Writing a book.
What is it about this that some people find easy?
And why do some people find it damn hard?!
It came up on our writing retreat. One of our clients doubted her ability to get words down on paper. She believed she was a speaker. She didn’t believe she could write articulately.
It comes up with clients when they’re trying to find their voice and work out what they have to say. And whether it’s good enough!
So how do you become a great writer?
If you already think you’re a great writer, then that’s brilliant. But many people have their doubts from time to time. Especially if they’re doing something big and scary like writing a book!
There are many areas where people struggle and I’m going to explore some of these areas and what you can do about it.
Get clear on what you’re writing
If you’re thinking about how to write your book, it’s important to know what you’re writing and who it’s for.
What is your topic?
Who are you writing it for?
Picture your client in front of you. What are they struggling with? How are you going to help them? What happens if you don’t do it?
Then it will help you to answer these questions…
Are you writing for a reader who has an intimate knowledge of your subject or are you starting from scratch?
Are you writing a book that’s likely to be an academic tome or an easy to follow how to guide?
This is one of the first things that we do on our Author’s Journey Mastermind, as you’ll struggle to get started if you’re not yet clear on what you’re writing and who it is for and how they want to read it.
Get clear on what you want to say
Getting to grips with what you’re writing about and who it’s for will help you to map out your book. And I always advise clients to have a really strong structure before they write a single word. It also gives you the opportunity to ask people what they want to hear about from you before you start writing.
The clearer you are on the structure of your book, what’s in each chapter, and the pattern of your book, the easier it will be to write it.
You can make the most of the pockets of time available or take yourself away to write and maximise your time in doing so.
You’ll know who to approach if you’d like contributors, stories or any other input from your peers.
Find your writing style
But before you start writing, you probably need to find your style.
If you’re an avid reader already, you’ll know that different authors have different voices.
In my view, it’s not whether you can write that’s an issue but whether you can get your ideas across cohesively. You can get feedback, employ an editor to cut through any waffle and hone your writing later.
I’ve worked with clients who are dyslexic and those who have English as their second language, and as long as they have a structure and a process to follow, it makes it easier to get their ideas down on paper.
Your voice is your voice and it’s unique. If you need help with this, get feedback. Find out what other people think and hone it accordingly. You may find that not everyone likes what you have to say, but for those who need to hear your message, then it’s more likely to resonate with them.
If you’re not sure that you actually have a voice, then it’ll be easy to procrastinate and put off writing your book for another week, month or year.
And don’t worry if you find your voice as you write your book. I had a client a couple of years ago who truly found her voice half-way through writing. And all that happened is that she had to go back to the start of her book and reword it a little.
Believe you can write
Many people don’t write their book because they start to doubt their own abilities. Some haven’t yet worked out what makes their book and their expertise different from other books already out there. And some get in their own way and procrastinate or they become a perfectionist.
This is another thing we cover on The Author’s Journey Mastermind, because you often need that external kick up the proverbial to get going, get feedback and to get focused.
And if you get stuck, our job is to get you unstuck!
Play to your strengths
Personally I love to write, but if you thrust a video camera in my face, then I’d find it harder to be articulate. So my advice is to play to your strengths.
On our recent retreat, one of our clients liked to immerse herself in nature and speak her streams of consciousness into her phone. This enabled her to capture those thoughts in the moment, using an app that turned it into text.
With any writing, it can be developed and honed as you progress and get feedback from those whom you trust.
Bring in cheerleaders on board and join our mastermind group to get peer help and support!
How can you become a better writer?
What needs to happen for you to find your voice and what you want to say?
If you want help getting off the starting blocks with your book and would like advice, support and feedback on what you’re writing, then join us for the next Author’s Journey Mastermind group.
You’ll get support to become a better writer, to write a business building book and get expert tips and advice whilst you write it.