You have to start writing. This sounds obvious, but it may be the most overlooked step in the process. You write a book by deciding first what you’re going to write and how you’re going to write it. Once you start writing, you will face self-doubt, overwhelming feelings and a hundred other adversaries. Planning ahead for those obstacles ensures you won’t quit when they come.
Before I go any further; I must confess I am not a professional. I solely write because I find it relaxing, hence I do not have the aspirations to do grand things. The following is merely based on a handful of tips and is in no way a professional or perfect guideline.
Write the argument of your book in a sentence, then stretch that out to a paragraph, and then to a one-page outline. After that, write a table of contents to help guide you as you write, then break each chapter into a few sections. Think of your book in terms of beginning, middle, and end. Anything more complicated might get you lost.
You don’t need to write a lot. You just need to write often. I personally don’t do this, but setting a daily goal will give you something to aim for. Make it small and attainable so that you can hit your goal each day and start building momentum.
Have a few trusted advisers to help you discern what’s worth writing. These can be friends, editors, family. Just try to find someone who will give you honest feedback early on to make sure you’re headed in the right direction.
As you approach the end, know that you will most certainly mess up. Just be okay with failing, and give yourself grace. That’s what will sustain you — the determination to continue, not some elusive standards of perfection.
Keep in mind that the first book will be horrible. The second as well. So will the third. The ones after might be better. Might.
People who tell you that they only wrote good work, and never wrote any bad work; don’t believe them. They are still writing bad work, and only those embarrassed by earlier work, have progressed.
Without that first book, you will never learn the lessons you might otherwise miss out on. So, put your work out there, fail early, and try again. This is the only way you get better. You have to practice, which means you have to keep writing.
I hope this was helpful. Keep in mind that there is no perfect way to write. I wish you a lot of fun.