College students have a lot on their plates. They have midterms, finals, classwork, work study, internships, and other activities, such as football practice or band rehearsal. But even though the life of a college student is busy and challenging, being in college is a great time to discover your best talents, gifts, and develop skills that will help you excel after you graduate.
One such skill is book writing. You can take what you have learned thus far in life and in college and put it in a book. Even though authors all over the world know that writing a book is hard work, it is even harder when you have a million things to do such as attending classes and trying to pass them. Who has time to write a book when you are studying for midterms and finals? It may sound like an impossible task but there are many people were able to start and finish their books before they graduated from college and you can too. Veronica Roth wrote Divergent when she was in college. S.E. Hinton wrote the Outsiders when she was a senior in high school, so why not you?
There are a few reasons why writing a book in college is a good idea
1. You can use the money to help you pay off your student loans if you have them. Student loans can follow you like a ball and chain. Having additional sources of income will help you pay off your loans faster.
2. You can use the money to build your digital platform, which can help you launch a business or land the perfect job.
3. You can finance other things you want to do in your life such as traveling instead of looking for a job right away.
4. Money earned from selling your book can help you launch a lifetime career in writing.
The tricky part in all of this of course is figuring out how to write a book without adding to the stress you already have being a college student. In this blog, we will explore a few methods you can implement to help you figure out what to write, how to find time to write a book, and what resources you need to publish your book.
What types of books can I write?
Write What You Know
Write a book that can help other students or help readers solve a problem. Is there a tough subject you mastered? Statistics or chemistry? Maybe it’s physics. You can write a handbook or guide to help other students pass these classes. A book on “how I survived statistics” will be a helpful tool for other students who dread taking this class.
Write About What You Love
Write about something you love to do, something you already do well. Then, show others how to do it. It could be applying makeup, mastering a recipe or healing acne. Short stories, poetry, novels, and how-to books can help encourage people and give them hope.
Write About Your Passion or Favorite Cause
Books that are focused on community and building a better world for future generations are books that drive others to be more active. Are you a member of a grassroots organization? Do you participate in marches and other forms of activism? Take what you have experienced and transform it into a guide or a tell-all memoir on being an advocate for change.
Where do I find time to write?
Write during the summer or possibly during spring break. Summers are often spent interning or working but you can still set aside 30 minutes per day during lunch or in the evening to put your ideas on paper. You can revise and rework these ideas later, but your main focus is to create a rough draft that can be molded into a manuscript.
Take writing classes. If you are already taking writing classes in college, you can use these classes to begin working on your book. You can also take summer classes at colleges outside of your own. This is a creative way to start your book while completing credits toward your degree. Writing professors are a great resource and often love helping students become amazing writers.
Start a writing club in your dorm. Just as you can have bible study, play chess or watch TV in your dorm room, you can also gather a few like-minded, trustworthy students to meet regularly and write with them. Writing clubs can be a great source of support and inspiration. For more tips on finding time to write check out this blog post on creating a writing schedule.
What if I don’t have enough money to publish?
Team up with English majors, preferably those that have taken editing classes or are completing an internship at a small press or publishing house. Editorial interns and English majors can help you edit your book. You may not have real cash to pay them, but what you do have is currency. Offer to help them with an assignment as a way to pay them for helping you. Are you good at math or web design? Do you do nails or style hair? Offer to do something for them in exchange for editing or design help. Barter your way through your expenses. Later, when you begin making money you can invest in professional editing and custom design services.
Choose to publish in e-book only rather than pay for print copies. Ebooks are a great way to enter the self-publishing world because you can upload fairly easily without having to worry about the manufacturing costs associated with print copies. Check out my blog How to Not Go Broke Writing a Book for more ideas.
The road to writing a book while still in college is a path worth taking. It may lead to many great things that you never thought possible. You may be on your way to writing a best selling book, or signing a lucrative book deal. You may be able to build a good source of income by self-publishing. But more importantly, you will be able make money and help others at the same time.