Ready to write a book? These roadblocks could be stopping you
Many people have the idea to write a a book, but the truth is, most don’t get around to it.
And even though the world of self-publishing has made it easier to publish a book, it’s actually not much easier to write a book. This is true even with the myriad of ‘how to’ guides, courses and coaches.
My experience of working on big writing projects, like books, websites and proposals has shown me there are a few big hurdles for why the desire to write a book doesn’t translate to action.
If you’re one of those people who know you have a book inside that can make a difference, then writing your book is not only important, it’s essential. I’d even argue, getting it done will keep you well.
Whether you’re a business person with a substantial body of knowledge or someone who’s life experience has made you wise, there is huge value in distilling this neatly into a book. So let’s uncover the roadblocks that could be stopping you.
#1 Write a book! I don’t know where to start
One of the biggest roadblocks for people who don’t write their book is they don’t know where to start.
This is totally understandable. Writing a book is a big project. If writing is not your ‘thing’, it can feel like you’re eating an elephant. Uncomfortable. Maybe even impossible.
As one client said to me, “Some days I feel so overwhelmed, I can’t even spell ‘the’ so how can I write a book?” Good question.
Not knowing where to start can cause people to not even bother. Within a single sentence they’ve talked themselves into and out of their book and not a word has found its way onto the page.
Here’s a tip if you don’t know where to start. Make a decision that you will write your book. Without this decision, you’ll always have an escape hatch and a reason for not starting (or continuing). A decision to start has it own energy. It moves things in your favour. If you make the decision with resolve, the way to start will emerge.
# 2 Help! I don’t have a process to write my book
I’ve already mentioned writing a book is a big project. And like any project of significance, it requires planning and organisation.
In fact, an upfront plan and careful organisation can not only speed up the book writing, it can also lead to a better book overall.
It’s surprising then that most people try to write a book without any plan at all. Instead they rely on hope.
Hope the words will come. Hope that it will make sense. Hope that it will somehow magically flow.
Dr Joe Dispenza says, “Hope is a beggar.” I agree.
Sadly, hope will not write a book. The discipline of planning and organising it will.
My tip here? Have and follow a clear process to write a book and the words will flow onto the page. Every one of them.
#3 I’m drowning in fear and doubt. I can’t possibly write a book
Not knowing where to start and not having a clear process to write a book pale into insignificance against fear and doubt.
As inspiration and creativity killers, fear and doubt can rise up at any time, in any form.
These emotions are universal. They are found in us all and are usually buried deep. My own fears and doubts related to being visible and being judged, giving myself a voice and putting my own thoughts where others can read them. Maybe you can relate. It’s likely you have your own fears and doubts.
Here’s the thing: fear and doubt are part of writing. The specific fears and doubts a person has are individual (but most likely felt by many others). Writing ability, the way you spell (or can’t), what others think, whether the book will be a ‘success’.
I’m not saying the fears and doubts are not real. They are. And they must be acknowledged. This simple step gets them out in the open and diminishes their power over you. It also opens the door to a literary freedom of sorts.
Your fear and doubt won’t leave you, but at least you’ll have their measure and be ready to address them when they rise up during the writing process (and they will).
A word to the wise: Face your fears and doubts and write your book anyway.
# 4 I’m not sure what I have to say is worth sharing
The kind of uncertainty that permeates a mindset about whether your message is worth sharing destroys books long before anything is written.
It is born out of a lack of belief that your book’s key message (or messages) is not meaningful enough. Fortunately, there is a way around this.
You need to build that belief from deep inside. Quite simply, it cannot come from anyone else; it must come from you. Think of it as the book writing equivalent of working out.
A technique I use myself – and have clients complete who want to write a book – is to write a list of benefits to writing their book. It’s not just any list; it’s a list of 100 benefits and is based on the Quantum Collapse Process developed by Dr John Demartini. With a list like this, you have a reference for those moments of fear and doubt. You also start to believe in the value of your message.
My big tip here: Make the list and keep it close. A book that is galvanised by this kind of certainty will be written.
#5 Accountable for writing a book? Who me?
There’s a reason that accountability for writing a book is important. It gets the book written.
You don’t necessarily need a professional book coach, editor, or mentor. You could simply have a trusted friend who thinks enough of you to call you out and keep you honest. If you commit to a chapter every week or month, they’ll hold you to it. When you ask for honest feedback, they’ll give it.
Writing is definitely a solo sport, however there are aspects of the process which require the input of others, and accountability is one of them. Don’t overlook it.
#6 Save me! My life gets in the way of writing my book
Let’s say you’ve nailed points 1 through 5 (you have a plan, you’ve nailed fear and doubt, and you’ve a list of benefits a mile long). You are on track to write your book, then suddenly, life gets in the way.
There’s no doubt that finding time to write your book with life as you know it is a challenge. I’ve found that something, or things, have to give. It’s necessary then to identify what’s most important to you (yes, for a while it’s writing your book) and working life around it.
Planning, organising, and writing a book requires a good does of honesty. It means being truthful about your ‘big rocks’ – owning them – with no guilt attached. After all, you have a meaningful message to share, a difference to make, and ideally, you’d like to do it consciously.
A note here: A shift in your priorities may ruffle the feathers of those accustomed to a more available you, but you’re all sorted. You have a list of 100 benefits you can refer to and an accountability partner waiting for your draft manuscript. You’ve got this.
#7 I don’t have any support to write a book
It’s true that writing a book can feel like a very singular mission. It’s just you, some ideas, and a laptop with a blank screen.
That said, there’s absolutely no reason to feel you have no support. If there’s none in your immediate circle, it’s time to draw one that’s wider.
Maybe you need a belief buddy – someone who is big enough to want for you what you deserve: the fulfilment from bringing your book to life. Or perhaps you would benefit from joining a community of similar others who are committed to sharing their message consciously by writing a book with purpose.
You don’t have to write your a book on your own. You may simply need to find one or two people who’ve got your back while you commit to writing your book. They’re out there, so start looking.
The Wrap Up
I understand the challenges that come when we commit to write a book. It’s why I put together 7 Day Book Blueprint. The ideas I’ve shared here are just some of what I’ve learned through my own book writing process and from working with others who have a purpose and want to share their body of wisdom through a book. You can do it too. Learn more about 7 Day Book Blueprint here.