How do you write a book?
One word at a time, or, on a good day, several words.
It can seem like an impossible task, this book-writing gig. You have an idea, you can see the end result (your book sitting in the shop, people flocking to purchase, the movie deal knocking at your door), the fame and glory, cash rolling in ... fabulous!
But how do you get there?
I hate to tell you that the movie deal and tsunami of cash may be a bit of a challenge - but aim high, I say - and the reality of writing a book is a mission that needs to be undertaken with a commitment as solid as the Great Wall of China. Many books begin with a flurry only to languish in desk drawers or share a box in the attic with last year's Christmas decorations, or reside deep and lonely in a hard drive somewhere.
Having an idea for your book is the first step; having a plan to reach the endgame (publication, movie rights, adoration) is the next, and then, well, once again I'm sorry to tell you, you have to write the jolly thing.
Going the distance with your writing will take discipline. Just like athletes training for the Olympics, they won't get there unless they have a plan, work hard, and stay with it. Of course you can hire someone to write it for you or mentor you while you write it (someone like me...) or you can set yourself a writing goal and make a writing plan you can live with and that's important because if it's unrealistic, you may not be able to stick to it and use this as an excuse not to do it.
Now comes the 'word by word' bit. That's how you write a book. Some days the words flow, other days they don't, but those words add up, they grow, layer on layer, page by page. Some words in that first draft may be outrageous, embarrassing, totally wrong, but that's what first drafts are for, building content, page after page, chapter after chapter, giving you content to hone, craft and polish .
Focusing word by word can take away that overwhelming feeling of 'the whole', the panic and desperation we sometimes feel when we visualise the flashy book on the shelf but cannot see how in the heck we will ever get there.
The whole is the sum of its parts.
Those parts are the chapters.
The chapters are the words.
Go for it.