After watching the video tip from earlier this week you’ll know that writing a book is one of the KEYS to success. But the biggest block to actually writing a book is taking the first step. Where do you start? How do you start? If you have articles and reports and ebooks, you can of course merely adapt these into a book by writing them up or elancing then out. But let’s imagine you don’t have any of these. Let’s imagine you want all the joy and satisfaction of writing your book yourself. This article is for you.
Let’s look at some strategies to get you writing your book NOW.
Read similar books in your field and make notes. What is it you like about them? Or don’t like? Are there any common themes/traits that link the books? Is there anything that you can model? Look at the structure – what things would you do the same? What things would you do differently? Choose a couple of your favourites. These are your models.
- What is it you want to say?
Just like speaking, a book is a vehicle of expression and is your way of potentially reaching tens of thousands of people. This is heart of the book. Without this centre, books can be liable to go off on tangents.
At this stage you probably just want to write a paragraph outlining what you want to say. Explore it in your own mind and give up the need for it to be perfect at this stage.
- How do you want your reader to feel?
Books – regardless of whether they are fiction or non-fiction – work best when they evoke an emotional reaction from the reader and leave the reader thinking about it long after they have turned the final page.
For example, a self-help book often aims to leave the reader feeling more motivated about their life – ready to step up and take action. So take a moment to focus on the emotional reaction you wish to invoke in your reader and try to capture this in a few sentences. You can refer back to this at any point. If it helps, picture your ideal reader in your mind and try to visualise the impact this book will have on their life.
Remember, a book is not just about you and what it can do for your career. It’s for everyone out there – all the anonymous people you might never meet – but whose lives you touch and change with your words. Take time to consider their needs.
The number one mistake writers make time after time is rushing headlong into the book without a plan. This is like a runner attempting to run a marathon without ever having trained. What is going to happen? You will put all your energy into the beginning and run out of steam, both in terms of content – because you will have crammed chapter one with far too much information – and in terms of energy – you’ll tire and potentially give up.
Everyone has different ways of planning. There is no right and wrong way. What suits one person does not suit another. The key is to discover your way. Think out of the box too. When thinking through your chapters try index cards, spreadsheets, coloured stickies, a visual painting – anything to stimulate your right brain into creative ideas.
Writing a book can be easy and fun. In fact, it’s possibly one of the most rewarding things you can ever do. If you have a dream of writing a book, or you’re canny enough to realise this is a smart career move, make the time in your schedule to get started. It really is about taking that first step…