Having a book idea in your head is one thing. Actually putting it into words, is quite a different story – no pun intended. Structuring your book (and your time) right can be two major factors in whether you fall victim to writer’s block.
Some people just sit down and start writing, and some successful, best-selling authors agree that that is the best way to go about it. Those best-selling authors also have the budgets to pay acclaimed editors to structure, re-write and compose new content that fits into just the right places. If you have the time and the budget to do that – go for it!
But if you’re burning the midnight oil to write a book and your financial future is on the line, it is important to just do it right from the start.
How is that? I’ll show you.
Step 1: Ask Yourself “I have book topic ideas, but can I write a book?”
There’s a difference between an idea and a bestseller and it is all about perspective. Any idea can be turned into a good book if you approach it from the right perspective. Here are some examples:
- Your life story, or a tale of rags to riches.
- A love story, or an action-filled drama filled with passion and betrayal.
- A book about basic knitting steps, or a guide to bringing knitting back to our screen obsessed society.
If you’re writing a book for the first time, you may want to do a bit of research on book topic ideas, to ensure your inspiration really is unique, and whether you have value to add for readers of that genre. There may be many similar books, but the extent of your experience and your perspective may just be what makes your book stand out. Add to that a great title, and you’re off to a great start.
Step 2: Commit
One of the biggest excuses people face in the process of writing a book is lack of motivation, which they blame on “no time” and “writer’s block”. At the end of the day, we are driven by pain and pleasure. That means that either you derive pain from making the time to write; or perhaps you associate pain to getting the thoughts out of your mind onto paper – that’s quite common for authors writing about painful personal experiences. Alternatively, you may derive more pleasure from things other than writing – which is great, but not if you really want to get that book written. So how do you get through this? Take some time to sit quietly to ponder the questions below and complete the worksheet on the next page.
3. Prevent Writer’s Block
If you are unsure about your reasons for writing a book and the steps to writing a book, you’ll be predisposed to developing writer’s block. Use the Writer’s Block Exercise below to prepare yourself for the process and to be a mean writing machine.
Writer’s Block Exercise
Answer the following questions:
- Why do I want to write this book? List personal, spiritual, emotional, economical and any other reasons.
- What’s holding me back from writing my book? Again, list personal, spiritual, emotional, economic and any other reasons.
- Now, considering your reasons above, answer the following questions. Use a timer and set it to 120 seconds per question. During that time, just write, write, write – write down everything that comes into your mind.
- How will writing my book change my life for the better in the next year?
- How will NOT writing this book change affect my life negatively in the next year?
- How will writing my book change my life for the better in the next 5 years?
- How will NOT writing this book change affect my life negatively in the next 5 years?
“The secret to success is learning how to use pain and pleasure, instead of having pain and pleasure use you.” – Anthony Robbins
The answers to the above questions (along with some quality soul-searching) will hopefully motivate you to take decisive action. Now I want you to consider finding 3 things you can do RIGHT NOW to get moving on your book. Some examples of instant actions you can take, include;
- Opening a document to start brainstorming.
- Blocking out 30 minutes per day in your diary for the next 21 days as writing time.
- Phoning a friend to tell them that you’re writing a book.
- Taggging me in a post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram, letting me (and your followers!) know that you’re writing a book.
These are just examples of immediate action steps you can take to let yourself know you’re now an author. Sometimes, the inability to take ourselves seriously is the main reason why we develop writer’s block and don’t achieve our goals.