is always research and planning that you can do to prepare yourself for writing a book, but none of that is actually writing.
The key is to embrace your imperfect writing when first starting. Over time, as you continue writing, you’ll become a stronger writer.
Q: How do you write a book with zero experience?
A: Every author wrote their first book, and you are no different. You must start somewhere, so it’s best to put your self-doubt aside and write.
The only way to hone your craft is to jump in and begin…and then practice, practice, practice!
Q: How do you write a book with no writing skills?
A: If you genuinely believe you lack writing skills, you may sell yourself short. You’ve likely read stories, articles, and books in your lifetime. You’ve also probably written essays, diary entries, or letters to friends.
A grasp of the language you’re writing in means that you inherently have writing skills. You probably know basic grammar and vocabulary, even if it’s imperfect.
You might not yet have the writing skills of a best-selling author, but you still have strengths in writing. Have faith in yourself and trust that your writing skills will improve with time and practice.
Q: What is the easiest type of book to write?
A: The easiest book to write will be the idea that makes you most excited to sit down and write. If you are washed with dread every time you open your laptop or notebook, that story or topic isn’t the right fit.
Showing up and committing to writing is one of the most challenging parts of being a writer. Write the book your mind wanders off to when you’re supposed to pay attention in a work meeting.
You don’t always need to feel jazzed about your book, but it shouldn’t feel like a punishment to write it. You’re choosing to write, so have fun!