I don't plan on writing a book. And I haven't ever written a book. If you add up my 5 years of blogging, it would be as thick as a book. But, I have trouble focussing from blog post to blog post on just one topic. I don't think I'll be writing one anytime soon. I do plan on writing a "How To Generate Leads" eBook. But, for different reasons: I plan to offer it as a free download as a way to generate leads for myself.
However, when Ken Lizotte suggested that his Deputy Imaginative Officer (DIO), Mike Brown at emerson consulting group inc write a guest blog post about how to start writing a book by welll... starting to just write, I saw a lot of parallels between the 'how to start a blog' advice I give to would-be business bloggers.
You know why you want to write a book-the credibility, the accomplishment, the embodiment of true "thoughtleading" in your field. You're just unsure how the heck you'll actually write it. OK, you're very unsure.
• What will I write about?
• Where will I write?
• Will I have enough time?
• The longest thing I've ever written in recent times, beside business memos or emails, was a birthday card
• Am I really up for this?
Overcoming writer anxiety is the first step and most important step when making the decision to write a book. Envisioning yourself hammering out page after page of copy can be an extreme source of apprehension and self-doubt, especially for people who don't consider themselves writers. Maybe you're picturing yourself with a nasty case of writer's block, like Jack Nicholson in the movie The Shining, isolated from the outside world, crumbling up page after page, paralyzed for ideas, copying "all work and no play" etc. all day long, and so you figure that writing a book "maybe isn't for me."
Maybe not. Writing a book is definitely not for everyone. Those who seek to become thoughtleaders, however, are in fact quite capable of such feats, as they have already made the most important commitment: they want to publish their ideas. Without this objective in mind, the agonizing process would make Jack's Shining antics seem like that of a preschool teacher.
Which is not to suggest that simply wanting to publish your ideas will make writing them an effortless task, far from it. In Ken Lizotte's latest book, The Expert's Edge: Become the Go-To Authority People Turn to Every Time, just out from McGraw Hill, he discusses the value of publishing a book as a method of positioning yourself as a thoughtleader and offers this relevant insight:
"Writing and publishing a book is not a commitment that everyone is ready to make. It's akin to every other major life commitment: getting married, having a baby, raising a family, buying a house, studying for a Ph.D., or starting a business. It will take a lot of your time, persistence, reflection, research, organization, and writing. Yes, and writing: writing, writing, writing-and rewriting!"
ow you might be saying, "The only thing worse than writing is rewriting."
Well, stick with it. Getting started is the hardest part, and the more you pour your ideas out onto the page, the easier they will flow. You'll develop a strong sense of ownership with your drafts, and like your house or your business, you'll have a vested interest in keeping it healthy and vibrant.
So don't let your dream of writing a book turn into a Stephen King nightmare. Stay confident, take a deep breathe, clear your schedule, stow yourself away at your local library... and start writing!
If you want more book writing advice, you can email Mike mike at thoughtleading.comat or visit www.thoughtleading.com for more info.