Newsflash: Yes, Writing is Hard
I was on the phone recently with a client who is developing a book proposal. We had discussed many things concerning her book idea: what she would do to market it, who her ideal reader would be, how she would find that reader, clarifying what her book is about so she doesn’t send mixed messages in the proposal. Just as we were confirming what parts she would write for the following week my client commented, “This is the hardest work I’ve ever done. Is it supposed to be hard?”
Well, yes. And we haven’t even dealt deeply with the writing of the book. That piece will be hard as well, even harder in fact. That’s why you have to be really clear on why you want to write a book in the first place. Yes, aspects of book writing can be made easier. You get help, you get an editor or a book coach or maybe even a ghostwriter. But this doesn’t mean you abdicate all aspects of your book, unless you want it to come out as someone else’s book! There are just too many moving pieces to producing a book. Each aspect of the process (writing, publishing, marketing) consists of multiple steps, many that must happen simultaneously. Unless you have the grounding of a strong “why”, it will be difficult to motivate yourself to get to the finish line.
But I see a glowing reason to finish: When we held the first “How to Write & Publish Books That Change Lives” Workshop last year, I discovered that many of you were interested in writing a new kind of book–not just your basic self-help or how-to book– you want to write a book of true sharing. You have been through things, you have learned a lot, and now you want to help others by sharing your hard-won knowledge. I think that kind of book is worth fighting for! So here are a few tips that can help. Notice I didn’t say make it easier–I said help!
1.) Create Your Plan: Know in advance what you want to do with your book, who you will sell it to, and how you will reach your audience.
2.) Write Everyday: There’s nothing else for it. I’ve learned this from my own experience. The only way to get the book done is to work on it consistently.
3.) Get Support: Decide what help you need in the form of a team or education. It really makes all the difference.
I will add one more thing. Only you can take your work seriously. On the New York Times Room For Debate site I recently shared the experience of what made me think of myself as a serious author. You can read the piece here. Check it out, let me know what you think, and consider what you need to help you take your work seriously.
If you want to learn more about how to bring your book into the world, join us for the next “How to Write & Publish Books That Change Lives” Workshop on MAY 19. Hope to see you there!