Many writers starting out try to blog and write a book at the same time. They end up doing neither one well. Or they try to write a book before they’re ready. Then they end up with something not suitable for publication, waste a lot of time, and endure much frustration. That assumes they finish the book. But they’re more apt to give up before they finish—because they’re not yet ready to write a book.
Unless you’ve done a lot of writing—say about one million words—and invested about 10,000 hours honing your skill (see “10,000 Hours”), I recommend you start with blogging or writing short articles, essays, or flash fiction. Blogging (and short pieces) offer several advantages:
- Blog posts are quick and easy to write.
- Blogging is a great way to hone our writing skills and find our voice.
- Feedback is fast.
- Errors are easy to fix.
- Bloggers develop a habit of writing regularly, even when they don’t feel like it.
- Blogging according to a schedule—which is what all bloggers should do—trains us to meet deadlines.
- Blogging prepares us to write longer pieces.
There are many other benefits associated with blogging, but these outcomes are some of the key ones, which is why I recommend starting out with blogging or writing other short pieces. Save the book for later (see “Work Up to Writing a Book”).
Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s new book: The Successful Author: Discover the Art of Writing and Business of Publishing. Get your copy today.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.