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Question
I have traveled extensively and have lived abroad for a number of years. I have been encouraged by family and friends to write a book.

How does one get started? And after I figure out what angle to do a book, How do I organize myself?
I look foward to your input?
-BW

Answer
Dear Brian,
Thank you for your questions. Your friends are right - it is a good idea to write about your travels. However, you have to ask yourself what your  purpose is and how much time you will want to put into it.
The first phase would be to write out your memories in a chronological style, dedicating one chapter or section to each trip. Or, you can think of any creative way to organize the book, such as travels in each geographic area, or decades of your life, etc. Then just sit down and write what you remember, as though writing a letter. If you dedicate a few hours per week, you could have your book finished over the course of a few months.
That  would constitute a journal, or memoir, of your experiences. I would recommend that you take the first step, then decide if you want to go further.
The next step would be to write your memories into a story form to read like a novel. This can tend to be extremely time consuming. There's also a steep learning curve if you've never written fiction before. The purpose of turning your memoir into a story would be to share it with a larger audience.
You may or may not want to get into that. It takes a lot more energy and when all's said and done, if you find a publisher and the book is successful, the monetary rewards are usually modest. Still, there's a lot of satisfaction in having a successful book.
There's also something to be said for having a well-written and thoughtful memoir. Your friends can learn about your travels and you can pass the book along to your children and future generations of your family.
I hope this helps. At my site I have posted some resources for writers:
http://steamboats.com/writing.html
Also, for writing your memoir, consider picking up the book, "Writing the Natural Way." It offers some good suggestions for getting your thoughts onto paper.
Sincerely,
Nori

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