Writing Your First Draft and Weaving Your Content
Just because you’re planning your book in a weekend doesn’t mean you’ll have a finished draft ready to publish in a weekend. If you want to have a bestseller that readers rave about, you need to put in a significant amount of time writing your first draft and weaving your curated content within.
Which tool did you decide to use for writing: Google Docs, Word, Scrivener, Evernote, some other tool? Get familiar with the inner workings of your platform before moving forward with a draft. Dealing with a learning curve in addition to crafting your draft is frustration waiting to happen. If necessary, watch video tutorials from the platform’s manufacturer or from other users.
Start off with your outline and copy/paste the curated content within the appropriate chapters. If you can, allot large chunks of time for this process. Instead of working for one hour a day, give yourself an entire day each week to work on it; or mark off the mornings or afternoons to work on your book. Clear focus without worrying about when you need to get ready for a coaching call will help the process flow more smoothly.
Believe it or not, I wrote my first few books without creating an outline. The writing process was lengthy and tedious and I’m so glad I began working with a mentor soon after who persuaded me to give outlining my books a fair chance. Now my writing flows and I’m able to write more quickly and concisely than I ever imagined possible.
Once you get all your curated content into the correct chapters, it’s time to start from the beginning and start filling in any content holes. Your previously published content should read and flow naturally; you should never feel like it’s unnatural or doesn’t have a place in this manuscript. So you’ll have to add some more content – such as beginning paragraphs or transition paragraphs in between curated articles so it all makes sense.
Filling in these holes may take the most time and require the most creativity. If you find some chapters have less curated content than others, make a list of these chapters and go back to them later. Brainstorm some ideas of how to fill in these holes while away from your computer or while you’re outside exercising. Sometimes our best inspiration comes from relaxing and not thinking about work.
One way to fill in holes is with stories, either case studies or stories from your experience. Play it safe by keeping all names anonymous or go one step further and get permission from each client whose case study you want to reference in the book. Sometimes, I use the first letter of the person’s real first name, as a way to remember who’s who when I have multiple characters in my stories.
These “holes” in your chapters could also lead the way to new blog posts, videos, etc. about this particular subject. Publish them in real time and then fold that content back into the book. Write it once, use it multiple times.
Take this time to also insert any visuals into your draft as placeholders. Charts, graphs, images, infographics. Make sure each visual is relevant to the chapter’s subject and, most importantly, include proper attributions.
Once your first draft is complete, step away from this project for a few days; even a week not looking at your book will help you clear your mind so when you DO go back to it, you can see it more objectively, with new eyes.
You’ll likely drive yourself crazy wanting to go through multiple drafts, making sure everything is just perfect. Drop your expectation of perfect because you’ll ALWAYS find something to nitpick. Instead, hire a VA (virtual assistant) or a professional editor who can proofread it for grammatical errors as well as offer suggestions for how to make the book flow better.
Becoming a published author is a worthy goal, so make sure you spend the time needed with writing your first draft. My life changed completely once I began writing each day. These days my books are a part of my business model, and I have also become a public speaker and a marketer to be reckoned with online. I’d love to know how your writing is coming along, so please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
I’m bestselling USA Today and Wall Street Journal author, marketing strategist, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and I would love to connect further with you to help you to achieve your goals. If you are interested in learning how to optimize the syndication of your content, please take a look at my popular Syndication Optimization training course and consider coming aboard to increase your visibility, credibility, and profitability.
Lorene Troyer says
This article is easy to understand and makes the book-writing process look so “doable.” Very helpful and inspiring. Thanks for sharing.
Connie Ragen Green says
Thank you so much for reading and commenting on this post, Lorene. Writing your first draft is a crucial step in the process.
~ Connie Ragen Green