Ghostwriter and book coach Ginny Carter knows more than anyone what it takes to write a book that works for your business…
A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. – Thomas Mann
How I laughed when I saw this.
Because it’s true, we writers do tend to make a big deal out of the act of writing. And we’re not the only ones.
If you’re finding the prospect of writing your own book a daunting one, I understand. As a seasoned ghostwriter of business books, self help guides, and memoirs, I’ve tackled pretty much every barrier to writing, so I know what works.
That’s why I wrote Your Business Your Book – to guide you through the pitfalls and perils you’ll encounter along the journey from everyday expert to respected author.
Let’s look for now at starting your business book, which is where many authors-to-be fall by the wayside. Here are the main reasons I’m often given for not getting on with the task (and what to do about them).
Reason One: I don’t have enough time to write a book
Which is really the same as. . .
Reason Two: my book isn’t a priority
‘It would take so long, I feel like giving up before I start.’
‘I’ve got too much client work to carve out the time.’
Or my favourite: ‘I need three months on a desert island to write a book.’
There’s no getting around it: writing a quality business book is a sizeable undertaking because it’s supposed to be. That’s why authors have a special status – they know enough about their subject to write something that has the potential to transform their readers’ businesses and lives.
If you feel strongly about writing one, find a way to make time. How do you prioritise your most important work right now? Do you plan it in your calendar, incentivise yourself to finish it, or just assume it will be done and magically it happens? Do the same for your book.
If that doesn’t work, try this. How would you feel if you discovered in six months’ time that your arch-competitor had just published the book that’s currently sitting in your head?
Reason Three: I hate writing and I’m no good at it
Let’s unpack this. Disliking an activity is not the same as being bad at it, and yet we tend to think that if it doesn’t ‘feel right’ that someone on high (who?) has decreed we shouldn’t be doing it. This is a story we’ve made up for ourselves.
Another way to look at this is as a matter of unfamiliarity. When you were at school you weren’t taught how to write a book, so it’s natural to feel daunted by the idea. But if you think of it as writing a short story that happens to get longer, or as a series of related blog posts, you’ll realise you’ve accomplished something like it many times before.
On a more practical note, if you really don’t think you’re any good at writing it’s likely this is a problem a good editor or even a ghostwriter can sort out. Let them help.
Now you have a better understanding about what may be holding you back, there’s nothing stopping you from creating the book that puts you and your business in the spotlight.