So You Want to Write a Book?

Don't let overwhelm get the best of you

You might think deciding to write a book is the hard part. If only! Writing and publishing a book is quite an undertaking, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed — unless you have a plan. It is best to work on the front end — before you even write your first word — to prevent overwhelm and keep you moving forward. What does that look like? Here are some tips.

Get organized.

Whether you’re an outliner or a brain dumper, get your thoughts organized and on paper/screen. You can always go back and edit your notes, but just get it all out there to start. Once you see where all your thoughts and notes are focused, you can begin to see the direction your book is taking. This will help you create a rough structure for your book, which will be critical during those moments when writer’s block hit or when you don’t feel like writing. (Yes, they WILL happen, I’m sorry to say.) When those moments hit, pick a section and add more notes to that one section, reworking as needed.

Create a writing routine.

Are you someone who lives by routine or time-blocks your day? Even if that answer is no, it is important to create a routine to keep you moving forward with your book. This might be X words per day, or it might be X hours per week. Everyone’s routine looks different, depending on you and your other commitments (work, family, personal obligations, etc.). Look at your current responsibilities and daily tasks to see where your free time occurs (or where you can free some time) and decide what amount of time you can devote to your writing.

Practice writing.

Write every day, even if it’s for 10 minutes. You may not always be writing for your book, but writing is like a muscle that gets stronger with use, and that muscle needs to grow!

Set a publishing plan.

It’s never too soon to think about whether you want to self-publish or publish traditionally, via a publishing house. There are pros and cons for each. Many business owners choose self-publishing, and you can see my post on self-publishing here. When do you want to release your book? How much time do you need to get published? Start with your end date and work backward. This will also play a factor in creating your writing routine.

Think about marketing.

You certainly don’t need a full-fledged marketing plan at this point, but it’s also never too soon to think about marketing. A marketing plan could range from creating your email list or giving your current list “sneak previews” of what is to come (book cover, quotes, etc) to planning a book launch party to having book ambassadors who help promote your book.

Are you ready to start the journey to writing your own book? I promise it is not as scary as it may seem. I am getting ready to launch a course called “Book Prep Bootcamp” all about that front end work, and I’d love for you to join me. At the end of the course, you’ll be armed and ready to write, with a book map, a writing routine, and a research plan. Registration will open on May 12th. Before we start Book Prep Bootcamp, join me on May 12th for a webinar called “I’m Going to Write a Book! Now What?” - you can register for that here.