It will leave a legacy. It will make you an expert and help you standout. It will change lives. Beyond that, it’s also really fun and exciting. Writing a book is a bucket list item for many people, but actually going through with it is another story. What if it didn’t have to be so hard?

Peggy McColl is a New York Times bestselling author who has written 24 books and helps people write and publish their own books. During the pandemic, she says a big trend has been people expressing interest in writing a book, but not believing they can actually do it.

To make the book process a little easier, Peggy says all new authors need to remember these five things:

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• Create an outline: The biggest question I get from potential authors is: where do I start? I recommend you start with a basic outline. Jot down on a piece of paper the topics you want to write about. I prefer to call it a working outline because this will be your “go-to” guide that keeps you on track the entire time you are writing your book. It’s also important to remember that it’s not set in stone and you can always add new ideas or remove them as you go along.

• Dedicate a little time each day: If you carve out at least one hour each day, before you know it you’ll have your book written. The key is consistency and I recommend choosing the same hour each day to write, whether that’s in the morning or later in the day. Imagine how many words you’ll have written after 30 days of doing this!

• Carry a notebook: There’s one thing that most authors will tell you: they get the best ideas at the worst possible times. I know many authors who were out to dinner, in the shower, and even woke up in the middle of the night with an idea to include in their book. Make sure you have a little notebook you keep with you to jot down these ideas so you don’t forget them.

• Don’t focus on perfection: Many new authors get caught up in perfection. When you first start writing your book, just focus on writing. It doesn’t have to be perfect. That’s what the editing stage is for. For now, just get the words down on the paper. You can go back later and rearrange and fix it up to your liking.

• Ask for help: Writing your book is only half the battle. After that there are so many other things to consider like traditional publisher or self-published, cover design and style, hiring an editor, marketing your book and so on. If you aren’t familiar with the process it can feel daunting and leave you drained and confused. Get a book coach or get around people who know the book business and can help make this as easy a process as possible.