If you have decided, now that you’re in your 60s, that this is a good time to finally write the book you’ve been promising for so many years you’ve lost count, you have to start with some very basic questions: how, why, where, and when?

Writing is one of those strange creatures that, like a unicorn, is ephemeral. It can be hard to think through the process (yes, it is a process) and create something that others will enjoy and that will provide them with benefits.

Would-be writers seem to think you just sit down and write a book. No. Most people fail to realise how much preparation is involved in writing a book. Many of the questions you must ask yourself may seem irrelevant. They’re not! This is an article that will explain more.

The #1 Question Is, “What Do You Want to Write?”

Do you have any idea of what you want to write? Fiction? Non-fiction? Relating to business (perhaps you want to teach knitting), telling the family story, sharing some nutrition ideas or exercise tips and tricks?

Whatever you’re going to write, please do not skip the research and preparation step. It’s unlikely you will sit down and write a book with no research – no matter how well you know your topic.

If you don’t have an idea to get you started, perhaps you can make use of this exercise.

Fiction Requires More Research and Preparation

If you’re writing fiction, you will need to create your characters, your plot, decide who is the antagonist, who is the protagonist, and so it goes. This is a huge amount of preparation and will probably take much longer than a work of non-fiction.

Non-Fiction Requires You to Know Your Demographic

If you’re writing non-fiction, is the book about something you want to teach or share? What do you need to know to write the book, and who are you writing for? There are a lot of questions to answer before you put pen to paper.

Our course, Just Write the Damn Book, includes as much time devoted to preparation and research, as to actual writing! One of the items we include is finding the right space to write.

Be Physically Comfortable

If you are over 60 and this is your first stab at becoming an author, you have the luxury of finding the right spot to write! Don’t imagine you have to take yourself to Paris and live in a garret for 3 months. You can be creative anywhere!

What is important is to find is a space that is physically comfortable, emotionally suitable, and where you can work uninterrupted. You need:

  • A nice chair (with a cushion)
  • A solid desk or table
  • Plenty of light, preferably natural
  • Good room temperature
  • A large bottle of water – can’t stress the importance of this one
  • Pencils and pens
  • A large writing pad
  • A PC or tablet

These are the necessities. Whether you need a coffee machine or not is entirely up to you!

When did your desire to write a book first blossom? Do you know what your book will be about? Do you know who your readers are? Are you ready to let your creativity fly? Let’s discuss in the comment box below!

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