Most Common Mistakes to Avoid While Writing a Book
When it comes to book writing, it seems like everyone has an opinion. You should write in the early morning … you should write at night … you should try to hit a word count each day. It seems like the list goes on.
There are things that you can do to screw up the writing process, though. Here are some mistakes that you can avoid when you are writing your book.
Focusing On You and Not Your Readers
When you first sit down to write, you have this vision of writing the next bestseller that will sell millions of copies. Then you’ll be on the talk show circuit and have tons of book signings. The adulation will never end …. and then you wake up from your dream.
Don’t write to satisfy your own ego. Think about the reader … think about what value they will get from your book. Write to answer any questions that they might have.
Trying to Show How Smart You Are
You’re brilliant … you got a perfect score on the English part of the SATs… and you use that vocabulary. The problem is, you’re going to have a lot of readers with glazed-over looks in their eyes as they try to figure out exactly what you are saying. You don’t have to break out the thesaurus for every other word.
A great example of a brilliant writer who got past his own ego was Isaac Asimov. He was smart enough to get a doctorate in Chemistry, but he wrote in plain language about a lot of different subjects. He didn’t browbeat his readers with his intelligence.
Overanalyzing Your First Draft
This is a trap that many writers fall into. They sit and scrutinize every sentence of their first draft. They shouldn’t do that … chances are good that the first draft is going to stink anyway.
It’s all about getting the words on the screen first. Just write whatever comes to mind until you think you have reached the endpoint. Then you can go back over it and make revisions or have someone else look it over for you.
Listening to Family and Friends
Let’s not make this one more awkward than it needs to be. Yes, it’s good to have some eyes look at your work, but their opinion is going to be colored by how they view you. They aren’t going to give you the best opinions … unless they are authors and know what goes into writing books and what needs to be done.
Still, it’s better to get opinions from professionals, and people who don’t know you. An editor with a keen eye can really help you write the book that you want. Their advice will come from a neutral place.
Writing a book can be a marathon. You want to make sure that you are doing the right thing when you are working on it. Otherwise, you will look back and realize that you have wasted a lot of time … and that is a rough feeling to get past.