How to Write a Book: First Steps

Have you always wanted to write a book? Or are you just starting to think about the things writing a book can do for your life and career? Writing a book can help you:

• Attract new and ideal clients to your business.
• Quit your day job and start a whole new career – like my client Pat Hastings did when she retired from being a substance abuse counselor and, with the help of her book, became an international speaker and spiritual coach.
• Earn more money and passive income.
• Get high profile speaking opportunities.
• Get paid to travel.
• Get on national TV and spread your message to millions.
• Open the door to opportunities you never even dreamed of.

If you‘re like many people, though, you may find the idea of writing a book overwhelming. Where do you start? Here are seven steps that will get you going.

1. Clarify the WHY? Why do you want to write this book. What will it do for you, your readers, your business and the world?

2. Make the time. We‘re all busy. The biggest difference between those who succeed and become published and those whose books languish is that the former cut things out of their lives to make the time for their book. What will you cut out or limit (phone calls, shopping, e-mails, video games, TV)? Now commit the times in your schedule by writing them in your calendar or putting them in your blackberry.

3. Get clear on your audience. A successful book is written with a particular reader in mind. Especially if you don‘t already have a big platform, you‘ll want to target a core audience, knowing it will reach others too. This is sometimes the hardest thing for writers who often see that their book can help everyone, but it’s a pillar of marketing success. Think about what your readers most want and focus on providing your material in a way that helps them see they can achieve their goals and desires.

4. Organize your book. Many of us creative types loathe structure. Yet, many people have come to me with bits and pieces hoping I can help them make it into a book. They often have to throw most of it out because it just doesn‘t fit. Create the structure first. This is something a book coach, developmental editor or book writing class can help you with if it feels overwhelming to you.

5. Get support. It‘s easy to think you can do it alone, but getting support will keep you on track when you falter. You may find a writing buddy who’s also writing a book, a close friend, an editor or coach or a class. The people who tend to succeed also often get expert help to write and complete their books more quickly and to write a better book.

6. Make a plan. Yes, another anathema to us creative types, but it works. Have you ever been to a meeting that had no agenda? Was it mostly a waste of time? When you know where you‘re going it’s much easier to get there.

7. Intention is key. Intend to have fun. Intend for it to be easy. Intend for your book to be magnificent. And enjoy the process.