So You Want To Write A Book...

Jim Woods

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

You’ve got the idea in your head. You know what you want to write about, but finishing your book seems far off in the distance.

I totally get it. I’ve been there and it sucks. You KNOW you’re a writer, but you’re a bit stuck. There are a lot of steps in the book writing process!

What if it doesn’t have to be this way?

  1. Writing a book has never been easier. I keep falling in love more and more with Scrivener because it allows me to constantly rearrange and sort tons of information. There are so many resources available online too. No longer is finding information the problem.

2. At the same time, writing a book has never been harder. You’ve probably heard the quote that says being a writer is 90% ignoring what’s going on the internet and 10% doing the writing. There is a ton of truth to this. I quit blogging on this site for a couple months to focus on my course and book. I also gave up my smartphone too.

3. No writer is an island.You need a great team around you to be successful. You need friends for support. You need a coach and/or mentor (even if you don’t call them that). I could not have written this last book without the awesome support of my wife and the support of a great group of friends. Steven Pressfield and Jon Acuffhave been my mentors — whether they know it or not.

4. Writers need to become a great marketers.Good writing is NOT enough. This is why I focus so much on SHARING in the course. It’s not about selling something to people; the focus lies on sharing stories and spreading messages. There is better way to communicate than to tell a story. You’ll also be drawn to your own personality type more than any other. Why fight that? Focus on what YOU like and you can figure out how to share messages with your audience as well

5. You will hate your book at times.This is normal and always a part of the process. If you don’t hate your book at some point, it may be worth asking if you are really putting in your best effort

6. Solve a problem. Not only do you have to solve a problem, it has to be very clear what the problem is you are solving. For fiction, in many cases, the problem you are solving is boredom or loneliness. You form a relationship with your reader and they go on an adventure with you. This requires a lot of trust. Be careful with that trust and respect the reader.

7. Perfectionism kills dreams. It really does. Learn to trust your gut. Make a decision and stick with it. Perfectionism is really fear wrapped up in what you think others MAY think. It’s like a defense mechanism against possible attack. You are GOING to be attacked at some point if you stand for ANYTHING. Get over it. Wanting everyone to like you is a great way to become mediocre. You will never stand out or make a difference when you are concerned about what everyone thinks.

8. Without an ideal reader, books don’t sell.You may sell a couple copies to your family or maybe a friend or two, but I gotta say… why waste your time? That’s a lot of work with very, very little reward. Having an ideal reader is absolutely essential to have success. Many times blogs have the same problem too. I’ve fallen into this at times and it leads to spinning your wheels and burnout is inevitable. Know who it is you are talking to and be cool with that.

9. Seriously, get support. I know I mentioned this earlier but it is worth saying twice. Doing a book launch on your own is about as much fun as a do-it-yourself dental kit. It’s very painful and not very smart. Writing a book on your own often leads to a computer filled with half-finished manuscripts. Accountability — not the fuzzy deadlines you set yourself and then move around on a whim — makes all the difference. If you’re bad at planning — I must confess this is one of my greatest weaknesses — get some help with that and move forward so you can finish your work.

10. Have fun with the process. You’re writing a book, not cleaning toilets or digging ditches. The creative process is fun and you can do it however you’d like. You have a large piece of paper in front of you and all of the paint, crayons and markers you want. Have fun with it and do whatever you’d like. Turn off the inner critic as much as possible and act like a kid whenever you can.

I hope this post encourages you. There has never been a better time in human history to write a book. Get started today. Don't hesitate. You can do it! Have you ever thought about writing a book? What would it be about?

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Stories are powerful. That's why I write.

Akron, OH

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