Beginner's Guide: Write a Book Without Being a Writer
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


  1. Define your book idea
  2. Create a book outline
  3. Set writing goals
  4. Write the first draft
  5. Overcome writer's block
  6. Proofread and edit your draft
  7. Gather feedback
  8. Prepare for publication
  9. Choose the right publishing option
  10. Promote your book

Ever had the thought, "I want to write a book, but I'm not a writer"? Many of us have been there. The good news is, you don't have to be a professional writer or a literary genius to pen your own book. With the right guidance, anyone can turn their ideas into a published masterpiece. This guide is your roadmap on how to write a book if you're not a writer. Let's get started.

Define your book idea

Before you start writing, the first step is to get clear about what your book is going to be about. This is like having a compass; it keeps you on the right path as you navigate through the process of writing your book.

Take some time to brainstorm: Think about what interests you, what you're passionate about or what you feel you have a unique perspective on. These are often great starting points for a book idea. It doesn't matter if it's a novel, a self-help book, a memoir, or a cookbook. What's important is that it's something you're excited about and willing to spend time on.

Identify your target audience: Who do you want to read your book? Understanding your audience helps you tailor your content to their needs and interests. For example, if you're writing a book about gardening for beginners, your language and content will be quite different than if you're writing a book for seasoned gardeners.

Define your book's purpose: What do you want your readers to gain from your book? Is it to entertain, to inform, to inspire? Defining the purpose of your book will help you stay focused as you write and ensure your content aligns with your objective.

Remember, defining your book idea isn't a one-time event; it's an ongoing process. As you progress in your writing journey, your idea will develop and evolve, becoming more refined and focused. And that's okay — it's all part of the journey of how to write a book if you're not a writer.

Create a book outline

Now that you have a clear idea about your book, the next step is creating an outline. Think of it as a roadmap for your book — it gives you a clear direction on where you're heading. Here's how you can create a book outline, even if you're not a writer:

Start with the basics: Write down your main ideas or chapters. These are the major pillars of your book. For instance, if you're writing a novel, these could be key events in your plot. If it's a self-help book, these could be the main topics or lessons.

Add details: Under each main idea or chapter, list out the points or subtopics you want to cover. This can include anything from anecdotes, data, or specific tips and advice. The more detailed your outline, the easier it will be to write your book.

Arrange in order: Put your ideas and chapters in the order you want them to appear in your book. This is not set in stone and can change as you start writing. But having an initial order can help you see the flow of your book and identify any gaps or overlapping information.

Keep refining: Your outline is a living document. As you delve deeper into your writing process, you may discover new ideas or decide to remove some. Continuously refining your outline will help you stay on track and ensure your book remains focused.

Don't underestimate the power of a good outline in the journey of how to write a book if you're not a writer. It's your guiding light, ensuring you stay focused and maintain a clear path as you write your book.

Set Writing Goals

The next step on the journey of how to write a book if you're not a writer involves setting clear, achievable writing goals. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the grandeur of writing a book. That's why you need to break it down into smaller, manageable tasks. Here are some tips on setting writing goals:

Set a daily word count goal: A goal of writing 500 to 1,000 words a day is a good start. This makes the task less daunting, and you'll see progress each day, which is a great motivator.

Schedule writing time: Life is busy, and it's easy to push writing to the bottom of your to-do list. So, decide on a specific time each day for writing, and stick to it. This could be early in the morning, during lunch breaks, or late at night. Find what works for you.

Set milestones: These are the big markers in your writing journey, like finishing a chapter or a section of your book. Celebrating these small victories can boost your morale and keep you motivated.

Stay accountable: Share your goals with a friend, family member, or a writing group. They can check in on your progress and provide the support and motivation you need.

Remember, the goal here is progress, not perfection. Even the best of writers started somewhere. So, set your goals, and start writing. You might surprise yourself by how much you can accomplish when you break it down into manageable tasks.

Write the First Draft

Okay, you've defined your book idea, created an outline, and set your writing goals. Now, it's time to tackle the exciting part of how to write a book if you're not a writer—writing the first draft!

Don't aim for perfection: Remember, it's called a 'first' draft for a reason. It doesn't have to be perfect. Don't worry about grammar, punctuation, or finding the perfect word. Just get your story out.

Follow your outline: Your outline is your roadmap. It's there to guide you, so use it. However, don't be afraid to deviate from it if you feel your story pulling in a different direction.

Write regularly: Consistency is key. Make writing a part of your daily routine. Even if you only write a few hundred words a day, the important thing is to keep the momentum going.

Embrace the process: Writing a book is a journey with ups and downs. It can be frustrating, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. Embrace the process and enjoy the ride.

At the end of the day, the first draft is just about getting your story out of your head and onto paper. Don't worry if it's messy or doesn't make perfect sense. That's what editing is for. For now, just focus on telling your story as best as you can.

Overcome Writer's Block

Every author, regardless of their experience, has come face-to-face with the notorious beast we call writer's block. It's that frustrating moment when your mind goes blank and the words simply refuse to flow. But don't worry, here's your secret weapon on how to write a book if you're not a writer, and still beat the block!

Change your environment: Staring at the same four walls can stifle creativity. Try changing your surroundings. Write in a park, a cafe, or simply a different room in your house.

Set small targets: Don't overwhelm yourself by thinking you need to write a chapter in one sitting. Set small, achievable targets. Maybe today you just write a paragraph or a page. That's progress!

Free write: Not every word you write has to be part of your book. Sometimes, just writing anything can get the creative juices flowing again. Write about your day, a dream, or an interesting person you saw on the street.

Take a break: It's okay to step away from your writing for a little while. Take a walk, read a book, or watch a movie. You might find that when you return to your writing, the block has cleared.

Remember, writer's block is not a roadblock, but a speed bump. It slows you down, but it doesn't stop you. So, take a deep breath, remind yourself why you want to write this book, and keep going.

Proofread and Edit Your Draft

Now that you've penned down your ideas, it's time to refine them. Proofreading and editing might sound daunting, especially when you're wondering how to write a book if you're not a writer. But rest assured, it's not as scary as it sounds.

Step away, then return: After you've finished your first draft, take some time off before you start editing. This helps you approach your work with fresh eyes, making it easier to spot errors and inconsistencies.

Read out loud: It might feel a bit odd, but reading your work out loud can help you catch awkward phrasing, run-on sentences, and other minor issues that you might miss when reading silently.

Check for clarity: Make sure your ideas are clearly communicated. Are there any parts that confuse you or make you reread them? If so, they'll likely confuse your readers as well. Don't be afraid to rewrite these parts for clarity.

Don't rely solely on spell-check: Spell-check is a helpful tool, but it's not foolproof. It won't catch every typo, and it certainly won't help with issues like word choice and sentence structure. Use it as a tool, but don't let it be your only line of defense.

Remember, editing is an essential part of the writing process, even if you're not a writer. It's all about making your work the best it can be, so don't rush it. It's okay to go through several drafts before you're satisfied.

Gather Feedback

Once you've polished your draft, it's time to gather feedback. You might be thinking, "how to write a book if you're not a writer, and then convince others to read it?" Don't worry—it's simpler than it seems.

Reach out to your trusted circle: Family and friends can provide valuable feedback. They know you well and can often provide insights that you might have missed. However, remember to take their comments with a grain of salt—everyone has different tastes in literature.

Find beta readers: These are people who enjoy reading and are willing to provide constructive feedback on unpublished works. They can help identify strengths and weaknesses in your book.

Consider a writing group: Joining a writing group can provide you with a supportive community of fellow aspiring authors. They can offer feedback, encouragement, and advice on how to improve your book.

Hire a professional editor: If you can afford it, hiring a professional editor can be a game-changer. They can provide detailed feedback on your book's structure, content, and language use, helping you refine your book to a publishable standard.

Remember, feedback is not about criticism—it's about growth. Use it to improve your book and get one step closer to your dream of being a published author, even if you're not a writer.

Prepare for Publication

You've done it! You've written your first book, even if you're not a traditional writer. But the journey isn't over yet. Now, let's prepare your masterpiece for publication.

Choose a title: The title of your book is the first thing potential readers see. It should be catchy, memorable, and give a hint about what your book is about. Don't rush this step. Take your time to brainstorm and select the perfect title.

Design a cover: They say, "Don't judge a book by its cover", but let's be honest, we all do. An appealing cover can attract more readers. You can hire a professional designer, use a design software, or even design it yourself if you have the skills.

Write a compelling blurb: The blurb is a short description of your book that goes on the back cover. It should be engaging and make readers want to know more. Remember, it's not about revealing everything—it's about piquing curiosity.

Format your book: The interior layout of your book is just as important as the cover. Whether it's ebook or print, your book needs to be properly formatted. Use a professional service or a formatting software to make your book look its best.

Preparing for publication might seem like a daunting task. However, each step brings you closer to the thrilling moment of holding your published book in your hands. And remember, you don't have to be a professional writer to experience this joy!

Choose the Right Publishing Option

Now that your book is polished and ready for the world to see, it's time to choose how to get it into the hands of readers. You've figured out how to write a book even if you're not a writer, and now let's explore the publishing options available to you.

Traditional publishing: This is the route authors have been following for centuries. It involves submitting your manuscript to established publishing houses and hoping one of them takes an interest. It may be a lengthy process, but it comes with the benefit of having a team of professionals handle marketing, distribution, and sales. Plus, there's also the potential for an advance payment.

Self-publishing: In the digital age, self-publishing has become a popular choice. It gives you full control over your book, from its design to its price. You can publish an eBook or print-on-demand book without a big upfront investment. Plus, you get to keep all the profits.

Vanity publishing: This option involves paying a company to publish your book. While it gets your book printed, it doesn't offer the same marketing and distribution support as traditional publishers. So, it's essential to weigh the costs and benefits.

Each option has its pros and cons, and the right choice depends on your goals, resources, and commitment. So, take your time to research and consider each option. After all, you've already accomplished the extraordinary feat of writing a book, even if you're not a writer. Now, it's about finding the best way to share it with the rest of the world.

Promote Your Book

So, you've written a book even though you're not a writer, and you've chosen your publishing path. The next step in your journey is to promote your book. Even the most captivating stories won't find their readers if they're not properly promoted. So, let's dive into how you can get your book noticed.

Start with your personal network: Your friends, family, colleagues — they all count. Let them know about your book, ask them to read it and, if they like it, request that they help spread the word. Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool in book promotion.

Utilize social media: Whether it's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn, social media platforms can be an effective way to reach a wider audience. Share updates about your book, snippets from your writing, or behind-the-scenes content to engage potential readers.

Engage with local bookstores and libraries: Local bookstores and libraries often support local authors. They might host book readings, signing events, or even feature your book in a prominent place. It's worth reaching out to them.

Consider a book website: A dedicated website for your book can act as a hub for all information about your book, including where to buy it, upcoming events, and more.

Remember, promoting a book takes time and patience. It's all about building momentum and keeping it going. With the right strategies, you'll start seeing your book in the hands of readers before you know it. And just imagine that feeling — knowing you've written and published a book, even though you're not a writer. How amazing will that be?

If you found this beginner's guide helpful and want to take the next step in your book creation journey, especially if you're interested in illustrated books, check out Siobhan Gallagher's workshop, 'How to Pitch an Illustrated Book.' In this workshop, Siobhan offers valuable insights and advice on how to pitch your illustrated book idea to potential publishers and collaborators, even if you're not a writer by trade.