When I mentioned to people that I was writing a new book about internal coaching, I was surprised at how many questions they had. It seems many of them had a burning desire to write a book of their own, and they wondered how to get started.
Here are a few thoughts I was happy to share:
- What are you already writing? A newsletter, a blog, course content, or presentation slideshows? What about the ideas you share in emails to clients? Sometimes the best books come out of material that’s already well-traveled amongst your readers, students, or clients. You can also get immediate feedback about how much your audience cares about the topic and how your ideas are landing with them.
- Always be on the lookout for themes and ideas. Notice the questions people are asking you. Read as much as you can on a wide number of topics. You never know what will inspire you.
- Instead of sitting down and trying to write the whole book, start writing down pieces. When you get bursts of inspiration, you can write more.
- Get help! I have found it helpful to partner with someone who is really knowledgeable about writing and the writing process. On my own, I always seem to get stuck, yet all she has to do is ask me a question and out flow my ideas. Even if you can’t hire a professional at this point, buddy up with someone – you could even do this for each other.
- Use structures. Set up writing times and treat them as important appointments in your calendar. Try writing prompts to get your thoughts flowing. Draft a chapter outline – AND be willing for it to evolve and change as you go.
- Find your confidence. I had a belief I couldn’t write, and I had to overcome that as I wrote each of my books. Get hold of what’s keeping you from writing. If this is something you really want to do, what’s really going on?
- Slow down. Some people jump right to the question of where to get a publisher. You’ll need a lot of clarity about your book before approaching a publisher, so keep working on that. As well, we live at a time when it’s quite easy to self-publish, so that is something to consider.
- Be prepared for comments and criticism. This may come from experts as part of the publishing process, or just from you putting your work out there. Try to balance everything you hear – don’t just zero in on the negatives.
Are you burning to write a book of your own? Will this be the year for you?