10 Easy Steps To Writing that Best Selling Book…the REAL Way!

I’m writing a book! Now, I know what you’re thinking and yes, I’m pretty sure it will change your life. In fact, there is a good chance it will make you taller and better looking too (results may vary). It’s coming out in a few short weeks, so if you want a free copy of the pre-release, just go to the Search Engine Humanization page and download the book right now!

But this post isn’t about some lame sales pitch peddling a new product that I am working on. Even if it is free…and awesome.

You know how I hate it when people do that.

No. This post is to show you how to get your book written. The real way. It’s about removing all of the glitz and glamour behind writing a book in order to introduce you to the true writing process. You see, I have read several books on how to write a book. I spoke with some of the worlds most accomplished authors. And I even went to a bookstore to see what real books look like.

I soon found out as I started writing that all of the tips that I learned along the way had one thing in common. They were all wrong. The advice, the methods, the exercises. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

So I decided to set the record straight. Pull back the curtain and show you the real steps that go into writing a book. The way it has worked for me and millions of other writers.

Step 1: Stare at the Screen

Most writers will tell you that the first and most important step to writing a book is to have a good idea. I disagree. Ideas are a dime a dozen. What’s better than wasting your time actually planning your book is to jump right into the writing process. This requires opening up your word processor or choice, cracking your knuckles and then staring at the screen. The longer you stare, the more profound that first sentence is going to be.

Step 2: Grab a Snack

If done right, staring at the screen will make you hungry. Nothing fuels the creative process like a snack. And since you are likely stealing time away either late at night or early in the morning to write your book, everyone in your house is probably sleeping, so there is no sense in making it a healthy snack. Hit that bag of chips you were eying earlier or dig into a pint of Häagen-Dazs. Nobody’s looking.

Step 3: Check your E-mail

When you get back from your snack, your next step should be to check your e-mail. It’s quite possible that you received a contract from a big time agent or publisher while you were away from the computer. That might be just the push you need to make this happen! The only way to know for sure is to check, but only allow yourself 5 minutes.

(Approximately 1 Hour Later)

Step 4: Watch TV

At this point, The Daily Show is about to start. This would be a good opportunity to clear your head and shake off a little of that frustration settling in. Besides, it’s only a half hour and it’s quite possible that the guest is an author. Maybe they will have some good advice for you! Honestly, this is more research than anything else.

(Approximately 1 1/2 Hours Later…After Watching The Cobert Report and Tosh.0 As Well)

Step 5: Curse at the Screen

At this point you realize that you have been hard at work on this book for several hours and you only have a title page that says “Insert Title Here” and a whopping 30-50 words for the introduction. And while we’re being honest, 25 of those words pretty much suck. It’s time to cut the crap and get to work because this thing isn’t going to write itself. Give the screen one last disapproving look as you give it your favorite curse word and get back to work.

Step 6: Research

Perhaps the problem is that you have too many questions to actually start writing. Luckily we live in the age of information and the answer is a mere click away. So, open up Facebook or Twitter. With over a billion users combined between the two sites, I’m sure there is a clue in there somewhere!

(Approximately 1 Hour and 4 Cat Videos Later)

Step 7: Edit the 1st Paragraph

At this point, the first paragraph should be finished! Well done! Now, rather than moving on to the rest of the book, you should make sure that this first paragraph is perfect. After all, it’s the first thing people are going to read. The only way to do that is to keep reading and editing it over and over again. Change words like “the” to “a” and back again until it feels right. Repeat until the end result is exactly what you had written in the first place.

Step 8: Talk to Yourself

As you are likely about 5 or 6 hours into the process and have a little under 100 words written, now would be a good time to ask yourself a bunch of self defeating questions in order to psych yourself up. Something like “why am I such an idiot?” and “should I even bother?” are favorites of mine. And they don’t all have to be questions either. Statements like “I suck” work just as well.

Step 9: Tweet that You Wrote 2,000 Words Today

I know. You didn’t write 2,000 words today. Or did you?!?! If you were to count up all of the words in your first paragraph (100) with the words in the e-mails you wrote from Step 3 (350) and the words that you wrote in Step 6 while changing your Facebook status, leaving comments and Tweeting (1,550) it all adds up to 2,000 words. Congratulations! Now, get out there and tell the world!

Step 10: Announce the Launch Date

As you are about to pack it in for the night you may realize that you have completed a grand total of 68 seconds worth of work in approximately 6 1/2 hours. Before you get completely disgusted with yourself and your lack of progress, reach down and in a last ditch effort to get something done today pull a date out of thin air. Maybe its a couple of weeks from now. Maybe it’s a couple of months. Or even a couple of years. It doesn’t matter. This is the date that your book is going to be released to the public. Let everyone know! Tell them via Facebook, Twitter, Morse Code and Smoke Signal. Whatever it takes to get the word out. Because, lets face it. With all of the distractions and reasons not to write your book, the only way you are actually going to get this thing done is if you don’t have a choice. Now, you don’t have a choice.

And with that said, my book is coming out on January 1st, so I really need to get back to work. Sign up at www.notanotherseoblog.com to download your free copy…while supplies last. :)

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  • http://twitter.com/anitahovey Anita Hovey

    HA HA Yes, that’s the process I seem to be following as well…but I haven’t even made it to the first paragraph yet…all I’ve done is choose a title.

    • http://pjrvs.com/ Paul Jarvis

      I wish choosing a title was that easy for me. That tends to be very last thing I do or settle on.

      • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

        I’m with you Paul…I’m terrible at coming up with names of posts and blogs and what not. In fact, I named my children “Kid 1” and “Kid 2” because I couldn’t think of anything!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Well then you are in for a treat! I’ve aged 10 years in the past 2 weeks.

  • http://pjrvs.com/ Paul Jarvis

    All but step 4 are completely accurate (don’t own a TV). There’s an option step of bringing a laptop to a coffee shop and people-watching instead of writing. You’re a writer after all, that’s part of the process!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      I actually get things done when I head over to a coffee shop. In fact, I’ve even petitioned Starbucks to build one in my office.

  • http://twitter.com/Sarahsreading Sarah Penner

    LOL, I can identify with most of these except step 9. The only time I ever tweet that is when I actually do. I have tweeted that all of twice since I started writing my book in the summer. Gosh I love those days!! Great blog Marc! Another one I thoroughly enjoyed!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks Sarah! You should try number 9 every now and then anyway. The pat on the back from your followers feels great! Even if it is completely undeserving!

  • Steve VanHove

    Hey Marc when I try to access that link on my phone there’s no for or link to a form. :(

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Hey Steve! I fixed it so the signup button doesn’t fall off the phone. Check it out and thanks for the heads up… http://www.notanotherseoblog.com

  • http://twitter.com/LEAmerman Laura Amerman, CFRE

    #6 and #7 always killed me when writing ANYTHING! Great post. And I can’t wait to read the first paragraph, I know it will be stellar!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks Laura! How much would you charge to be my copyeditor? :)

  • http://jonwilburn.wordpress.com/ Jon Wilburn

    I’m pretty sure you were looking over my shoulder when wrote this. That’s about what my writing process looks like.


    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      We should start a writing support group!!

      • http://jonwilburn.wordpress.com/ Jon Wilburn

        Dude! I’d be all about that. I really haven’t got a support group outside of my wife. She’s great – very encouraging but having other writers kick me in the … back side would be beneficial.

        • http://www.midlife-crisis-options.com Emily Lock

          …and SO much better than actually writing!

  • http://twitter.com/WilliamCMurray William Murray

    Works for a PhD dissertation too. Trust me on this one…ohh squirrel!!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      That’s good to know that it affects the smarty pants-ers out there too!

  • Michael Estey

    Funny guy. A sense of humour. Don’t see that too often. Unfortunately truthful also. I’ve written many books by your methods. Oh, and to me they’re all best sellers, and that’s what matters, right?

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks Michael! I feel the same way with my jokes! To me they are hilarious…even if my wife doesn’t think so. That’s what matters, right?

  • Jessica @FoundtheMarbles

    Best way to write a book!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      I’m relieved to see that it’s not just me!

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  • khouloud

    i have a good story but i don’t know how to write it like a book please help me:)

  • Jessica J.K

    I have a great idea,unforgetable characters,interesting begining but my problem:I cannot create a breathtaking plot.I tried and tried to create a plot but no sucess…Do u have any tips??

  • idiotvillie101

    this suckedddddddddddddddddd really bad how am i suppose to make a turtle with this

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      The last time I checked, the best way to make a turtle is to have sex with another turtle. Good luck with that!!!