What to Do Before You Start Writing

Posted on August 9, 2013



Sitting down to begin a new writing project can be a very overwhelming task. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take before you begin writing to make the process of writing flow more smoothly. Feel free to add your own steps.  There’s no doubt you’ll think of something else, but here is a place to start.

Know your purpose

Know what you want to say. If you can summarize your intent in one sentence, that’s great. If it takes two or three, that’s fine as well. But if you find yourself writing an entire paragraph to explain the focus of your piece, perhaps you should look at narrowing your topic.

Know your audience

It is important to know who is going to be reading your work so you can write better. If you know who will be reading, you can write to that specific person. For example, if your audience is already somewhat knowledgeable about your topic, there is no need to explain simple terms. On the other hand, if your audience is new to your topic, you may want to use simpler terms and take time to explain complex ideas.

Know what you need to write

Do you need a full-length book? A short e-book? Perhaps just a brochure or a pamphlet? Knowing what you need to write can greatly help you focus your ideas and get to the point of your message.

Create an outline

Break down your large topic into smaller, more manageable pieces. Not only will this make your writing easier, but also it will be more digestible for your readers. This can help you focus all your ideas and put similar items together. Try to create an outline in which the topics flow into each other through related ideas. Jot down anything and everything you can think of. Now is not the time to edit yourself!

Decide if you need help to write

Once you know what you want to say, who you’re saying it to, and how you want to say it, you can decide if this is a project you can successfully handle on your own. If you’re aware that you lack time or proper knowledge to write, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Seek out a ghostwriter or writing coach. They can be very instrumental in verbalizing your message to your audience.

Writing doesn’t have to be an overwhelming project. By knowing your intent and your reader you can easily draft a piece of writing that makes all parties happy. Don’t be afraid to write. Start with these simple steps and you’ll have your work written in no time!

Stacey Selz, Editor and Writer, Asta Publications


Asta Publications has a long history of helping writers tell their stories and get published. Since 2004, Asta Publications has helped hundreds of authors bring their book concepts to life and we are ready to help you too! Our dedication to our authors is unmatched. We deliver first-class products and services that are accurate, high quality, and exceed our authors’ expectations.

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