As a book-writing coach who has helped over 600 people to write their first book, I’ve seen many new and aspiring authors hit a brick wall during the writing process. There can be lots of reasons for this; it shouldn’t be something you beat yourself up about. Writing a book isn’t an easy task and there are many pitfalls along the way.
I’ve got 10 strategies listed below that can be used ‘in case of a writing emergency’. I’m certain that whatever the cause for your stalling may be, there will be at least one strategy below that will help to get you back on track:
- Make sure you are crystal clear on your BIG why for writing your book. And you have to believe it. If you don’t believe that your book will do amazing things for you and your business, it won’t, because you will never write it.
- Be 100% clear about who you are writing your book for. Have a picture of someone who you know to be your ideal reader on your desktop. Write your book to them like you are sitting and having a chat over a cup of coffee. This is a simple way to find your author voice and to write a very engaging book.
- Allocate your best quality time to writing, not left-over time at the end of a long working day. Remember, it’s a few weeks of pain for a lifetime of gain. My world changed completely 20 years ago because I stayed up and wrote from midnight till 4 am, day after day, over a month-long period.
- Solve the problems your readers have. If you write a book that solves the problems your ideal reader has, I’m pretty certain it will be successful. So many people over-complicate their book idea – look at the greatest books, the most successful books and they are generally about a simple concept that solves a problem. Way too many people take simple ideas and make them complicated. Please don’t do that.
- Enlist the aid of everyone around you to help you finish your manuscript. Tell them you need their help to mind the children, the dog, the goldfish, your clients and so on. They will reap the rewards with you.
- Every single author thinks that what they are writing is terrible. It’s normal. It’s imposter syndrome. It’s the little voices in our head. The only people who don’t think their first draft is terrible tend to be the people whose first draft is actually terrible.
- Yes, you will repeat yourself, but you put a disclaimer at the front, in the HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THIS BOOK section, saying to the reader, ‘You will notice that a number of key themes are repeated throughout this book; that’s because they are hugely important and need to be repeated’. It’s your get-out-of-jail-free card.
- When you start each writing session, go back and read the last few paragraphs of what you wrote the last time you were working on your manuscript. This will keep your author voice sounding similar and put your brain straight back into the space where it was last time.
- Tell stories and anecdotes. Then tell more anecdotes and stories. Then tell more.
- Many people talk about writing a book; few do. Be one of the ones who does. Writing a book is hard. It’s also one of the best personal development programs you will ever do. Step up, back yourself and don’t overthink it. The first draft is the beginning, not the end.