I’d like to share with you some ways in which writing a book will teach you about who you are, and what you can do to look objectively at how knowing yourself in this intimate way will lead to change, growth, and prosperity.
Which of these scenarios best describes you?
Scene A: You wake up refreshed to start your day and can’t wait to sit down to write another chapter (or four!) of your latest book. You adore the writing process and can easily enter your “zone” where time just stands still and your fingers move like the wind across the keyboard.
Scene B: You wake up refreshed to start your day but you do everything else on your to-do list first instead of writing a chapter of the book that you know will boost your business. Procrastination is your friend and the “reasons” you give yourself for not writing are simply excuses.
Writing a book is certainly a great way to boost your credibility, increase your name recognition, and massively increase your profits but it is also a mirror we can use to deeply examine our greatest fears and work habits. If writing a book were easy, everyone would be published. Acknowledging and understanding these fears and habits can greatly improve the writing process which, in turn, will make life much easier when you decide to write your next book. Writing a book will teach you more about yourself and what makes you tick than you might have ever thought possible.
Examine your work habits. Are you a procrastinator or a “get it done” person? Are you an early morning person or a night owl? Can you work with music or podcasts playing in the background or do you need total silence? Every writer has a different method of working and you might just discover something new about yourself during this process. Maybe you prefer nature sounds or white noise as opposed to music with lyrics. Or maybe you can focus better in a coffee house setting instead of in complete silence. No matter what your preferences, use those to your advantage to be more productive.
Discover your fears about the writing process. Do you dread that blank page staring back at you? Do you fear hearing negative feedback or reviews? Do you have fears around hiring an editor, only to get your manuscript back terribly marked up or changed considerably? Remember that once upon a time even big name authors had to start with a blank page and had editors who changed their words. Start your manuscript with a chapter outline and remember that you’re paying an editor good money to make your book its best. After writing and publishing more than twenty books since 2010, I teach authors how to make sure they have a tight outline before they write their first chapter…and this works extremely well.
Analyze how disciplined you are when it comes to writing. There’s no right or wrong method here. But knowing if you can work “in the zone” for hours on end or if you get easily distracted and need to take breaks makes planning your day much easier. If you need to take breaks, incorporate the Pomodoro method into your day. Simply set a timer for 25 minutes and focus on your writing until the timer goes off. Take a 10 minute break, then get back to writing for another 25 minutes. This is a simple method but you’ll be amazed at how focused you will be during those writing sessions.
Is writing your passion or do you fear this will be a wasted effort? What if you don’t make sales or the response from your audience isn’t as glowing as you had hoped? This is a valid fear, especially if you’re depending on this book to increase your earnings, but you’ll be prepared to conquer this fear by doing market research prior to writing the first page. Is this book topic something your market needs and wants? Can you offer a different spin on this topic that others may have already written about? Whether you feel a passion for writing or you’re certain this will be your only book, you’ll always benefit by doing research. Something else I have experienced and want to point out here is that sometimes you write a book that receives a lukewarm response, only to have it become a bestseller a year or two later.
Acknowledge your insecurities and admit your weaknesses. No one is perfect and perfection must never be your goal. Writing your book will teach you to think of writing as being first and foremost for you, and then for your audience. Nor can you be an expert in everything, so if anything about the writing process or the marketing activities (marketing is the secret sauce that turns your book into an income stream) scares you, embrace that fear and either conquer it or hire an expert to help you through it. Under this type of spotlight, you may be surprised at what makes your knees shake and what you can handle like a champ. Just don’t let these insecurities sideline your book.
Author and writing coach Jerry Jenkins shared an excellent post on How to Write a Book from Start to Finish: A Proven Guide and in it he says:
So you want to write a book. Becoming an author can change your life—not to mention give you the ability to impact thousands, even millions, of people.
But writing a book isn’t easy. As a 21-time New York Times bestselling author, I can tell you: It’s far easier to quit than to finish.
You’re going to be tempted to give up writing your book when you run out of ideas, when your own message bores you, when you get distracted, or when you become overwhelmed by the sheer scope of the task.
But what if you knew exactly:
- Where to start…
- What each step entails…
- How to overcome fear, procrastination, and writer’s block…
- And how to keep from feeling overwhelmed?
You can write a book—and more quickly than you might think, because these days you have access to more writing tools than ever.
The key is to follow a proven, straightforward, step-by-step plan.
As you can see, writing a book is a wonderful self-discovery tool in addition to a business builder. Take these discoveries and work with them during this process; you’ll only improve your business and your work habits going forward. When you hold your published book in your hands for the first time, and place it in the hands of the people you love all that you have sacrificed and experienced will be something you will appreciate.
I’m bestselling author, marketing strategist, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and I would love to connect further with you to help you to achieve your goals. If you are interested in learning how to optimize the syndication of your content, please take a look at my popular Syndication Optimization training course and consider coming aboard to increase your visibility, credibility, and profitability.