When I was thinking about writing a book I knew I would need help. When considering a large task such as this, I wondered who could show me how to write a book. Some basic research showed that quite a few guides and templates are available – but they all sounded a bit dry. Either they left me feeling confused or filled me with dread about how daunting this can be. But I’m pretty sure I’ve found who would be the best to help me.
I figured if I could get some help to get me started that would provide some impetus. I also knew I would also need some support to keep going if I was ever going to finish.
It turns out that thinking about writing a book is quite common. There are lots of reasons why you might want to write a book. But most people don’t get there.
Structure is important
The biggest challenge is that it can be overwhelming. Such a big job, it is overwhelming. Even starting is an achievement. I admit to having had a couple of false starts. But then, finishing is even harder than starting, and only a few make it the finish line.
The first thing for me was to find someone who could give me a sense of structure. Having some tips on how to manage my information was a great help to get me started.
I know that I need the motivation to keep going during the slow times (and on those down days with no energy). Having some support along the way is invaluable.
I found that Brian Tracy ticks all these boxes. He has numerous guides and supporting materials, including some FREE stuff. This material helps show how to write a book.
These will help get you started and keep you on track.
- Take the Quiz – Should You Write a Book? (FREE)
- 20 Step Quick Start Guide (FREE)
- Writing Training Webinar (FREE)
- How to Write a Book
- “Writing and Publishing Starter Kit”
Why would you want to write a book?
We all have a story in us – something we want to say. And we know there are people who we want to hear our story. Motivations range from personal to financial, for career or business advancement. Some have a particular message they want to spread or want to provide a guiding path to others.
You might want to become a famous novelist and collect royalty payments a la JK Rowling.
Or you might be an expert in your field and want to share this knowledge with others. There are many e-books self-published for this very purpose. Your motivation might be to position yourself as a person of influence, a leader in your field. In this instance the pay-off comes from better contacts and connections, and an enhanced bargaining position. All of these will enhance your career prospects.
Others write for their friends and family. Many an autobiography is written for children and grandchildren. The intent is to provide a deeper insight into the lives of their mother, father, or grandparent. A lot of personal history is not revealed in family conversations over the years. As an example, when I read my mother’s journal when she and my father emigrated to Australia in the early 1950’s it was illuminating. It showed me a side of her I had never known before.
For some it’s a journey of self-discovery.
Around 8 out of every 10 people in America have considered writing a book at some stage of their lives. You are not alone in this ambition. The reality is that a much smaller number attempt the task, and an even smaller number finish.
To improve your chances of success, it’s important that someone shows you how to write a book.
Of those that do finish – there are now many paths to publication. This will in part be dependant on the book’s purpose. Self-publishing for a small audience may be adequate. Or the production of an e-Book to be distributed digitally for publicity and promotional purposes may meet your needs.
Do you intend the finished product to sell on Amazon Kindle? Or do you aim to join the elite of authors and win an established publisher over?
Why don’t more people write books then?
Well, it’s many might think about it. But it’s a big job. Too big for most, and not a task to tackle lightly. Being intimidated by the complexity scares many people off. This is the main barrier that stops them from even starting.
Many will put down a few ideas. This might even include a snappy title. That in itself is not enough. Without structure and discipline, the job gets away from them. Writing a book is not something that happens on a whim. It takes dedication and perseverance. Your first book may take a year or more to finish. And a project of that length needs a plan.
It might be that the idea for the book isn’t clear enough. You will get lost if you don’t have clarity on your message, on what it is that you want to say. Consequently, when that happens – bang, it’s shutdown time. You will get dispirited and lose motivation if you lose momentum. This can happen if you get lose sight of what it is you are trying to accomplish. When the motivation dries up, so does the work.
So how do I get started?
For someone to show me how to write a book, they’ll have to cover all of that stuff. For a start, it makes sense to take a bit of prep time. Take time to plan it out. Putting together a game plan on how to manage a project like this is important.
The starting point is your “why”. Here are a few questions to help you clarify that.
- What is your key message?
- What is it you want to say?
- Who do you expect to read it?
- And why will they want to read it?
The answers to these questions will help give you clarity on what you are aiming to achieve. These also act as reminders you can come back to during your writing time. They can help keep you on track and motivated.
Once you have your central message, you should then list out the key points. Each of those key points is likely to have 3 to 5 sub-points for clarification. List these as well.
Voila! You now have a book outline. This is your start. Each of the above points becomes a chapter heading.
Think up a couple of sexy-sounding titles. You’ll come back to these several times over, others will come to mind and you’ll re-evaluate them. Your title is a critical part of enticing readers to read.
Moreover, it gives your project substance. It makes the whole thing a bit more real. Something to get your juices flowing. Helps you see the finished product.
Things to do along the way
Next is to get at it. Just write – don’t worry about perfection – get the ideas down
Start writing and then keep writing. If you prefer you can dictate, using the key and sub points you have listed. Whichever suits your style.
Getting the words down is the first part. Tidying them up comes later.
All the while, stay focussed on your goal. Using reinforcements and affirmations is a big help.
The most important thing is to just keep at it.
Doing it solo is tough. But you don’t have to go alone – help is there when you need it. The more encouragement you can get from family and friends the better. Every bit helps. Having a structured approach removes much of the stress.
I have no hesitation in recommending Brian Tracy to provide you with guidance through this project. For those of you who haven’t heard of him, he’s a world leader in the field of motivation and self-development.
He is the top-selling author of over 50 books, translated into dozens of languages. Brian has also written and produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs. These include the worldwide, best-selling Psychology of Achievement. As a keynote speaker and seminar leader, he addresses more than 250,000 people each year.
Brian has produced many guides and supporting materials that will help to get you started and keep you on track. I recommend you start with his FREE “20 Step Quick Start Guide”, and the FREE “Take the Quiz – Should You Write a Book?”
There is also a FREE Training webinar, you can access here.
Look at these materials first. Or you can get his “How to Write a Book” for the cost of a week or so’s coffee.
Once committed, I suggest his larger program – “Writing and Publishing Starter Kit”. This is the ultimate book to show me how to write a book. It’s very comprehensive and will guide you all the way through. In it, you will find everything you need to know to write and publish a book, based on your experience, knowledge, and expertise.