When people ask me whether they should write a book to grow their book, my answer is: ‘It depends.’ If your aim for writing the book is a quick, easy route to six figures, may I suggest that you concentrate on optimizing your funnels or building your high ticket program?
However, if your aim is to make a bigger impact, help more people, and create a record of your work and build your legacy, let’s talk.
You see, writing a book, a good book, takes dedication. It takes effort. It takes perseverance. And it takes commitment.
It isn’t a quick fix.
Having written more than twenty books for children, teens, and adults, both fiction and nonfiction, this is something I know very well.
But when you believe in your business, your methods, and your message, and you know you have something to offer the world – and you are prepared to pay the price – it becomes a labor of love, a passion project. In other words, fertile ground for genius.
So what is it about writing a book that excites and intrigues us so much?
Well, I believe it is this: writing a book and getting it out into the world says something about you. That you are prepared to be seen, to be heard, to be discussed and, yes, even criticized. Essentially, you are prepared to lead. And put in the work that leading requires.
And so, if you are one of those people who knows that, one day, they have to write a book, I have a few ideas for how you can harness this season – in your life, in your business, in our collective history – to make that dream a reality.
Reclaim your WHY
In order for you to carve out the time needed to focus on your book, you will need to get very clear on the deeper meaning of this book for you, and its higher purpose.
Remember, hobbies don’t get priority in our lives; passions do.
So what is it about this book that excites you, that fires you up? Is it the thought of sharing your story? Is it the idea of reaching more people with your ideas? Is it the lives you could change? Is it the opportunities that will come your way as a result of being a published author? Is it the sense of creating a legacy? Or is it simply the satisfaction of knowing that you committed to something so monumental – and you delivered on it?
Whatever it is, it’s important to bring that to the front of your mind: think of it, say it, write it down, visualize it, emotionalize it.
Ask yourself these questions:
What could be amazing about this?
And let yourself get fired up and passionate about writing your book.In order for you to carve out the time needed to focus on your book, you will need to get very clear on the deeper meaning of this book for you, and its higher purpose. Remember, hobbies don’t get priority in our lives; passions do. #youpreneur Click To Tweet
Make a Commitment
A commitment is a step beyond passion. It is as if, in the first step, you fell in love with the idea of writing a book, and, now, it is time to commit. What does committing to your book look like? Well, firstly I would invite you to see it, not as a commitment to your book, but as a commitment to yourself, your business and personal legacy.
And commitment means getting clarity on what kind of book you want to write and what it will entail. What kind of book will it be? Will you be writing it yourself or working with a ghostwriter? Will you go it alone or work with a writing coach? How many words/pages will it be?
These are some questions I get my clients to answer before they write a single word:
- What is the main goal/message of the book? It is important to get clear on the main idea you want to convey to your ideal reader, the main questions you want to answer, and the solutions you want to offer.
- What kind of book do you want to write? As an entrepreneur, the best books for your business will be either a coaching-based book in which you share habits and mindset shifts, an expertise-based book in which you share your methods, systems, and strategies, or an anthology in which you gather the thoughts, ideas, and stories of others, be they your industry peers, clients or otherwise.
- What format will you use for the book: Kindle/ebook or hardcopy? Remember, if you plan to print the book, you should aim for a minimum of 25k words, so that the book doesn’t look underwhelming when printed. So be aware of this when planning the book’s format.
Once you have worked through the above, you are ready to choose your deadline and plan some time for your writing. This is also a crucial part of your commitment: setting a date! With everyone being so busy, I advise my clients to either carve out 30 minutes a day to work on their manuscript or block out some larger chunks of time, such as a 2-4 day period, where they will be focused solely on getting their first draft done.
And, I am happy to say, there are some hacks for getting that done, too.
Repurpose Your Content
This is where it gets exciting! As an entrepreneur, you likely have a body of work that you can draw on to help you flesh out your first draft. So have a think about what resources you already have that you could repurpose. Examples of really useful content include blog posts, podcast transcriptions, training materials, ebooks, checklists, client case studies, testimonials, interviewees, etc.
Once you have clarity on your book’s content and have crafted your outline, it will be time to lay all your content out and see what is useful to your book.
Very often, the outlining process is the most critical step for my clients: this is when they get to sort out the nuggets of gold from the mass of thoughts and ideas that are swirling around their heads and get some real clarity. Certainly, helping them sort through these ideas and creating a winning hook, structure, and writing plan with them is one of my favorite parts of the journey!
Reach out for Support
I am not going to sugarcoat this: writing can be an isolated and isolating experience. Especially in the current climate of social distancing and lockdown, it is even more important to make sure that you have the right support on your writing journey.
This could be in the form of an online writers’ group or joining a book writing program to get access to coaching, support, and accountability. Either way, I have found that a supportive writing community is a difference between a long, hard, lonely slog, and a wonderfully productive journey of self-discovery and transformation.
Oh, didn’t I mention that part?
My bad if I didn’t.
For the record, in addition to the wonderful opportunities that writing and publishing a book will bring you, there is something to be said about the man or woman you become along the way, too.
I’ve seen it time and time again. The process of writing a book will transform you in unexpected ways, revealing strengths and skills you never knew existed, opening you up to a new level of self-awareness.
Definitely a goal worth falling in love with and a journey worth committing to, wouldn’t you say?
Na’ima B. Robert is an award-winning author, editor and book coach who loves helping women find their voice, write their books and change the world.