Six things I learned while writing my first book

Writing is one of the most important media of communication in our life.


Linto Lingson

3 years ago | 5 min read

Writing is one of the most important media of communication in our life. A life without writing is unfathomable.

It is a way to express our thoughts and feelings, when our tongues get tied up and cannot accurately impart them. For us introverts, writing is a medium we feel comfortable using.

It is especially priceless when you have an idea about a story in your head. You have made up a fictional world complete with colorful characters and fantastic places.

And you want to tell the world about them. But nobody in their right mind is going to sit and listen to you for hours. But they might read it if you write your story down for them.

I published my first story (In Loop), and wanted to write about my experiences; since nobody is going to sit and listen to me talk about them.

1. Simple beginnings

My idea for my novella came one morning as I woke up from my slumber. It hit me like a lightning. I had to write about it. But I did not know how to start the story.

So, I started my story with my main character doing a simple task; waking up.

Yes, my story starts with my character waking up. That is all you need to get those writing juices flowing. Once you start, the ideas you had in your head will start to connect and new story angles will make themselves visible to you.

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash
Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

Now do not think that the beginning of your story is set. You can change it up later on if a better idea comes to you. This is your story after all.

2. Rome was not built in a day

When I started, I just had the premises of the story in my head. But once I started writing, new ideas popped up showing me the way to realise the premises. At one point, I had the beginning and ending of the story set in stone. All I had to do was connect those two.

So you do not need to write in order. If you are stuck at a certain part but feel like you have an idea about another part, write that first. View your story like pieces of cloth that you need to stitch up later.

Do not fret if you cannot form the whole story in your head when you start writing. Just like Rome, your story will also need time to build itself.

3. Live and breathe your story

No, I do not mean you should be your fictional character in real life. Instead think about them whenever you are not writing.

Ponder on how you can develop your characters. All of our favourite books have one thing in common.

Character development.

Your characters may be fictional but they do live in their own world. The world created by you. And when something happens in the character’s life, imagine how he or she will react. Let your character experience his or her life and let that affect his or her actions later on in your story.

4. Jot down the skeleton of your story

This is to help you have a structure. Write down the different scenarios that your character will go through. A single line describing each scenario is enough.

For example, in my book In Loop, I used a scenario like this, “John is being forced to attend a meeting”. I used this scenario to describe my character’s feeling of being forced to do something he has no interest in.

But why isn’t he interested? Who is forcing him to go? How is the relationship between them? What are the consequences of not attending? Ask questions about each scenario and answer them the best way possible.

5. There will be many roadblocks

Just like the struggles faced by your fictional character, you will also have to face many challenges while you write.

You may lose interest in writing your story because you feel it is not that engaging as you thought it would be.

Or you may have got an idea about another story and want to start writing on that. Or your life gets in the way and you simply do not have time to write anymore.

Photo by Hello I’m Nik 🎞 on Unsplash
Photo by Hello I’m Nik 🎞 on Unsplash

Worst of them all; self doubt. You think you will never make it as a writer so why bother finishing it?

Unfortunately, these roadblocks are plenty when writing a book. You invest a lot of time and pour your heart and mind into creating something out of thin air.

And you want to be rewarded for it. And writing a book can take months or years to finish, so you will have to stay motivated for the whole duration without getting a return.

One way to power through these roadblocks is to think writing the book as a passion. If you think about the monetary value of your book, you are setting yourself up to fail.

Write because you want to give life to your characters and the world they live in. Write because you love to write. Not for the money and fame they may bring.

And write short stories or articles in between. That way you exercise your mind and keep it open to ideas other than for your story. Sometimes taking a break from your Hogwarts-like world will help you in the long term.

6. Your first will be your worst

I did mention that I published my story. And you might be thinking I did that recently.

Not quite. I published it in 2018. I started writing it in 2013, and finished it in 2017. So what took me so long to talk about it noSelf doubt mostly. I knew this is not going to be my best work.

I know (or want to believe) that I will get better with each story I write. But we want the public to see our best work, not the worst.

That is why despite publishing (which was a struggle in itself), I did not promote my book. So why now?

Because I want to be a writer and I had to start somewhere. I take this action as a first step to a long and arduous journey to realising my goal.

Whether I reach it or not should not be a concern for me, at this moment. A baby should first learn to roll over before even attempting to crawl. With “In Loop”, I am putting the writer in me out there to be judged, juried and executed (hopefully in a positive way).

So if you have a finished manuscript catching dust somewhere in your computer, dust it off, give it one more read and publish it. It will be hard to put your work and yourself out there, but you are not alone.

Furthermore, your story needs an audience for it to be appreciated. And in that audience, there could be a literary agent who might see your potential through your book.


Created by

Linto Lingson

Hi, I'm Linto. I write about technology, sports, and everyday stories. Check out my Medium page for other stories and my Sportskeeda page for my take on football.







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