Just like there are all kinds of ways to live a life, there are all kinds of ways to write a book.
Be encouraged! You can write your book any way you can. The important thing is to just write.
Some writers write the book in order of the chapters. I rarely do this. I work on the chapter that most interests me that day. And I do that trick where I stop when I’m still interested so I can pick up where I left off the next morning and remain still interested. It works! Try it! Stop when you are still excited to write, not when you are bored to tears by your own paragraph.
Some writers write the book at scheduled times. I couldn’t always do this because of a different teaching schedule and parenting tasks that kept me away from my office most days. So I wrote at strange times like in 20 minute bursts in between picking someone up from school and leaving for piano practice.
Some writers write and edit as they go. I don’t do this. I get it all down–all 200 pages–and then go back and revise, chopping like Edward Scissorhands shaping topiary.
My favorite way to write is this: I choose an anchoring quote or story that holds a chapter together, and I write out from the center. I fill out the beginning and the end after I write the middle. So strange, right?
This has helped me avoid overly long introductory comments to chapters. It’s true that most writers spend way too much time getting ready for take off when they just need to send the plane into the air.
Finally, I’ve learned that writing a book does overtake your life if you let it. It becomes all you talk about and all you worry about. But if you remember that writing a book is just one thing you’re doing amid a hundred other wonderful things, you can have some balance as you write each day.