How to Start Writing a Book
“Writing should be a reflective process, but creating the pathway isn’t as important as getting your ideas out.” —Azul Terronez
Writing a book is not easy. There are many challenges to face and sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. People often get stuck in their heads before they even begin to write. So if you’ve wanting to write a book but you just don’t know how to start, this episode is for you.
On this week’s episode of “Authors Who Lead,” I talk about the biggest challenges to writing a nonfiction book and share five tips to help you get started today.
Tip #1: Choosing a Topic
Choosing a topic is sometimes harder than you’d expect. Maybe you have so many ideas in your head that it’s too difficult to narrow them down. Or maybe you wonder whether your topic will even interest other people. To overcome this initial obstacle, I recommend looking at your book in two ways: (1) as a marketable product and (2) as something you care deeply about. You can write the book to transform you as a person, as well as to create a product that will help people see you as a leader, as an author, or as an expert in your field.
Tip #2: Book Research
I tell my authors that research is not writing. So if you need to do research for your book, do it sparingly. During your first draft, it is more important to get all your ideas down. Then, you can go back and research areas that may need clarification.
Tip #3: How to Organize Your Ideas
I encourage the authors in our programs to do visual maps instead of starting with an outline. Sometimes a system can actually hinder the creative process because you’re focused too much on the structure, not on the creation. Be flexible, be open, and keep your editor brain away during this first draft journey.
Tip #4: How to Write an Engaging Book
In order to write an engaging book, you need to know who your readers are. They want to feel engaged and part of the whole experience when they read your book, so you need the right readers for your content. They also want to hear your stories and your real-life experiences. They want a guide, not a guru.
Tip #5: How do I Market My Book?
The biggest mistake I see authors make is not sharing their books before they’re done. Promoting your book isn’t about just sending it out there and asking people to buy it. They don’t want to be sold to—they want to know that your book will serve a need or want, and they want to know that you’re the right person to help them. To find your ideal reader and share about your book and as much about you as you feel comfortable. Keep your readers engaged.
In this podcast, I also share:
- How to choose a book topic outside of your comfort zone
- Why I recommend a visual map rather than an outline in the beginning
- How being part of a writing community can help you write your book
- That you may want to choose a topic that is adjacent to your business or area of expertise
- Our new 12-month Mentored Author Program can take you from book idea to publishing and marketing beyond the book
I’m so grateful that you listened to this podcast. I appreciate anybody who leaves a review, it really helps inspire us to keep contributing and giving content here.
What was your biggest takeaway from this episode? What is your biggest obstacle to starting to write your book? In the comments, share your biggest obstacles.
That’s all for this week. If you have a message inside you that needs to be written, know that you can write and publish the book that’s been on your heart. Don’t delay—get out of your head, put words on the page today, and make a movement with your message!