In The Beginning – From Inspiration to Manuscript

Writing a book can seem like climbing Everest; impossible! But if you break it down into a series of steps it is achievable.

My book was inspired by my close friend’s son; Karl. Karl was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at three years of age. He had been facing some challenges at school and I remember wanting to create something that would help and inspire him. I have known Karl since he was born and I see such a light within him. I felt compelled to find words which would communicate this to him and others.

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So I began writing.

And I found words and verses would come to me everywhere and anywhere; at all times of the day and night. So, when you start writing I recommend the following:

1) Always carry something to record your thoughts. My phone rarely leaves my side so I tend to use ‘Notes’ and email them to myself.

2) Write when inspiration comes. I know this can be hard but try to make the time. Or at least jot down your ideas so you can return to them at a later stage.

3) Don’t force it. When you don’t feel inspired to write, forcing yourself to carry on will probably not result in your best work. Go and live your life and let your mind focus on something else for a while.

4) Read your manuscript aloud. By doing this you will often pickup errors previously missed.

5) Give chapters or the whole thing (if it is short) to others to read. Try to find people who have experience in your field. As my manuscript was a children’s picture book I gave it to a school librarian, a teacher, some parents of young children and a friend who does proof reading as part of her job. All these people gave me valuable feedback.

Finally, you can try to do the editing yourself but you tend to get so engrossed in your project that you can’t see the forest for the trees. So think about investing in an editor.

This is one site where you can find an editor: http://www.edsguild.org/node/13

For an idea of rates check out http://www.the-efa.org/res/rates.php

In my next blog I’ll talk about publishing options and why I went down the self-publishing path.

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