Ever thought about writing a book?
Maybe a thought leadership book, a lead generator for your writing business … or even a novel?
If so, this week’s podcast episode will be right up your alley. My guest, Susan Baracco, explains what you need to know before you go down that path.
It’s part reality check, part encouragement and inspiration. If you’ve been toying with the idea of writing any kind of book, you’ll find Susan’s advice immensely practical!
The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe in iTunes to get this show delivered straight to the Podcasts app on your smart phone, tablet or iPod.
Tell us about yourself
Susan Baracco started her writing business five years ago. For most of that time, she’s been working as a ghostwriter. Today, she spends most of her time helping women leaders tell their stories through books.
She loves this work as she gets to meet amazing people. She learns their stories and how they’ve persevered and succeeded.
You recently wrote a guidebook about the realities of writing a book. What are some of them?
Reality#1: Busy is your way of life
We put up our own roadblocks—and being busy is one of those roadblocks. We’re all busy, but it can become a way to self-sabotage.
Writing a book requires three stages of commitment:
Before you begin, you have to clear the decks.
All kinds of things are vying for your time. Time you haven’t booked up tends to get wasted. Look at your calendar and schedule some time for writing.
Also, identify anything you can delegate, postpone or eliminate.
You won’t be able to free up big chunks of time. But you will find some.
During your book journey, anticipate the pull
Life won’t stand still while you’re write your book. Things will come up unexpectedly. When it happens, make sure it’s not self-sabotage.
Then, make peace with it. And plan when you will resume.
Don’t put off writing your book. Who knows how long we’ll live? Act know while your ideas and memories are fresh.
These details will help you when you do start writing.
After your manuscript is done, marketing will be a big job
People won’t learn about your book unless you market it. Educate yourself on what to expect.
Most of the promotion will fall on you whether you’re self-publishing or working with a traditional publisher.
The Business Book Marketing Plan by Stephanie Chandler is a great resource on book marketing.
Reality#2: Your ego, emotions, and doubt will get a workout
When you start writing, your ego can get in the way. We get “married” to what we write. But you have to stay open to critiques.
Your editor is there to help you write the best book possible. When you ask a friend or colleague to review your book, you don’t always get honest feedback.
Doubt can dog us on a book writing journey. This can be a good thing in a healthy dose. It counterbalances your ego.
But too much doubt (or fear) can get in your way.
Reality#3: Creativity is messy and unpredictable
Being creative can be challenging, if you’re more technically minded. But all of us have creativity within us. We just have to foster and encourage it.
Creativity tends to spark in certain circumstances: in the shower, running, driving, walking or in the middle of the night. When our focus shifts, that’s often when creativity starts.
When you’re stuck, it can help to go back to the story. Think about a story that illustrates what you’re trying to say. Something you’ve experienced or witnessed.
Reality#4: Taking this journey alone is dangerous
You need a good sounding board. Your book journey can be long, and it’s easy to take a wrong turn or get stuck.
A good sounding board is someone:
- You trust
- You feel comfortable telling your doubts and personal struggles
- Who’s okay with your “crazy”
- Who’s a good accountability partner
- Who will check in on you
- Who will give you tough love
- Who’s available.
If you take too long to write a book, you lose your interest. It drains you. The more time that elapses between when you start and when you finish, the harder it is.
Reality#5: A book is a big investment
Writing a book is a big investment in several ways.
You need to invest your time. It will impact your personal life and obligations.
It will take up your energy and attention. It can be mentally draining.
You’ll have to invest your willingness. You have to be willing to be vulnerable. You have to be willing to re-write parts of it.
It’s a professional investment. A book will take away from your business and career. You have to channel your mental energy to it.
It’s also a financial investment. You should have a budget. Think about the different stages of the process and the types of support you’ll need at each stage.
Reality#6: Writing a book is one of the best things you’ll ever do
A book is a powerful tool for helping you reach career, business, and personal goals.
You can use a book to establish your authority. It can help you land conference speaking gigs.
It can help you build your business and your brand. It can open doors and establish your expertise. You can use it as a lead magnet.
You can also use it as a learning tool for your team.
A book can carry many personal benefits as well. It can give you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. It’s a way to preserve your legacy and reach more people. It can give you a platform to promote your cause.
It can also teach you a lot about yourself and give you newfound confidence.
Where can listeners learn more about you and your work?
Susan Baracco’s website: https://www.storyarchitectforwomen.com
Susan offers free 30-minute brainstorming sessions. If you’re struggling with your book or want to explore your book idea, go to her website and sign up: https://www.storyarchitectforwomen.com/freeresources
By the way … whenever you’re ready, here are 4 ways I can help you grow your freelance business:
1. Grab a free copy of my training class for writers who are new to freelancing.
It’s called “The 3 Magic Levers: How to Get Your Writing Business Off the Ground and Land Your First Paying Client.” — Click Here
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You’ll discover how to quickly and predictably reawaken dead leads, generate new client opportunities and convert not-yet-ready prospects into freelance writing clients. — Click Here
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You’ll get a personalized action plan based on where you are today in your business. Plus all the tools, scripts, checklists, cheat sheets and templates you’ll need to escape feast-or-famine … grow your income … and land clients who love and respect you. — Click Here
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