Want to know the real reason why you’ll never write your book?
It’s because you’re scared.
So many people will openly admit they have a book in them. Some put pen to paper. Others talk about writing their book one day. But if fear is rooted in your head, it can be a tricky trait to shift.
Now please don’t think I’m preaching here because I’ve been guilty of this too. Yes I write for a living, and I’ve ghost-written and edited hundreds of books during my 20+ year publishing career BUT I was scared too.
It was very easy for me to hide behind my more extrovert, outgoing, successful business owning clients and be very happy with the very kind gesture they make to me in their book’s acknowledgements. But there comes a time when you really have to show up, woman up, and get on with the bloomin’ thing.
In December, my coach told me to get my book published so I could hit the ground running. And I knew she was right. I was beginning to resemble those builders you hear of who live in half-finished houses. If truth be known, putting off my book all the time was wearing. Faffing around, binge-writing chapters only to leave them for weeks and months while I prioritised my client work, not setting myself deadlines or creating a structure for my book meant I was a walking, talking hypocrite, telling my clients to do what I say, not what I do.
It was time to practice what I preach. So in December (the last few days before Christmas, in fact – no pressure there then) I got my half-finished book, adding some padding, gave it a makeover and became an author in my own right. I published the book on Kindle and CreateSpace (in paperback) and created a PDF to sell from my website too.
And do you know what, when that initial email came through from Amazon saying, ‘Congratulations your book is now available on the Amazon Store’ I was cock-a-hoop, over the moon, and pretty pleased with myself. However… and this is the important bit… I got a bit prickly too. Why? Because all these years I’ve been too bloomin’ scared to write my book, used every excuse not to prioritise my writing, and for what?
Now I’ve had to dig deep here so bear with me… my fear stemmed around lots of things. I thought I wasn’t:
1. good enough to write a book (for myself obviously – when I write for clients who I can hide behind, it’s very safe)
2. extrovert enough to write a book (I mean, doesn’t it draw lots of attention and put you in a vulnerable position where you are waiting to be judged?)
3. at the right stage in my business to write a book (even though I’ve been writing and working in publishing for 20+ years now, I mean, how long does it take?!)
4. going to stand out amongst the competition (there are sooo many books out there – at this point in time, January 2018, there are almost 8 million non-fiction Kindle books)
But bearing all of this in mind, I know I stood a better chance of doing this than many people because I’ve been trained, I’ve written books before and published them for other people. I have the skills to structure a book, I know how to format and typeset the Word document to create a pretty snazzy looking e-book and paperback. So what kept me so scared, and procrastinating for so long now seems so irrelevant.
What I’m trying to help you understand here is that you have to get over your fear if that genuine book-writing passion is there. This fear thing is pretty fickle anyway. I can vouch for that. Treat your book-writing dream like any other project you manage on a daily basis.
1. Make time to write your book
If you have to get up early to write then do it. You’ll quickly fall into a new healthy writing habit after day three, and this will give you the writing bug (where you’ll be looking for extra pockets of time during the day to fit in even more writing).
2. Change your mindset if you want to write your book
Don’t assume that writing your book means taking precious time out of your business (and losing money) because this is a long-term investment in the future of your business.
3. Don’t think of writing your book as a huge task
If it helps, break it down into mini tasks such as researching the competition, deciding chapter titles, creating word count targets, setting deadlines, etc etc.
4. Find the right support to help you write your book
There are lots of different support systems out there to help you write your book. If you’re happy to work alone, buy a book that teaches you (or wait until around the end of January and buy mine). If you need accountability, find a mentor to support you (I offer a mentoring programme which enables you to write your book with my support in 10-12 weeks). If you prefer to follow a step by step programme, choose that format (check out my programme here).
You may be keen just to start writing without any support and that’s fine too. What I’d like to urge you to do, however, is to just do it. Don’t let fear hold you back. What’s the worst that can happen anyway?
Face your book-writing fears and be brave, writing friend. Maybe, like me, you’ll get the book-writing bug and want to set yourself a 2018 target (mine’s to write one book per month – yikes, now that’s just a tad scary isn’t it?!).
Do something today to get you started, and please do feel free to message me if you have any questions about how to get started. I’d love to help you off the starting blocks.