Struggling to Approach Book Writing? Here’s What You Need to Know

By: Mary Anna Rodabaugh in Book Writing and Editing

"Other than those who write professionally, very rarely have I met a person who instinctively calls themselves a writer. But I have met dozens of people who put pen to paper on a daily basis — both privately and publicly — and struggle to identify themselves as writers,” Genevieve Georget says. It is that self-identity that forces writers to battle with the crippling snarls of imposter syndrome.

To win this battle, Georget suggest reframing the writer perspective. Instead of writer, consider the term storyteller. “In short, writing focuses on how you write. Storytelling focuses on what you write,” Georget says.

How to Approach Book Writing as a Storyteller

How does one approach book writing as a storyteller? Georget suggests three key elements that make the difference between simply writing and effective and authentic storytelling.

Focus on Sensory Detail

Take a step back from grammar, syntax, and even punctuation. Focus on the meat of the story by tapping into sensory details. Smell, scent, touch, taste, and sight are all valuable elements to add to any story. These details can transform the reader into the scene and help them journey alongside you, thus captivating their attention to press onward through your story.

Ready to become a storyteller?

Imagine Having a Conversation

Georget notes that sometimes it is just easier to tell a story rather than write it down. To get in this state of mind, she suggests writers imagine they’re having a conversation with someone and telling their story. Write down what comes to mind in this fluid and free exercise.

Use Your Story to Practice Your Craft

Like anything, practice makes perfect. Instead of approaching book writing with an air of “this must be perfect,” Georget suggests leaning into the teachable moments and craft development parts of the process. “The only way to truly refine your artistic voice, both technically and emotionally, is by using it as much as possible,” Georget says.