Overcoming Objections to Writing a Book
23 August 2017 | 10:46 am
How to Defeat Your Objections to Writing Your Book
You’ve had writing a book on your to do list for years. People tell you that you’ve had an interesting path to the C Suite, and you should share what you’ve learned with others.
And yet… you are stalled.
It’s not that you don’t recognize the benefits of having a book, of helping others with your story, of adding to the business world’s knowledge with the lessons you’ve learned. You just struggle with it, and probably for the same reasons many other people resist publication.
What are your excuses?
You can’t write. Although many people claim they cannot write, yet they prepare reports, articles, speeches, and all of that content can be reused. Are you still trapped in that small wooden high school seat intimidated by prepositions, dangling participles and misplaced modifiers?
I have good news for you. It is not necessary to know how to diagram a sentence. You do need an ear for good writing.
Or are you really saying you don’t like to write? Luckily, you have plenty of options for overcoming this particular hurdle. Hire a ghostwriter. If you can develop a set of questions to create a chapter, you can hire a person to interview you and use the transcribed conversation to create a chapter. The ghostwriter will turn that colloquial conversation into a smoothly written chapter. It takes skill to do the editing. As the author, you have the final say on what goes into the book.
You can also use software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking, or simply record using your favorite MP3 app and then have it transcribed. The transcript will still need to be edited; we are a lot more informal when we speak than when we write.
You don’t have time. Here’s a biggie. Everyone is busy. Yes, your job is demanding. But you can overcome that excuse by carving out time. I’ve been the sole author of 19 books. They all started one chapter at a time.
Rather than lamenting your lack of time, figure out when you can write. Do you need to go away for a weekend with your laptop? Will it work for you to get up earlier each day or stay up later? What do you need to give up (like TV or movies) in order to write? In my experience, the most important aspect is controlling your distractions. Turn off your phone and email and write. Set a timer and don’t allow yourself to be interrupted.
The point is, you must make this a priority. Block out the time in your calendar, and treat that time as sacred. Pretend it’s an appointment with your most important client, and do not allow anything to get in the way of keeping it.
Here’s another excuse: you can’t organize a long project like a book. Ok, so you’re great with blog posts, and you don’t mind writing them, but the thought of writing an entire book makes you stare at your blank screen like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car.
First, if you can write an article, you can write an entire series of chapters. The process is all the same, after all. It’s just putting words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, and so on. It starts with an outline that you revise as you go along. You realize some material belongs in one spot instead of another. You chip away at your book, piece by piece.
There is no rule that you have to start at chapter 1 and move through the book in sequential fashion. My colleague and I started on Chapter 8 in the last book I ghostwrote. Start where you have the most material or the most familiarity with the subject matter. You’ll get a sense of accomplishment which will help you move through the project faster.
There are dozens of reasons to write a book. It’s important for strengthening your expertise and building your brand. But none of that will happen if you don’t actually write it. So it’s time to get beyond your hurdles and get your book done.
Pat Iyer is a ghostwriter and a C Suite Network Advisor. Visit her website at http://editingmybook.com for more information.