So many times I’ve heard people saying: “I want to write a book! I have so much to share, I got to write it!”
Well, this is a great intention, but unfortunately when I meet them several years later, they haven’t even started writing a book.
Such a waist! Each of us has a profound value and sharing own experience may help many others. I know authors who wrote about success and those who wrote about failures, shared very personal stories or stories about nations. Some talk about their blessings or miserable experience, funny things or scary stories, wealth or poverty, challenges or enlightening.
Every experience is not a good or bad, it is a TEACHER. Therefore, if you were taught – share your knowledge! Don’t delay until you are retired, start it NOW.
I define 5 major keys for successful writing:
1. Knowing your audience, neither book is for everyone.
2. Creating a plan and a detailed scheme for your book.
3. Being disciplined, making writing meetings and showing up.
4. Telling stories.
5. Making it simple.
1. Knowing your audience, neither book is for everyone
The mistake I made writing my first book Taste of Thoughts® was my belief that this book is for EVERYONE, and everyone will love it!
On the first glance it makes sense, but it is not the case. In fact, the narrower your audience, the easier and more creative will be your writing, and more successful your book.
Investigate and evaluate your potential readers, do online surveys, think about people you’d like to share your message with, and write for THEM.
· Marital status
· Geographical location
You’ll be surprised how your writing for 30-45 age married women will be different from your writing for 40-60 age single men. Or, writing for students from big cities vs. middle age farmers.
2. Creating a plan and a detailed scheme for your book
The second thing to do is to create a scheme, a blueprint of your future book.
Think about it as about a bouquet of roses, where the stems are the chapters, flower is the main point of each chapter, and the leaves they are smaller things you are going to describe. The first to consider is how many flowers you want in your bouquet.
Take a big sheet of paper and clip it on the wall in your office, or where you’ll be writing most of the time. Leave some space on the top for a book title, because in may be the last thing you’ll come with. Put your name underneath. Divide it into columns according to the number of your chapters.
Using different colors of sticky notes, start writing the main points of each chapter, and stick them under chapter’s names.
Remember, this is not a final scheme yet, you’ll be probably moving your points not ones afterwards. However, it helps you to get out of your shell and organize your thoughts.
When you are done with the scheme, step back and take a look at that. What do you see? You see YOUR BOOK!!!
Here it is! From bunches of scattered thoughts in your head it is materialized on paper in a certain scheme, has its own shape and structure, and requires a future developing.
Otherwise, you’ll never start, and your book will remain in your head forever, instead being printed and offered to other people.
3. Being disciplined, making writing meetings and showing up
Writing a book is not leisure, it is a hard work that required lots of time and efforts. Don’t rely on writing upon inspiration, and don’t wait for the moments when your Muse will show up. Create those moments by yourself, and inspiration will come.
Consider how many days and hours per week you can invest in writing. That time should be totally dedicated to your writing without any interruptions. You’d better schedule less hours and be more productive, than overbook the entire week but will not be able to make it because of other obligations.
Mark your calendar as you have a meeting. It IS a meeting with your book, with your Muse, and with your future. Take it seriously and show up no excuses.
Even when you think that you don’t have any ideas for that day, sit down and start writing. Your ideas will show up if only YOU are.
4. Telling stories
This advice is definitely more relevant for nonfiction books, but maybe fiction writers can benefit from it as well.
As you begin exploring the contents according to your book scheme, more and more ideas will come to you. Most likely, you’ll start removing, adding or replacing your sticky notes, creating a richer pattern.
Even if your book is not a story-telling in its nature, try to add at least one story to each chapter. It may be your own story from the past, other people’s experience, description a scene from a movie or other book, a dream, or related to the topic funny story or an anecdote.
People love stories. Stories make a book more personal, create a closer connection between the author and the reader, and they are simply more fun to read.
5. Making it simple
Unless your book is about rocket science or quantum physics, make your writing as simple as possible (though in those cases it’s fair too.)
Nowadays, the simplicity, warm connection with an audience and socializing, are more important than cold facts and perfectionism. It doesn’t mean that your book may be written poorly, it is about using a more genuine style in expressing your thoughts.
· Don’t teach – share
· Don’t judge – advice
· Don’t blame – support
· Don’t be stuck in the past – give hope
Make it simple, human and inspirational. Your readers will appreciate it.
Dr. Irina Koles, M.D., M.H.M.
Bestselling author of “Taste of Thoughts®. Improve Your Health and Whole Life”
#1 International bestselling author of collaborative book “The Secret Success Solution. Get Solid Results in 22 Areas of Business and Life”