I hadn’t yet made my third right turn, and Kimberly already had my sides hurting.
“Girl, you fid’na drop me off to work.”
There was a hint of Arkansas in her accent.
“Just thinking about it, I already need a drink!” We both busted up with laughter.
It was a typical “Hot-lanta” day in September 2017. I was a few months into working in my business full-time as a ghostwriter. We met as I was Ubering in between projects.
Dressed for comfort, Kimberly hopped into my back seat with a big duffel bag and an even bigger personality that matched my own.
We clicked instantly.
“What do you do for work?” I asked through my chuckling.
“I’m a nanny. I work with kids all day and sometimes I don’t know who’s behavior is worse… the kids, or their parents!” She cracked her own self up.
“Who have you worked for, if you don’t mind me asking?” It was easy keeping the conversation ball bouncing between us.
“Oh, some football players, singers, reality TV stars, some high profile business people. You’d know them if I told you their names,” she casually tossed back.
“I bet you have some stories to tell!” I offered.
“OH MY GOODNESS!” She blurted out suddenly.
“Is this you? Do you really help people with books?”
Kimberly abruptly interrupted our conversation because she had just taken notice of the flyer with my picture I had hanging behind my front row seats.
“Um, yeah.” I fessed up. “I’m a ghostwriter. I help people write their books.”
“OH. MY. GOD! This ride was meant to be! Do you know I’ve been trying to write a book for years now and I was just saying to myself I need somebody to help me? And here you are!”
If the door wasn’t closed, Kimberly might have bounced right on out of my car from excitement.
“What’s your book about?” I perked up with interest. I can’t lie: I was both genuinely interested and secretly wondering if this conversation could potentially end up in a contract.
“Well, I have these things I call “Codes.” It’s so that kids will know how they are supposed to be behaving so that you don’t have to discipline them too much. I’ve got a crazy title for the book! Wanna hear it?”
“You heard me!! I said The Drinking Nanny!” She full-belly laughed. “Your reaction is exactly what I want people to do when they hear it!”
Impressed with her concept, I responded:
“I tell you what… that is an amazing, attention-grabbing title! It’s going to go a long way towards selling your book!”
And guess what?
About 19 months later – after working with her to complete her manuscript and encouraging her to be patient during her publishing company’s thoroguh editing process – Kimberly’s book ranked #1 in its category on Amazon.com.
(I came up with the subtitle, by the way!) 😉
This happy ending had its beginning with a great book idea and a killer title.
Stick with me. Because I’m about to show you how you can take the same first step Kimberly did and create your own happy ending for your book writing journey!
Why Do You Want To Write a Book?
I know you’ve heard that a book can attract more money and opportunities into your business or career.
In fact, you’re probably reading this now because, like Kimberly, you’ve had an idea or two (or seven!) for a client-attracting book in your head for a while.
Problem is, your book has been languishing in the idea phase or has been petrified in the sticky mental amber known as writer’s block.
If you want to get in gear, you need to think about all the reasons why writing a book is important to you, your business, or career.
Maybe you’re looking to attract more pre-qualified leads and close more high-ticket sales with your book.
Perhaps you want to use your book to help launch a new or grow an existing speaking career.
You may be looking for your book to help build your profession brand within your field, or you are hoping to land more consulting and partnership opportunities.
Maybe you’ve secretly always wanted to write books from the beach and live in semi-retirement.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to write your book, keep this in mind: you’ll NEVER get to your goals for your book UNTIL you actually write your book!
Sounds elementary, I know, But it is a hard truth you need to grasp firmly.
You have to get out of your head. And out of your own way.
You must move from “thinking about it” to “doing it.” And the only way is to start taking real steps towards writing your book.
And I’ve got the perfect “baby step” you can start with!
Why You Should Get Started Writing Your Book NOW!
Your daily life is no doubt crowded with work, family, and community obligations.
I totally get it.
But the “perfect time” to write your book will never magically appear on your calender. You must be intentional about making room in your world for giving birth to your book.
Believe me: I know first hand how difficult it can be to dedicate time and energy to those big projects we believe will cause a significant change to our business or personal lives.
And I also know there could be plenty of fears which may be stopping you from moving forward with writing your book.
Regardless of why your book isn’t finished right now, keep in mind that more leads, more closed sales, more speaking, consulting and partnership opportunities are on the other side of your completed manuscript.
Writing a book is no small feat. (I know because I ghostwrite other people’s books and blogs for a living!)
But in the end, the rewards are priceless!
As the saying goes, “a journey of 1,000 miles starts with one step.”
So if you’re open to taking a baby step on your book writing journey, I’d like to invite you to join the #WriteYourBookTipsChallenge during May 2019.
How the #WriteYourBookTipsChallenge Will Help You Jumpstart Your Book!
Sometimes, a good “kick in the pants” is what we need to get the ball rolling on our most important goals.
Consider the May 2019 #WriteYourBookTipsChallenge your book project’s kick! This challenge is your personal jumpstart to writing (or completing) your book.
I don’t know about you, but something turns on in me when I’ve been challenged.
I just want to do everything it takes to achieve the goal, win the prize, or prove someone’s opinion about me to be wrong.
#3 – You’ll feel like a winner because you’ll have a fantastic title in hand, plus the motivation and momentum to keep writing until you’re finished. BUT… one lucky person who comes up with the best title (think you can top “The Drinking Nanny” for grabbing attention and piquing interest?) will win an actual, pretty awesome prize.
I’ve networked and spoken with many professionals, executives, and entrepreneurs who have shared with me a desire to write a book.
Are you one?
Do you have an excellent idea for a book? Do you have a methodology or system to share that is poised to help a lot of people or turn your industry on its head?
Are so many ideas and thoughts swirling around in your head that you don’t know where to start? Have you started but gotten stuck?
I’ve heard all the above and more so many times that I started to see a pattern. Ultimately, I realize that fear is usually the emotion that is hindering you from completing your manuscript.
But fear not! This article explores the three most common fears I hear a lot and will provide you with some mindset hacks you can use to overcome them and finally write your book!
(A note about this video: On January 1, 2019, I participated in the WeRock 24hrs Empowerment Marathon. It was an audio conference, but I recorded my participation as a Facebook Live. I’ve edited it down to the essential stuff. Enjoy!)
Fear #1 – I’m Not A “Real Writer”
Our society tends to put professional writers and published authors up on an academic and social pedestal. Traditional publishers are picky so being offered a publishing contract is nothing to sneeze at. Also, a lot of people think the only ones who can call themselves a writer should have been validated by having a Bachelors or Masters of Fine Arts in Writing, a journalism or (at the very least) a communications degree.
Consider This – You Only Need To Write To Be Considered A Writer
Attention all you validation seekers: if you can open up a Word document and put some words on the page then I dub thee a writer! Now go forth and write!
You just need to crack open your computer or journal and get your ideas down in written format consistently. That is the only thing that makes you a writer. You don’t need to be a grammar gangster or the punctuation police.
You have a unique story and perspective to share, so get busy sharing it. And don’t worry about your first attempts not sounding great. Just remember: every New York Times Best Selling Author has an editor and you can hire your own help too.
Fear #2 – I’m Not An Expert
It’s natural to look at those experts who are at “the top” of your industry because they are the most visible. But don’t get lost in comparing yourself or your book to others. Also, don’t feel intimidated by people who have been in your field longer than you. Because can I let you in on a big secret? You can position yourself in such a way that years of experience doesn’t have to matter when it comes to being considered an expert.
Consider This – You Don’t Need To Feel Like An Expert To Write Your Book.
Martin Luther King Jr. had a line in his famous “I Have A Dream” speech which imagined his children judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. That idea can apply to your sense of expertise.
Do you know your content or subject matter? Do you know it better than the clients or people you serve? If so, guess what? That makes you an expert in their eyes.
Expertise is relative. Someone will always know more than you on a particular subject matter. And you will always know more than someone else. As long as you have information that can help someone else who doesn’t know what you know, that is all the permission you need to write your book. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve had that knowledge or even how you acquired it. You will always be an expert to any beginners in your field and to most of your customers.
Fear #3 – I Don’t Have Time To Write A Book
This particular fear is one I can relate to because I’ve used this excuse myself. I’m busy writing other people’s books, blogs, website copy and resumes for a living, so when do I have time to write my own books or blogs, right?
If you are experiencing any level of success right now in your career or business, then I know you are busy. You work all day and go home to deal with a spouse or partner, kids, their drama and activities. You might volunteer in your church or community. You might even be squeezing in some online courses.
With all that going on, you are probably afraid that you’ll start working on your book, but all your other priorities will crowd out your time. You’re scared you’ll never finish your manuscript.
Consider This – Be Intentional About Your Time
Here’s the reality: without a finished manuscript, you won’t have a published book. Without a published book, you won’t be able to reap all the incredible benefits (like new leads, sales, speaking gigs, and partnership opportunities) that a book can bring you.
So I am going to tell you what I said to myself which finally ignited my momentum and resulted in me getting ready to finish my manuscript and publish my book in 2019:
“A better business is waiting for me on the other side of me publishing my book.”
Your book won’t write itself. If you are serious about being a published author, you must dedicate time to getting it done. You have to be intentional about making it happen. Even if you hire a ghostwriter, you still must commit some of your time to the process. You must get radical. Rearrange your schedule. Eliminate time wasters and use that time for writing. If you can focus for just a few weeks, you can complete a solid first draft.
Did you see yourself in any one of those three fears? Did you find what I shared helpful? If so (or not) leave me a comment below; I’ll respond.
Don’t feel bad if I didn’t call your name above; I actually have 7 other common fears that people express to me which are holding them back from writing their book.
I am publishing a book in a few months that will explore all 10 fears in more depth and provide mindset hacks and practical steps for overcoming them so you can finally write your book. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, why not take a small but crucial first step in the writing of your book: solidify your idea by writing a title for your book. Having a strong title ready before you start writing will help keep your content on track.
I’ve created a resource designed to help you plug-and-play your way to writing a book title that sells. It’s called 20 Killer Book Title Templates. Download it today for free and jumpstart your book! http://writeyourbook.tips/titles
Many executives and entrepreneurs have wonderful ideas for a book which they intend to use to advance their business or career. But during the process of writing, they occasionally hit the brick wall known as writer’s block.
Those who haven’t studied any type of fine or creative arts erroneously think that freedom is the facilitator of the flow of ideas. In reality, the opposite is true; limitations have a fantastic way of sparking creativity.
People call any slowdowns or hinderances to the writing process “writer’s block.” There are a ba-jillion factors which can halt a writer in mid-type, from personal to professional and from internal to external forces.
Regardless of what caused you to stop writing, here are three limitations you can try out so that you can get your words flowing again.
Writing Limitation #1 – Writing Prompts
Writing prompts are a simple sentence that either asks you a question or presents a scenario for you to imagine. You simply write in response to answer the question or describe the scene.
What’s great about writing prompts is that it eliminates the need for asking “what should I write about next.” They are a great way to either “warm up” before you start working on the blog or book content you’ve planned to write that day. Alternatively, you can use writing prompts to help coax your content out of you.
Here are some business-related writing prompts you can try out. Pick one and spend about five minutes writing your response.
What event(s) inspired you to launch your business or get started in your current career?
Which client success story is the most significant to you and why?
What is the last business book that you read? What was your biggest takeaway?
What question do prospects and clients ask you the most? What’s your answer?
What is the most important business lesson you’ve ever learned?
Writing Limitation #2 – Free Writing
The name of this technique is a little deceptive. When you free write, you are welcomed to write about anything you’d like, however, you are limited by time. When freewriting, you can only write for the specified time, then stop.
The key to free writing is not to stop. You are not allowed to break and correct yourself. When freewriting, spelling doesn’t matter. Grammar doesn’t matter. Even staying on the topic doesn’t matter. The most important thing is that you maintain an unbroken flow of words within the time designated. To make your session even more meaningful, pair this technique with a writing prompt as a starting point.
The benefit of free writing is that it helps you quickly conquer the dreaded blank screen. Within five to 20 minutes (the maximum suggested time for doing a productive free writing session), you will have plenty of words to work with. Like a sculptor working with clay, you will go back and clear away (aka “edit”) the un-useful parts and polish up your prose for public consumption.
You don’t want to have too long of a freewriting session because it will become too easy to lose focus and miss the intention. 10 or 15-minutes is ideal. When you have finished your time, you should physically get up from your space and take a break. If you are in the process of writing your book, use several small freewriting segments throughout your day to help you make progress.
Writing Limitation #3 – Outlining
Many people assume that because writing is a creative art, that the process should be 100% free-flowing. But although the idea may have originated in a spark of imagination, all 50,000 or so words of your book are unlikely to appear in your document that way.
Fiction and non-fiction writers make use of an outline. If you are writing a book that is designed to help people in a specific area, you will want to plan out the content of your book from the outset to ensure your ideas flow and are presented in a way that will make it easy for your reader to follow.
The more detailed you can make your outline, the better. Go beyond just the titles of your chapters; drill down and create a roadmap for each sub-topic within each. Ultimately, your outline will serve as writing prompts every time you sit down for 5 or more minutes to write.
Have you tried any of these writing techniques before or are you just now being introduced to them? I’d love to know if and how it helped your process. Feel free to leave me a comment below.
The most important words you’ll write in your book will be your title. I’ve created the ultimate “limitation tool” to help you create a title that is proven to sell your book. It’s called 20 Killer Book TitleTemplates.” Download it for free at http://writeyourbook.tips/titles.