A lot of people are going to tell you various, different ways on how to write a book, me included. However, the first thing that I want you to know, and this is a secret that most people don’t know or don’t seem to understand, is that there is no set method on how to write a book. It’s as simple as that. But then again, not really, nothing is ever that simple. So let me help you along your way with some tips.
The most common obstacle that potential writers face is procrastination. This usually stems from some form of fear. It could be that they fear letting someone peer into their true thoughts, or a fear that people won’t care about or notice what they write, it could even be a fear that people may laugh at them. Perhaps a fear of failure. While all of these scenarios may be frightening, I’m here to tell you that the scariest thing that an artist will ever face in their life, is denying themselves of their creative passions. If you do not write that book, or short story, or song, out of an irrational fear, you will regret it when you lose it. In the face of this Goliath, your need to express yourself creatively should compel you to write what your heart desires.
So, you’ve gotten this far, it must mean that you’ve gained some hope and are ready for the next step. This is one of the easier parts of writing- it’s gaining direction. Just like how you would do if you travelled to a foreign country, you would first want to gain direction or have some idea of what you want to do, the same goes for writing. You don’t have to have every single point mapped out like some mad writers do, and you certainly don’t have to draw out elaborate timelines all over your wall. No, all you need, I believe, is to know where you want to start, and how you want it all to end. Everything in the middle is like life, it slowly comes to you over time. Don’t stress about it or pressure yourself into anything, don’t even pressure yourself into following my advice. Art should rarely be forced, it should flow out of you as if a release of the struggles and frustrations that you’ve held onto in life. Writing, drawing, singing, dancing, acting, all forms of art, they come from the most honest, purest places within us. That is, either genuine glee or immense sorrow.
Once an idea has blossomed in a remote nook of your mind, it’s time to start writing. You might think that you’re not ready for such a daunting project, but you really are. Our minds, whether it intends to or not, usually instills fear into us. In this context, it would chime to every part of your waking body that you’re not worthy yet of doing something of this caliber. Perhaps when you think of a writer, your mind wanders to someone with such strong discipline that they follow strict regiments. For example, Stephen King with his method of writing 2,000 words a day. However, you should also note that for his personal style and with the kind of novels which he writes, he has found that to be the method best suited for himself. Another example, myself. I wrote and published my own novel at 17, yet I’m nowhere near the likes of Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, George R.R. Martin, Kevin Feigi, William Shakespeare, or any of the greats. Yet I did it, and so can you. The oldest cliches stand true, you never know until you try. Keep experimenting until you find what’s right for you.
And now for my last tip, because it’s likely that you’re bored of me already and want to get to your own writing. This bit is absolutely crucial. I said at the beginning of this post, and once again somewhere in the middle, that there is no set method to writing and that you shouldn’t pressure yourself into following my tips and advice. However, this tip, you should heed. Never, under any circumstance, should you forsake your personal and creative integrity to write about what’s “cool” instead of what’s real. With this, I mean writing to please others instead of yourself. You may have something that you feel is extremely controversial to write about. Well write it, within rightful law, of course. It doesn’t matter that a lot of people will disagree with you, or a lot of people may hate what you’re writing, you have to stand up for what you believe in. Because if you keep bending yourself backwards to the demands of others like some artists do, then really, your work of art isn’t actually yours anymore. Those aren’t your words, they aren’t your thoughts, that isn’t your beauty. It’s theirs, and you’ve lost your own sense of purpose. Don’t let that happen, always be true and honest to yourself, and you will forever be grateful.
Eugene Tan is a current student at EF Academy Torbay. He wrote and published his own book which is available on Amazon which you can purchase here.
If you’re a student who aims high like Eugene Tan, EF Academy could be the school for you.