“I want to write a book, where do I start?”
This is a question I hear very often. In fact if you search Google, or any social media platform for this phrase, the results would likely blow your mind.
And you know what, it’s a fair question.
But the well-meaning advice that these would-be-authors commonly get is, “Just write,” and that couldn’t be further from the truth!
Whenever I see this exchange I feel like I’m watching a horrible accident that I can’t stop.
So here’s the truth.
There are a few steps you MUST take before you actually sit down and put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).
These steps are like gathering the ingredients of your favorite meal, or taking the time to lay the foundation BEFORE building your dream house.
They are designed to set you up for success, instead of further facilitating the horror stories that are common in author communities.
You know the ones about:
- Battle writers block
- Working on a book for 2 to 20 years (or more)
- Starting over after writing thousands of words only to feel disconnected and lost with the message
- Picking perfect book covers and titles, but NEVER actually writing the book
So here are the steps you want to take to prepare your mind (and process) for writing
Step 1 – GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO TELL YOUR TRUTH
Writing can be a very “naked” form of communication. It allows you to put it all out there (pun intended).
It is a very personal and intimate experience between you and your thoughts.
It can be scary AND it can really be hard not to filter, filter, and filter again.
But watering down your message and story doesn’t help you or the people your journey was designed to help.
So the very first thing you want to do when you decide to write a book is give yourself permission to be you, tell it like it is, talk about the fails (because they were really lessons) and not JUST the wins.
This will allow your “creative flag to fly”, and the freedom that comes with this is an amazing way to fight off the villainous writers block people always talk about.
Step 2 – SET YOUR INTENTIONS FOR WRITING YOUR BOOK
Get crystal clear on your intentions for writing your book NOW.
More than likely you’ve thought about writing a book for years, so why is NOW the time?
This step is really about the inner drive and internal desires you have for getting your book done.
And here’s the secret…
Make this totally about you and why YOU want this! BE SELFISH.
I don’t want anyone to make the same mistakes I did.
I took the looonnnng way, and I love helping people fast track.
Every time I open my mouth people benefit, it feels good and I want more of that!
Whatever it is, get clear on it. The REAL reason. Not the super sweet -superficial reasons that we have become accustomed to hearing.
This is important because it will serve as fuel throughout the writing process and beyond.
Step 3 – GET CRYSTAL CLEAR ON THE GOALS YOU HAVE FOR YOUR BOOK
Most people use goals and intentions interchangeably, but intentions are about inner drivers and goals are more focused on external outcomes.
So in this step list out what you want to see happen in your life, the lives of others, the world etc. from getting your books done.
- I want to fill my calendar with speaking engagements for the year
- I want to fill my course or program that is based on the topic of my book
- I want to be interviewed by Oprah
Whatever it is, be real, get clear and list it.
This list will serve as a ‘to do’ list for the energy around your book (even though it’s not written yet).
This is ANOTHER opportunity to be selfish and visualize the outcomes, impact and benefits you want to see from your book.
Step 4 – FIGURE OUT WHO YOUR BOOK IS TALKING TO AND WHY THEY NEED IT
Ok, in this final step we come out of “selfish mode” and really drill down into who your dream book is for.
- What do they need from you?
- What part or parts of your story do THEY crave?
- How can you show THEM a better way?
- Who are they?
- How old are they?
- Where are they in life?
Really get a picture of the person in your mind. (I usually pick a friend or family member to help me connect even more)
Why are you doing this?
Because a book is a conversation. It’s an intimate communication, a delicate dance that transfers information from one person to another.
And once you can visualize who is involved in the conversation you can better tailor your delivery of the information they need.
**For instance, you can clearly understand their language (i.e. the words they use to describe their pain points)
**You have a better understanding of where they are starting out and the path they need to take to get results.
**You understand their emotion and mindset from day to day as they exist in a state of being that they want out of.
All of which makes your writing much clearer and the connection to the reader much stronger.
By including permission, intentions, goals, and your reader in your decision to write a book, you create the perfect storm to get your book written (FAST) and into the hands of the people who need it most.
This is not only the makings of a smooth writing process and book launch, but it supercharges your positioning and promotion approach while putting you on the Bestseller path in the process.