Message to share? Book idea? Why you should devote deep thought to getting them right
I’ve written before that many people say they want to write a book, but almost as many don’t ever do it.
Lots of things stop them. Fear. Doubt. Life. That voice in the head.
I know. All those things stopped me too. Especially the voice.
When I decided I wanted to help people write books and tell their stories, there wasn’t just little voice inside me talking me down. There was a thundering war cry. Here’s what it said:
There are already so many people doing this.
You’re not really going to make a difference.
Seriously, who will be interested anyway?
And it’s true. There are already a lot of people who teach how to write a book. It’s also possible my work will not make one bit of difference. And there was the potential that nobody would be interested.
So why bother?
If you’re someone who’s had an idea for a book since forever, but haven’t quite marshalled yourself to get it done, perhaps the issue is you’re not clear enough about your book’s most meaningful messages. This was certainly an issue for me.
Once you have laser vision into what these messages are, the reasons for not writing the book tend to lose a little of their power.
My most meaningful messages for 7 Day Book Blueprint? Well, they didn’t miraculously pop into my mind one day.
No, instead, it took time for them to emerge. No, I had to dig a little deeper and then bit by bit, I found myself talking myself around.
Uncovering your book’s most meaningful messages
My experience of working in the corporate sector showed me that a lot of business communication lacks substance and heart. In many ways, I felt like it wasn’t conscious at all.
I started to think that even with all the teachers and courses about how to write a book, I still had something useful to offer. What if I could show people a way to integrate an emotional quotient to the way they connected in business? Who knows?Maybe it could make a difference, especially in business communication, an area in great need of thoughtful change.
Then there was the whole thing of wanting to make a difference. Sounds trite doesn’t it? But having an impact through my work is important to me. Would writing my book help? In the absence of certainty, I had to trust it would. After all, I wanted to share a message about conscious communication and content creation. Press on regardless, I thought.
Would anyone be interested? I knew my close circle of supporters would be (Thank you!). Other than that, I wasn’t sure. It became clear that despite the potential lack of difference and interest, and the excess of those doing a similar thing, I needed to write the book anyway.
In the process of becoming clear about my message, I eventually reconciled myself to an important truth. Even if nobody cared for my book, I knew it was necessary for me to write it.
Yes, developing your book is a writing exercise, but it’s an emotional process too.
A wise friend said to me, You need to write your book to stay well, feel fulfilled, and to grow. It dawned on me that I just wouldn’t feel good if I didn’t write the book.
We humans are a slow learners. We’d rather avoid pain than move towards pleasure. This explains why my worry over how I’d feel if I didn’t write my book. Answering that question was easy. I would feel frustrated, disappointed and annoyed with myself. I just wasn’t prepared to go there. I had to do this, regardless of how many people were already.
Even if nobody read the book.
Even if I didn’t achieve what I wanted with the book.
Belief in my book’s message strengthened my resolve
Now having said all that, I felt I offered a different message to those people with a purpose and a business who want to write a book.
While my focus was on people facing everyday challenges writing their book (it’s one of the things I struggled with), I wanted to teach people a process for planning and organising a book.
Having worked with people to write their books, I found one of the biggest things people have trouble with is organising their thoughts into a written format. They just don’t know where to start. Invariably there are lots of ideas, but no system for bringing it all together. With so much going on, it’s difficult to know how to bring it all in for a landing.
The other thing is it can be especially challenging to work a side project like writing a book when everything else is going on in life.
Life is just so busy, right?
A common question is: How do I get it all done?
If you want to write a book with purpose, you’ve probably thought this at least a couple of times.
It’s one thing to be an expert in coaching or treating patients or taking photographs, but writing a book while balancing life – and everything else – can mean your book never finds its way out of the too hard basket and on top of your ‘to do’ list.
The basket of ‘it’s all too hard’ sits there in the corner of your mind, leaving your book idea and the most meaningful message you have to share with the world, languishing in a cesspool of overwhelm, disappointment, and an unhealthy dose of shame and guilt for good measure.
So not only did I want to write a book about how to write a book, I wanted include valuable information about how to manage the emotional part of writing a book.
One awareness led to another and the messages eventually became clear. For the record, here they are:
Everybody has a story to share, so why not write yours and use it to impact other constructively?
If you do share your story, why not communicate it consciously, that is, go beyond the superficial to dig deep and extract the gold ?
Writing your book is as much about advancing and evolving yourself as it is about writing.
Follow a process that works and your book will be written.
Are any of these truly original ideas? If only!
The thing is, I’ve integrated my own experience into each of them.
I was relieved to discover through the advice of a coach that there are no truly original ideas. What makes our individual books different is the unique spin that we put on them. In the words of Kirby Ferguson of TEDTalk fame, we ’embrace the remix’.
Taking the time to think through your most meaningful messages is one of the important foundations on which your book is built. It’s an exercise that’s worth every moment you dedicate to it. As you’re writing, you’ll return to those messages over and over until they become important threads of wisdom that bind the book together cohesively to make it a richly rewarding experience – and a valuable tool for others.