I recently read an article on identifying the five key hurdles that people face when trying to write a book. I wish I had read this article before I wrote How to Run Your Company… Into the Ground, as I might have done it sooner. Any one of these obstacles can stop someone from writing a book, so it can be difficult to overcome all five of them. If you manage to overcome these hurdles, you will be well on your way to getting your thoughts on a page and writing the best book possible.
So, what are the five hurdles that you must jump over to write your first book?
I don’t have the ability to write (“I’m not good enough” myth)
Everyone can write to some degree; we write almost every day. It’s like any skill – practice makes you better. Spend time to improve your writing skills, and work on improving those skills regularly. Work with an editor to make your writing the best it can be.
I don’t know how to write a book (“I need to know more” myth)
People get intimidated by the length of a book. Think of it as a long writing assignment, or a series of essays. Start with a step (a sentence), then write a paragraph, and keep going. Use your writing to share what you know, and you will get there. Again, you can work with an editor or a ghost writer to help you get the words on the page.
Everything is in my head already (“The wisdom will pour out” myth)
Good writing is well constructed – you can’t just spit out what you know onto a page and expect it to become a book. Start with planning and create an outline – bullet points / headings are a great way to start the plan for your book. Don’t try to do it all alone – get a writing partner / join a writing group / work with a coach or mentor to develop the plan.
I am too busy to write a book (“Wait for the perfect moment” myth)
If you wait for the right time to do something, you will alway be waiting. Make a strategic plan to fit writing into your day. There is always time to write – look at what you can cut out of your day (like TV) or write during your free time. Break your writing into small, manageable chunks, like 500 words a day or 20 minutes at a time. Set a timer and do a content dump, and then look at it later.
I am afraid of being criticized or ignored (“You have nothing valuable to say” myth)
Someone will find value in what you write in your book. You have unique skills, experiences and perspectives. There is an audience that can benefit from that knowledge. You must risk exposure to share your experience. Remember – you will never please everyone. Write to a specific audience. Write for yourself.
Overcoming these hurdles will get you on the way to writing your book. You can overcome these hurdles, because you put them there – remove your hurdles. You have a book in you. Leap your hurdles, and you are well on your way to sharing that book with the world.
Do you need help with writing a book, or editing a book that’s almost ready to go? Let me know – firstname.lastname@example.org.