Why book planning doesn’t work for everyone: Guest blog by Sheryl Andrews

Sheryl Andrews - planning a book

When we look at the journey of an author, one of the fundamental steps is book planning:

  • Dreaming
  • Talking
  • Planning
  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Design
  • Publishing
  • Marketing

In this article, I want to address the issue that despite many authors planning to write, writing still doesn’t happen.

They often get as far as creating time in their diary. And the time arrives and nada. Nothing.

Some even plan time to plan and even that doesn’t happen.

Have you ever booked time in your diary for a task or activity and yet time and time again ‘it’ doesn’t happen?

Of course, this doesn’t just relate to book writing, in fact it can relate to anything.

So why is clarity of what you want and when you want it not enough to make it happen?

What is it that is preventing us from turning our dreams into reality?

For many, clarity of what they want and why they want it is enough for action to happen.

But for some, not understanding the process can lead to procrastination, because they lack confidence in how to start or, in some cases, how to finish.

And it can be hard to know ‘how’ you do something if it is your first time. Even if an expert like Karen tells you the ‘easy’ step by step plan, you have to work out ‘how’ you are going to get ‘your book’ out of your head.

Now don’t get me wrong, knowing there is a model that others follow can help you gain some sense of where you are in the process. Knowing others spend time dreaming and talking about their book, before planning and writing, can be reassuring that you are at least on the right track.

But it is not much comfort when you get stuck between talking and actually writing, and no amount of planning makes the book a reality.

You’ve learnt something new before – so how can you apply this model?

Okay so this is the magic trick that can make it so much easier. Whilst you may not have written a book before, you have learned something new. You have also planned to do something and it happened on time just as you planned. So you do have models and processes of your own.

Learning something new often requires change. It requires being outside your comfort zone, and for some it can result in overwhelm as you realise just how much you don’t know.

You have been there before, right?

What happened in between overwhelm and learning?

What was the first thing that happened? Then what happened?

By asking questions like this you can drill down and learn about how you learn something new. That model can help you make sense of what you need and more importantly why you don’t act even when you have blocked time out.

This year on the writing retreat, we were working with a client that was experiencing overwhelm because she just didn’t know where to start. She had a story she was telling herself that she was more of a speaker than a writer.

So, we started by modelling out what was happening. She discovered that when she is in overwhelm she starts by verbalising her frustration – sometimes to herself and sometimes to someone else (luckily she was on the retreat and we were on hand to listen).

She came to realise that this part of the process was important. In fact, it was vital and at home, despite blocking time out, she hadn’t had someone to talk to when at this point in her process.  Once she had verbalised her thinking, she would take time to reflect and assimilate. From this she could create a vision of what she wanted and she could then talk now with the purpose of getting opinions and suggestions to sanity check her thinking. But she could only do that once she had done all the other parts of the process first.

Once she knew this, it instantly made sense of why she had not acted on her plan before. Now she has awareness, she has choice in the future if she finds herself stuck.

Thinking about your own planning now. What works for you?

What is happening to clarity and confidence that you can turn your book writing dream into a reality?

If you have been putting the dream off for too long, and now is the time to create a plan that you believe in, then please do check out the up and coming programme.

Clarity, Confidence and Change

This is a 5 week online group coaching programme where we will be creating a plan for 2019 that you believe in. And of course that can include your book. This short intensive programme where you will explore:

Week 1 – Setting you up for success

Week 2 – Clarity: understand your own model and process for gaining clarity whilst reflecting on 2019, if it were just the way you would like it to be

Week 3 – Confidence: understand your own model and process for gaining confidence whilst considering how you need to be to make your dreams a reality

Week 4 – Change: understand your own model and process for change whilst celebrating the changes you have made

Week 5 – Next steps: planning your next best steps for 90, 60, 30 and 7 days.

This will be a safe to speak space where you can share your fears, concerns and feelings, and even and unravel what is really holding you back. If you’d like to join me, please book here.


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