How to start writing and what you will need

How to start writing and what you will need

So you’ve made the decision to write a book. Now what? Where to start?

As well as a determination to see it through, the main things you will need to think about first of all are:-

  • Where?
  • What on?
  • When?


If you are incredibly lucky, you will have a room where you can lock yourself away from all the distractions of the house, where you feel comfortable and can write for hours on end.

Practically though, you are probably sat at a table in a coffee shop or in a corner of the kitchen while the hubbub carries on around you.

As lovely as it would be to have a dedicated room for writing (and if you have, lucky you – I’m very jealous) you just need to make sure you can shut yourself off from interruptions as much as possible. Get the family on side (bribe the kids if necessary!) and put on some headphones to drown out extraneous noise. Try and retreat into the world of your novel with as little outside interference as possible and it will become easier to concentrate on writing more when you have the opportunity.

What On?

As far as what to write on is concerned, it is wholly a personal preference for whatever feels more comfortable for you. You could go all ‘Quentin Tarantino’ and write your novel by hand or use a phone, tablet or even a laptop if you prefer a larger screen.

The main consideration for any of the technical choices is version control and saving your work. You must always save what you have written as often as possible. Most word processing packages will automatically do this for you but if you are not using one of those, you will have to get into the habit of saving at frequent intervals. There is nothing more soul-destroying than working for hours on a tricky chapter to have it all deleted if your computer crashes!

Also, if you have a habit of working on more than one device, make sure you don’t have more than one master copy. Always save to a backup and always use that backup to begin work with next time.


If you can put aside a set time every day to write and you can stick to it, then that would be fantastic.

However, life usually gets in the way which is made even more difficult if you are a stay-at-home mum like I was when I first started writing. There were always interruptions and sometimes I could only spare a few minutes here and there to write.

If this sounds familiar – pop over to Amazon and pick up my FREE BOOK on ‘How To Find The Time To Write’

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If you put aside the time, even if that is only in small increments, eventually you will be the proud owner of a completed manuscript and you can call yourself an author. Keep that in mind and you can realise your dreams.

Let me know in the comments how much you have managed to write. Or if you are still struggling to start, tell me what your main stumbling block is.