Writing A Book

First Time Writing a Book

First time writing a book.: nine steps that will help. It’s been a while but I’m back.


Today I’m talking about writing a book for the first time and giving you nine steps that will help.

What Kind of Writer Are You?

The first step is to figure out what kind of writer you are. Decide if you’re someone who writes from the seat of your pants or if you’re someone who requires a detailed outline, Find out what works for you.

One is not better than the other, as long as it matches your personality.

Figure out what type of writer you are
Figure out what type of writer you are

Personally, I prefer a combination of the two. I come up with large ideas or topics and break the writing down into those sections. I use that as a heading and then just let the writing flow.

So start off using a very simple outline in your writing if you’re a “pantser.” (someone who prefers to write with no set structure or outline)

Now if you are a pantser then you do probably want to improve your structure a little bit. You need to know where you’re going and how you’re going to end up.

If you are someone who prefers very detailed writing, that’s fine. Come up with that type of outline, and write from it.

Even so, you might benefit from taking some of those sub-points and setting a timer, and making yourself write quickly until the timer goes off.

That might feel a little odd to you, but I think if you do the two together. you will find some benefits in doing that.

If you’re a pantser or an outliner, after you get through with your book, you will come back in the editing process and be more analytical.

But first of all, figure out what kind of writer you are, and don’t try to force yourself into the other. This is an important step in your first time writing a book.

The Big Idea

The second step is to get a big idea of what you are talking about. This will work for either fiction or nonfiction.

Your title might not reveal that big idea, it may be more of a curiosity-type title, but you still need to know what the big idea of your book is.

Some writers come up with their characters and start their book. Then once they get about halfway through they figure out what the big idea is and go from there.

Get the big idea.

Develop A Writing Plan

The next step is to either outline (if you are a detailed outline person) or, if you are a free-flow writing person, then come up with some type of writing plan.

This is especially important if you are writing nonfiction. You need to come up with some ideas about some of the things that you’re going to cover in your writing

Develop a writing plan for your first time writing a book
Develop a writing plan for your first time writing a book.

In the past, I’ve talked about some types of writing plans that go from just an outline to turning the main points into a series of questions. You can even do that with sub-points. When you do that, then all you have to do is answer the questions.

Come up with a writing plan for your first time writing a book.


Then after that, you need to research. As you conduct the research, be excited about what you’re doing.

The next thing you need to do is figure out how much time you’re going to spend researching your particular writing project.

When deciding how many days you’ll need, be sure to tame your research. If you don’t, you will research and research and research until that’s all you’ll ever do.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll have the plan and you will know what the big idea is.

Have a Routine for Your First Time Writing A Book

Set up a routine for writing. Find a special place where it is quiet. Maybe you’d prefer going to different places like restaurants, coffee shops, or libraries

Find out where you’re going to write and then set up a routine.

I have a desk at home where I especially like to write.

So the next nice thing is to set up a routine.

Now my routine has been interrupted quite a bit this summer because of some of the things that have been going on in my various enterprises. One of those things is I accepted the call to be the pastor of a new church, so getting settled in has kind of messed with my daily routine of what I was doing at home.

Now I’m back and beginning to reestablish that and I’m able to work from home.

You need to set up your routine, and I think there are two good ways to do this.

The first is to set a daily writing goal of so many words. You might want to set a goal of 500 or 1000 words a day.

Create a routine for your first time writing a book
Create a routine for your first time writing a book.

Another way is to decide on a certain length of time that you will write. You might write 25 minutes a day, 15 minutes a day, or 75 minutes a day.

With some writing plans, you can break your writing down to where you are doing anywhere from 10 to 15 five-minute writing sessions a day, which comes out to 50 to 75 minutes a day. That’s pretty good; especially if you have another job and you need to do your writing either early in the morning or late at night or at some other time outside of your job.

So set up a routine and have a daily goal.

I often find it helpful to set a timer for the timed writing.

If you find yourself going over the same sentence three times before you’re finished, it’s good to just set a timer and force yourself to write as fast as you can until the timer goes off.

That one works well for me.

Set up your routine where you’re either going to write a certain number of words per day or for a certain amount of time each day.

Having this set structure will be a big help for your first time writing a book.

Now the next thing is very important.

Keep Going!

Once you get that routine established, stay with it. Stay with it on the days when you feel inspired and on the days when you don’t feel inspired. Just keep going, and as you meet those daily goals, you will get that rough draft finished.

If this is your first time writing a book, it can feel daunting and overwhelming. Keep going.

Finish the Rough Draft and Edit

The seventh step is to finish the rough draft. The eighth step is to add it to your second draft or close to your final draft.

There may be a second and a third in there but just go back and edit what you’ve written.

The importance of getting that rough draft done is that it is much easier to edit something if you have something to edit.

Edit, refine, and perfect.
Edit, refine, and perfect.

So get the rough draft done and then start the editing.

One writer said someone gave a writing project back to him and it was marked up and he thanked the editor who said, “All I did was get rid of the unnecessary words.”

When you’re editing that’s a good little tip. You will be trimming a lot when you edit and add it to your second draft.

Once you have that done, you have your second draft, third draft, and your final draft.

Publish It

The next step is to publish your book.

Now you can publish it as an ebook and you can publish it as a hard copy. I recommend that you do both.

Several years ago, the number of sales of ebooks surpassed those of print books. That went on for a couple of years and then I think it’s gone back and forth since then, but I would just recommend that you publish both.

Now, I have no stock in any particular company, but if you’re wanting to find out how to publish, there are some options.

If you want to self-publish for the first time, Kindle Direct Publishing is a good platform to do that.

Other ones that are good are Lightning Source and Lulu. I don’t have as much information on either of those or experience with them, but I know those are good platforms.

Time to publish!
Time to publish!

If you’re interested in self-publishing, you could also pitch your book to a traditional publisher.

You would need to write a query letter and present some sample chapters to be able to do that.

In this modern world, there are a number of hybrid publishers where you sort of get the best of both worlds of self-publishing and traditional publishing.

A hybrid publisher will charge you for certain things that they do for you, so you need to figure out how much you’re willing to pay for the services that you get.

Now, these are not vanity publishers; these are legitimate publishers who do need to be compensated for the time they’re going to put into helping you to get your project finished.

So, first time writing a book: those are nine steps that I hope will help you.

Available on Amazon and Kindle.
Available on Amazon and Kindle.

Incidentally, if you’re interested in having someone come and speak to you on the topic of writing, I happen to be the author of the book, How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death and I would be glad to come and speak to your group on the topic of writing.

To get your own copy of the book, just click the link above. To submit a request for me to speak at your event, click here, fill out the form, and I will gladly get in contact with you. If you’d like to read more blog posts on the topic of writing, click here and you’ll find many helpful posts.

Well, I hope you have a great day. If you need me for anything, let me know.

For now, remember, YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK

Simple Solutions to Stress-Free Writing

Stress-free writing

Simple solutions to stress-free writing.

Hello everyone, and welcome!


I haven’t been quite as active with these posts lately as I’ve taken a break and done a little writing myself. But I’m getting back into this where I talk about writing, speaking, marketing, and marriage.

Today I’m again talking about writing. Specifically, some bold solutions for stress free writing.

Lily Needed a Stress-Free Writing Experience

Lily was frustrated. She had been writing on her novel for a month.

Then her friend Alex called and asked her how her writing was going.

Lily expressed her frustration at not making as much progress as she had hoped.

Alex said, “Well, why don’t you take a break?”
Like many of us would, she replied, “I don’t have time to take a break.”
Alex answered, “I don’t mean take a break for a week, maybe just an hour or so. Just take a little break. Clear your mind, relax, and come back and start writing again.”

Lily Needed a Stress-Free Writing Experience
Lily Needed a Stress-Free Writing Experience

Lily was doubtful if that would work, but after they hung up, she took his advice and she went out to a nearby park.

She started walking around and looking at nature and enjoying the sights and sounds.

After that much needed break she went back to her house feeling very rejuvenated, and she started writing. Then she wrote more and more, and it was hours before she finished.

Lily’s story reminds us of the need for solutions to stress-free writing. So here are six simple solutions for stress-free writing.

Writing is A Process

First of all, understand that writing is a process. It’s not just something where the perfect product comes out right away.

When you do this, you will be editing, and you will be perfecting the process.

Some of us are what we call a frustrated perfectionist. This is something that I have to deal with, but I have been able to learn how to do it. In other videos, I’ve talked about how sometimes I will just set a timer and start typing away. The timer forces me to get my thoughts down and move on instead of writing the same sentence over three times.

Just keep going. Later, as I look at what I wrote, I find out that many times that first sentence wasn’t so bad.

Writing is a process.
Writing is a process.

I might find things to shorten and tighten and things to eliminate and reword but perfectionism can keep you from getting anything done and will take a long time.

You need to realize that it is a process, and you will be able to edit after you write.

My favorite quote is “You can’t edit unless you have something to edit.”

Realize that writing is a process that there is improvement with practice. The more you write, the better you get. Then once you produce one book, you will be able to produce another one.

The second book will be easier than the first provided you do quickly enough that you don’t have to learn everything all over again. But you improve with practice.

Start With A Plan

The second tip for stress-free writing is to start with a plan.

Jot down ideas of what you want to write about. Then you can create an outline or you can create a mind map.

If you’re not familiar with a mind map, that’s where you start with a blank sheet of paper and in the very center of it, you write down your main topic or your working title and you draw a circle around it. Then radiating out from that circle. take other ideas that come to mind and place them in little cartoon speech balloons.

A mind map can help with stress-free writing.
A mind map can help with stress-free writing.

So you can write your first point into your balloon, and then you’ll have related ideas that will be subject points.

It’s just the main idea in the center and then you have some of the main ideas related to the main ideas coming out from the center.

Each one of those will be within a circle and then you will have related circles that come off of each of those main ideas. That will be your mind map, and then you can turn that into an outline.

Then when you get ready to write, you can use whichever one you prefer.

Eliminate Distractions

The third tip for stress-free writing is to eliminate distractions.

Get rid of distractions.
Get rid of distractions.

Get in a room by yourself.
Turn off your social media access.
Turn off the ringer to your phone and anything else that might distract you.

Then go ahead with your writing.

Take Breaks

The fourth tip for stress-free writing is to take breaks

I like writing in five-minute to twenty-minute writing segments. Sometimes I can go 50 minutes at a time, but I don’t recommend going much more than that at one time without taking a break.

Be sure to take writing breaks.
Be sure to take writing breaks.

Many people find that writing for 20 or 25 minutes and then taking a five-minute break turns out to be good for them. But be sure to take breaks just like Lily did in our story at the beginning.

Write in Small Chunks

Another helpful tip for stress-free writing is to write in small chunks. Don’t think about the overwhelming totality of your project, just figure out the little parts.

Take it a small amount at a time.
Take it a small amount at a time.

Just think about small chunks and write that.

Also. you do not have to write in order of your outline. You can jump around. That’s one of the great things about composing.

When you are writing, find what interests you at the moment and focus on that part of your project.

That will “prime the pump” for you and then you can go to other sections that are necessary, but maybe not as interesting to you.

But write in small chunks.

Use Software

The sixth tip for six simple solutions for stress-free writing is to use software.

You can use dictation software if you are comfortable with that. That’s one idea for using software.

Using speech to text software can help with stress-free writing.
Using speech to text software can help with stress-free writing.

Another one is to speak your book or do it in a video like the one above. Then you can take the audio and put it into transcription software where it will transcribe many of the words that you spoke. (Speech to text) Of course you will have to clean that up and you will have to edit it to turn spoken speech into written speech but doing that can be very helpful.

In fact, many of the blog posts that you see on my site at Randy’s blogs.com are first composed orally in videos just like the one in this post. After that, my team and I come together and produce the written blog posts.

Then there is editing software like Grammarly, which will help you with your grammar, your sentence structure and things like that.

There’s another one I am not as familiar with, but I’ve heard of it. It’s called Hemingway editor. You might want to check that out.

At the very least, use the spellcheck, check and grammar check that is on your word processing programs. Most of those word processing programs today do have that capability.

So, there you are: six simple solutions for stress-free writing.

I hope that this has been helpful to you.

Writing tool
Writing tool

If you would like more writing tips like the go to www.randysblogs.com.

For the ultimate guide to writing, consider purchasing my book “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death.” It’s available in both e-reader and hard copy formats.

If you’d like to have me speak at your event, fill out the form here and I will be in contact with you.

That’s all for today. Until next time, I’m Randy Carney reminding you, YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

Writing a Book for the First Time – My Story

The story of my first book

Hello everyone. This is Randy Carney again with another session of walking with Randy, where I talk about writing, speaking coaching marketing, and marriage. Today, I am talking about writing. I want to talk to you about writing a book for the first time – my story.


In 2009, I decided that I wanted to write a book. I was encouraged by my wife to write something on the topic of marriage that would encourage husbands.

That was a compliment coming from my wife, and I was quite excited that she encouraged me to do that.

I’m not sure that she thought I would write a complete book but I got excited about the idea of doing it.

Now never having written a book like that before. I had to research a little bit and think about how I was going to go about doing it.

I did some research before I began writing my book.
I did some research before I began writing my book.

I did have some previous writing experience that I’ve detailed in other videos and posts

Past Experience

One of those experiences was when I was in seminary. We had a major writing project. Some people call those things, dissertations or theses. My seminary was encouraging us to write them on a popular level, rather than on an academic level. Now that I think about it, that was a great thing, because it prepared the way for me to be able to write more popular books rather than just textbooks.

The project had to be 100 pages long. It was a little bit difficult for me to do. I kept writing on different slips of paper and things like that, but I finally got through it.

Then later, I had a job with Accelerated Christian Education, which was a major Christian textbook publishing company. Now their curriculum had courses that were divided into 12 units, and each of those would comprise a 325-page book, and then there were activities that were involved.

I was able to meet my goals by simply forcing myself to write 700 words first thing every morning. Then later in the day, I had time to research and then go back and change and revise what I had written that morning.

It ended up being great but it was a little bit difficult.

Helpful Tips from Others

When it came to writing a book on the topic of marriage I was reading about how some people wrote their books. There was an author named Rob Parnell who advised writing in the flow, and I enjoyed his materials very much. I’ve actually taken some of his writing courses.

For my first book, I got tips from other authors.
For my first book, I got tips from other authors.

There was also a book by a man named Steve Manning that told you how to write using the technique of fast writing

Putting together what I learned while doing my major writing project, writing in the flow from Rob Parnell, and writing quickly, as advised by Steve Manning. I came up with a plan for a book and made the decision to go for it.

Much of the planning I did for the book I had learned from Steve Manning, as well as what I had done in my textbook writing.

The Plan

The plan for writing the whole book was 20 chapters, and each one of those chapters had a plan for five-minute writing projects. Each one of those chapters was planned in such a way that there would be 15 5-minute writing projects.

My plan was to write 15 minutes at a time.
My plan was to write 15 minutes at a time.

So those 15 5-minute writing projects involved finding a total of 75 minutes every day to write. Using my technique of just getting the material done and using Steve Manning’s encouragement about fast writing I was able to write for those 75 minutes during the day.

They weren’t always consecutive. Sometimes they were, but sometimes they were snatches here or there. I could be sitting in a waiting room and get five minutes done.

That’s how I got started. I was determined to write for 75 minutes every day.

Now, like many of you, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go astray, so I didn’t always get that done every day. I do remember doing something with the book every day.

Most days I did write for 75 minutes in total.

No Matter What, Work on the Book!

During that time, I agreed to go on a mission trip to Mexico, so I was quite busy.

I was able to complete my book during a mission trip to Mexico.
I was able to complete my book during a mission trip to Mexico.

We went into Mexico during the day and always crossed the border and spent the night in Texas. Late at night. I was able to write. The guys that I was with made sure that I had time by myself during that time which I was very grateful for. I finished the book while I was on that mission trip.

My Books

If you’re interested in my books, you can search Amazon for Randy Carney.

If you would like to know how to write a book, my book “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death” is also on Amazon.

For more tips like these on writing, go to randysblogs.com and subscribe.

There are several ways to stay informed.
There are several ways to stay informed.

You can follow me on Facebook, and I also have a channel on YouTube and Rumble. Subscribe to one of those and you’ll never miss a thing!

If you’re interested in having me come to speak on the topics of some of my books or to speak on a topic of writing go to www.randycarney.com and fill out the form. I’ll be glad to come to speak at your event.

I hope you have a great day. I hope this has been helpful to you.

I want you to remember YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!