Okay. Get writing.
Sure, networking and marketing and, of course, building a platform to find, expand and communicate with your audience are all good for your book. But first: You’ve got to put words down on paper (or digitally).
My colleague Michael Drew has a book-outlining process that lets the hesitant self-doubting future author actually put together a plan of action for a book. Mike’s process is one that forces someone to move beyond hesitation and get something on paper.
But after you’ve got the outline, thenâ€¦ you know what to do. It’s not to stare at the outline and wonder how to begin. It’s to begin. And it’s to continue.
It’s to write.
We sometimes forget that amid the anguish of whether you’re going to get published (or whether you’re going to self-publish), and whether your message will find an audience (you’ll know that when you build a platform), and all of the other creeping, debilitating thoughts that freeze the mind of many would-be authors that the main thing is to write.
The second thing is to keep at it. You won’t get far if you go over the same paragraph day after day and don’t write the next one. I know someone who’s been working on a simple project for the last few years, and he says “I’m almost done” every time the subject comes up. You know what? He’ll never be done. He’s living in the closed loop of process, rather than using a process to finish something.
Don’t be like that. Be yourself, be transparent (express yourself clearly and without subterfuge), be connected to your audience. But be productive.
Easier said than done, no? Not really: it takes commitment. After all, writing is commitment. And if you’re committed to your message, if you’re committed to building and audience, you’ll want to continue to reach that audience byâ€¦you’ve got it: writing.
Give yourself a deadline. Even an artificial one, one that only you know (but not a ridiculous one: don’t say you’ll write that 500-page book in two weeks). And give yourself a daily deadline of a few hundred words. Stick to it. Stick to the writing. Stick to the schedule. And your work will be done. Soon it won’t even be work. Well, it might not be a walk in the park, but it won’t seem so difficult, because you’ll have accustomed yourself to being productive.
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