I have written just a few books, (some to be released shortly) but this is a system that I gethered from more experienced minds than my own. It scales to the size of your project, and works for fiction as well as non fistion.
The best part of this system, to me as an author, is that it forces you to write. At the same time, this system will build your audience, and fine tune your writing making editing less of a chore.
Writing is hard. It's mental work, that doesn't immediately produce results. It's easy work to put off. While we're doing it distractions seem to be compounded. Writing seems to be a thing that one must retreat to do (not true, but it seems that way). Or, we think you must already be wealthy to have the time. Lastly, it is scary to put yourself out there in such a permanent way. You produce this great big thing, and they people get to criticize it. That alone is enough to stop some.
At the same time there is a huge reward for being an author. You're immediately an expert in something, or at least a credibly source. You get a new source of income while you sleep, or if you speak even more at the back of the room. You, personally, will have a great sense of pride in your work. And if you're a minister your ministry is now scaling; you can help people the world over without ever meeting them! No wonder authoring is called a "bug;" it's definitely bitten me! I've sat and decided on 30+ books to write.
The largest obstacles can be overcome through Accountability and Outlining.
Outlining is a simple format that most were taught in school. It's the skeleton of your work. The wonderful thing about outlines is that they can grow in detail, and they give you a scope of progress.
If you take your subject, and write an outline, you now have a progress bar. Work your way through it and you know when the end is! People who just write have no idea when they are done. You do. You have an outline.
If you write your outline on the computer, you can now create infinite sub-points. Sometimes adding these will write a chapter all on it's own. Add references, what those mean, and points you want to make. Support those points. Connect those points. You'll have a book in no time.
Accountability is a little trickier to obtain. Because writing is so easy to put off, and can be hard (it doesn't have to be), we need it like a fish needs water. There are a lot of tools to motivate, but I'd encourage you to blog.
"What!?" you say, "I'm trying to write a book, and you're adding blogging to my plate?"
No, I'm using a blog to get you writing. You have an outline, wonderful. Now write those parts as blog posts. Share these posts on your social media accounts. Think of it as a newspaper column. People will start to expect the next piece, if they like it. You will do no more work, except maybe interacting with commenters/fans, and will gain the accountability of public writing.
Blogs are easy to set up, and have many other benefits than just accountability.
- The posts will get feedback and improve your writing. Someone will come along and ask, "did you think of this point," or say, "I noticed you didn't capitalize that line."
- People will share new sources with you that you might decide to include.
- Blogging will likely make writing more enjoyable for you. Who doesn't like some positive feedback?
- Your book's subject will find a fan base before you even publish! Hopefully you will have a good group to launch to with minimal effort; use a "newsletter sign up" form and you'll have their emails for when you are ready to sell.
Once you have blogged all of your outline you are ready. Copy all the posts into one manuscript, cut out whatever extras you had added (like notices or updates). Now find yourself a publishing partner. A nice one will not force you to format your book a certain way for them.