Protip: unlike this lady, try turning on your computer before you begin writing…


Before we begin, practice healthy creative habits: Clear your space of clutter, set aside some time to focus and spend 2-3 minutes doing your Daily Free Writing before you begin. See Lesson 2 for more about DFW.

The next three days are writing days. If you’ve been skipping the daily free writing, I highly recommend starting. For today we’re going to focus on beginnings. Hopefully, I’ve given you a lot to think about, and now it’s time to start expanding and smoothing out your outline.

Clear your desk. Get organized. Find some quiet. Focus. Let’s write:

What does the beginning do?

It starts with a strong hook, then builds, builds, builds, so you can take it to the next level (for non-fiction or how-to books) or throw in some catastrophes (for fiction and story-based books). Some things to ask yourself:

What’s the best way to begin this book? If I was a reader, what would immediately draw me in? What can I give away right from the beginning? It might be your best scene or your best tip or the crazy thing that happened. Don’t hold back. Don’t save things for later. You can write more and better stuff further on, I’m sure of it.

Sketch out the beginning of you book by roughly writing it out until you find a natural stopping point.

From there, you’ll be building towards what happens in the middle or the 2/3 of your book. If it’s non-fiction how-to style, then you want to prepare the reader to tackle much more advanced concepts later on. If it’s story-based, you want to absolutely turn the world upside down by the second act.

Spend some time free-form writing about this part of you book – perhaps it’s a paragraph or two for each chapter – or maybe you’ll feel pulled to write more about one area and less about another. Let yourself explore it freely and don’t worry too much about what comes out of it.

Aim for at least 2 hours of writing today.

Ready, set, go.


1Daily Free Writing
2Write out your beginning
3Sketch out the first third of your book