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Simple Steps To Becoming A More Confident Writer

There are times when life and writing can put you in a state of anything other than a confident writer. Cast your mind to a time when you simply couldn’t put pen to paper. It doesn’t matter if that is a journal, blog or a chapter of your book. The simple fact is nothing is coming and the more you try, the more vulnerable you may feel.

I have a post on writer’s block here and here which may help.

If you are sharing for public consumption, there is always the fear that someone somewhere will feel as if they have the right to critique your work. This alone can stir a fear storm like no other.

When you hesitate because you don’t feel confident it is because there is a deep reason. It’s not that you are a rubbish writer or that you really think that your work is unworthy. It is because somewhere along the line, something has happened to shatter your confidence.

One of the reasons that many people don’t write either in a journal, blog or book is because they don’t know what to write. They also may ask, who am I to write this? What about nothing I write will have any value.

I’m currently reading a clients first few chapters, she is a psychotherapist, and it’s illuminating reading both her story and the science behind our behaviours. I found myself nodding in several places.

I’ve been there, done that and got the I have no right to be a confident writer teeshirt.

But you see confidence is a muscle just like writing and the more you do it, the more of a confident writer you will feel.

Practice makes perfect

You’ve heard this one a million times. Well, that is because it’s true. Read how to become a more productive writer.

Writing in a journal is a practice. You write about your feelings, gratitude, observations or maybe use prompts, and over time it becomes a habit which you love. What you will love the most is how confident a person you will become, simply from changing your perspective about your life. Learning to become your best self is rather wonderful.

Writing blogs tickles your writing muscle in a way like nothing else. Shorter pieces that need to make a point and tell a story can be hard to start off with and then voila you find your writers voice, and you are away.

Writing a book is possibly where you will feel less confident because unlike a blog which is only a short piece, this is out there with your name and brand all over it. Here’s the thing all first drafts are a bit meh! As you edit and refine your work, it gets better and better. Add in some beta readers, your proofreader and coach, and you will have a beautifully polished piece of work that you will be proud of.

All of these require that you commit to practising. The more you practice the more you will find your writers voice.

Edit and proof your work

You’d never put a raw article out there. You may have some errors – that’s life, but one of the ways that you show up as a confident writer is by editing your work.

In your journal there is no need to edit is there. This is life, raw and at the edges. However, your edit is in the actions you take. And these actions all contribute to supporting a more confident life. When you see the results gained, you will carry on journaling.

The beauty of blogs and books (If you self-publish) is that you can keep on revising and uploading every time you spot an error. I’ve had books proofed and down the line spotted a mistake. A sharp intake of breath, an ‘oh no, how did that happen…’ and a quick edit and all is calm in my world again.

Knowing when to stop perfecting your writing

Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it. Salvador Dali

How do you know when something is perfect? This is such a good question and one that plagues so many writers. Having the confidence to let go, I think is a feeling and a knowing.

The way I look at it is this…

If I have written a piece like this one, for example, and it is either for a book or a blog, there will be an amount of time I can dedicate to it. By that, I mean, I start it today, and it has to be published tomorrow. That means there is only so much faffing I can do. So how about setting a number of words, i.e. keep your writing short and sticking to it.

What about, writing it, letting it go, reflecting coming back to refine and ‘just’ publishing as is? What isn’t said can be for another article. Plus, you can come back and ‘tart’ it up later, because that is the beauty of self-publishing.

What if your inner critic or inner bully tells you that it really isn’t good enough? Is there someone that you trust to read it and give you feedback. This means you have to open your heart to what they say.

I’ve just done a feedback session with a client, she has written loads for a first draft and has done an awesome job. It’s not perfect, and I didn’t expect it to be – it’s the first draft. However, big congratulations to her for trusting me with her work and that she went with the flow. Together we can polish it ready for publication. Go and find your gentle ears.

Back to your inner critic.

Read your work aloud to your inner critic after taking a break. I bet it will sound great. Decide what changes you want to make, make them and publish.

The point is to know when to let go and do it. Done is better than whatever perfect is. And anyway in whose eyes is it perfect? What will happen as you flex that writing muscle and you get the feedback you will grow in confidence.

To be honest, I look back on some of my stuff and cringe. But hey it’s done and guess what you have something to repurpose – don’t you?

If you are still stuck work on what lies beneath – see below.

Read others work

You can learn so much from your fellow writers. Read other’s books in your genre and across genres. Make notes of how they say things and use this as inspiration. I always have my journal handy when I am writing so that I can note down something useful.

Reading other writers work also lets you see that you are a great writer too. Ok, some writers are pure genius, but I bet you are as good if not better than a lot of writers.

Believe it.

Write about what you know and feel confident about

When I was writing about healing osteoporosis, there were many times I didn’t feel confident. But as I researched and experimented with my body and healing, the better I felt. Typically though I write about writing, journaling, well-being and life. These are things I feel very confident about.

I’m not scared to tackle new and unknown to me stuff, but I do have to make sure that what I say is well researched and checked.

Write about what you know and feel confident in. It does make life much easier.

Research and check

Allied with above, make sure you research your work. Get it checked and run through your arguments to make sure that they flow and are not flawed. When you present a compelling argument, you need facts to back you up.

Comparisonitis and imposter syndrome

These are very real things. You are not an imposter, and the more you practise and find our voice, the more confident you will feel. Never compare yourself with others; it’s a waste of time and energy. Find your voice and express it. Over time you will fall into your flow.

Work on what lies beneath

I’ve left this to the near the end. There are many reasons why you may not feel like a confident writer, and so often it is not about writing. It’s what lies beneath the face you display in public. Some of these things are hard to spot. But there can be a pattern to your behaviours – this is when journaling is your best friend. Perhaps you need other support to help you to deal with your stuff – this is also when writing can support you.

When you tackle the below the surface things like imposter syndrome or comparisonitis then publishing your work will be easier.

Please talk to a professional if this is something that needs to be worked on.

I find that becoming clear on my values supports my confidence. Try this writing exercise.

What does a confident writer look like?

Now, there’s a thing what does a confident writer look like and how can you model that?

Ok, you might not know any writers who look confident, but you will know people who look confident. Write down a list of their attributes and model them as best you can.

Perhaps they show up regardless. Maybe they know done is better than ‘perfect’ and know how to let go. What if they put it out and say ‘what do you think and can you give me feedback?’

Keep practising which is point one and one day you’ll look in the mirror and see a seasoned and confident writer.

That might even be as early as tomorrow morning.

Your perfect day – envisioning

Write about your perfect confident writers day. Write it as if it were already here and you are living it. Not only does this exercise cement your vision, but it also tells you what values you are living by. When you have written it, leave it for at least an hour to reflect.

Then look for value words. What I mean by this is, look for words that really stand out in what you have written, these could be:-

Abundance, Acceptance, balance, beauty, confidence, creativity, calm, determination, difference, energy, empathy, freedom, focus, generous, grace, happiness, heart, ingenuity, impact, joy, justice, kindness, knowledge, love, loyalty, mastery, modesty, navigate, network, open, outrageous, peace, passion, quirky, quick, respect, recognition, safe, spiritual, tradition, tranquil, unique, understanding, vision, vitality, worldly, wise, young, zeal, zip.

You will know which words are your value words.

  • When you have your list of value words, put an X next to the ones that really resonate, the key is to not think too much and go with your gut
  • Cut that list down to just eight words
  • Then put them in order of importance to you
  • Then write about what these values mean to you

How can you use your values to change energetically how you feel about becoming a confident writer or a confident anything? Explore in your journal.

For example, if kindness is a value, how can you be kinder to you?

What is the one action you will take after reading this article? I hope it’s to write, let go and put your work out there.

How To Create Focused Writing Time

This morning my mind was full of all kinds of things I could do rather than to create some focused writing time.

I had been woken abruptly at 2.30am while in the depths a big dream and in the dream, I was achieving loads of great things. I reached for my journal and scribbled like mad.

Unfortunately this morning after my doggie walk I felt myself being drawn to exploring these other things rather than write two blogs and complete my next monthly life journal.

Luckily sense prevailed and when I considered my week’s goals and I decided priorities first, fun next.

And that’s part of the problem, isn’t it? We feel drawn to shiny objects and unicorn rides rather than the task at hand.

However, I find that once I send my unicorn back to Shangrila, and start writing, my flow and productivity return.

Quite simply you have to make a choice about creating focused writing time and do it.

Creating focused writing time starts with your environment

How do you like to write? In a crowded café, hot chocolate and biscuits to dunk, or in a peaceful place with no noise or interruptions?

What about making your space comfortable? What do you need to make yourself a writing den? What about your desk and chair? What about the energy of the space?

If you have read any of my blogs you will know that I am the quiet writing type. Sometimes I will play loud music before I write, but more often than not it’s the silence that works best for me to focus.

On a tangent when I do other creative activities, I do love music which strangely helps me to focus.

Decide where you want to write. Is this in bed, on the sofa or in the office? Do you like smells, sounds, silence or something else? TV or radio on in the background? What about people? I find it a pain to be interrupted when I am writing, do you?

Morning baby or night owl?

I love the mornings and for me, this is when I get my energy. Typically, when I wake I want to write, either in my journal or an article for a blog or book.

What I find is if I can get my first thoughts out in the morning, later in the day I can edit just as easily.

However, you may be a night owl and find this is when you have the most energy.

The key is to find what time of day you get the most energy and to capitalise on it.

Try either end of the day and find what works for you. Create a ritual and get in the groove.

Where does your inspiration come from?

What usually happens is when I start my day, I set a silence intention that I want to write something. When I go for a walk, words usually come into my mind.

This works because I have asked, set an intention and let it go. Walking in nature creates space for ideas to come.

My writing inspiration also comes in at tangents, I may hear something on the news or read something totally disconnected to writing, but which sends the data train down many different neural pathways, picking up passengers and then the words flow.

If words come that don’t make sense, I scribble these in my journal and use them later.

Try asking for ideas, set intentions and then let them go. To make this work you need space and time. When you do this you will find that your writing time is more focused.

Are you a planner or pantser?

When you want to get your daily writing done, what happens? Do you stare at a blank screen or have you planned it out so that you know what you are going to be writing about?

If I am writing a book and therefore, I need to focus on getting that chapter done I will plan it out. Before I write I will review the chapter, decide how long I have to write and start at the beginning. Where I get stuck or maybe need to research, I’ll skip these and book time in my diary to come back to these later.

When it comes to blogs, I will have asked the questions, set the intentions, go for a walk and when I come back I will do one of these depending on how I feel.

  • Dig out my journal and brainstorm my ideas and then write
  • Open up WORD and create a round outline and write
  • Open up WORD, write and then put headings in

I am a typical planner, however, I usually go with what feels the way to write in the moment.

Typically planning your writing, that is outline a piece will help you to create better and focused writing time.

Get rid of rubbish activities

I never have a problem booking in writing time, because I love writing, however, when it comes to my Spanish homework, I tend to procrastinate and yes, you have guessed I write instead…

What I do is look at what time I waste by watching rubbish TV or scrolling through my social media. Although there is an argument for some downtime. Just not an entire evening eh?

I am good at being firm with myself and I turn things off and put my phone in the bedroom and get on with what I have to do.

What are your rubbish activties? Make a list and shock yourself with how much unproductive time you spend. Decide to replace this time with focused writing time.

Putting aside time in your diary

This seems so simple, so why doesn’t it work?

I hear people saying I must find the time, create time or make time. They also talk about trying to find, create or make time.

Time is finite, you cannot find, create or make time. There are 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour. You know the rest of the formula. Once time has gone that is it – but you know that.

If this is the right book or blog you will mark time in your diary and do it. If it is the wrong book or not a priority, chances are you won’t put the time in your diary.

I get it, I understand and like you, I have commitments. Like you, I can make some great excuses.

When something is important to you, you will find time in your schedule, no matter what. So, is it time to rethink the way you approach your writing?

So what can you do?

Try this focused writing time method

Pre planning

  • Have a plan, set goals, put publishing dates in your diary and set your intention to get your writing done
  • Understand how you like to write and develop a brilliant habit around your preferences
  • Create a mind map, outline or a list of what you are going to write about
  • Get all of your tools ready – pen, paper, computer and printer
  • Set up your writing environment so that writing is pleasurable
  • Pre warn your loved ones that you need writing time and get rid of other distractions

On the day

  • Clear your desk – just scoop it all up and move it somewhere else, out of your range – make a note to go through it and declutter
  • Get some water, staying hydrated is vital
  • Have your mind map or outline to hand
  • Block out your writing time
  • Turn off distractions – no social media or mobile, put a note up on your door (go away) – do this even though you will have told your family
  • Set a timer (www.e.eggtimer.com) for 55 minutes writing and 5 to 15 minutes shaking it out
  • Decide how many writing sessions you are going to have and make sure the time you take between gives you enough time to refresh your brain
  • If you are a fan of Pomodoro, then write for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break and come back
  • Look directly at your screen – focus on it, make sure there is nothing in your direct vision but the screen
  • No editing, just write and if you get stuck, make a note to ‘come back later’
  • Other things to do are to decide on a word goal. On weekends, typically you will have more time to write, so chunk your book down, set a word goal and go for it


  • Have a reward
  • Mark off your planner that you have completed another x words
  • Go and do something else – all work and no play…
  • Plan your next writing stint

Look at the suggestions and make it work for you. What can you add in or take away?

Good luck with getting your writing done.

Remember to connect with me when you are ready to get your book, planned, written, published and productised. We will work together and make sure you have a book you love which raises your visibility and positions you as an expert in your niche.

How To Find The Inspiration To Write A Book

Are you trying to write a book and struggling? Or even any piece of writing? Inspiration is everywhere. Know that and know that if you are open it will find you.

I was recently watching Killing Eve. The script is brilliant. Earlier the same weekend I did a binge on The Good Place – another brilliant script. Programs like these fascinate me. Where do the writers find their inspiration and do they have any spare?

I find inspiration in all kinds of places and I am sure that you do too.

Let’s look at where the inspiration to write a book might come from.

Ideas are often sparked by conversations

This might be conversations in the pub, over a coffee, with friends around the dinner table, with your higher self or with clients. You may have done some research and found a gap in the market which means that you can leverage your knowledge, skills and experience to boost your brand.

Or you may have had an awakening that has shaken your life, and you find that you have a message that you have to share. You may or may not build a business around this.

The first book I wrote was called Six Weeks To A New You. It was a workbook. I was studying nutrition and thought that I wanted to move out of marketing into this world. I didn’t, but some 25+ years later some of the content proved useful for a different book project.

I wrote this because of conversations with friends who wanted help with their health and lifestyle.

For you, this might a conversation that leads to be a pivot book that takes you in another direction

Inspiration comes from your everyday things

Next, I wrote two books on marketing; one was how to market for small businesses and the other a marketing review. These came about because I was a marketing consultant and they made my life easier. I used them for client work, coaching and workshops. At the time they were available as PDF only.

For you, these are books to clarify your processes, for coaching and training and for your personal brand.

Ideas come out of the blue

Next came a book on Natural Fertility Planning (NFP). A friend was struggling with getting pregnant, and as I tried to support her nutritionally, I learned all about NFP and was fascinated, so much so, I started a fertility business alongside my job. Last year I gave all of this content away to someone struggling to get into this space.

For you, this might also be a pivot book, but consider the life of the content…

Inspiration could strike when on a course

It was while I was doing an NLP certificate training course that I could see different ways to expand my personal journaling, writing to heal coaching and the way in which I wrote books. Some of the planning and writing techniques I use today have their roots in NLP. While doing this training, I also enrolled in a year-long ILM Executive Coaching course.

What NLP and executive coaching gave me were additional tools to support my and others personal growth. These courses came at a time in my life when things were not as wonderful as I would have liked. My journaling expanded, I learnt more about me, and I developed my own exercises for journaling, reflection and creative life writing which helped not only me but many others that I worked with.

Both of these courses combined with my love of writing as a healing tool helped me to create another book called Writing to Heal. This book supported my coaching, workshops and out of it I also created an online course (also undergoing a massive review).

For you, this could be a book which supports lifelong work and interests.

Inspiration comes from your processes

While I was coaching people in both life and business, I saw a way that writing a book could facilitate healing. It struck me that people would either write their books as a healing process and/or use them to build a brand and business around this awakening.

As coaching merged into helping write books for personal reasons and into books for brand and business reasons, Plan your non-fiction book in a weekend was born. I like to have my processes documented and easily available. This book also forms the basis for coaching, online courses, workshops and retreats.

For you, this could be a book around which you build your brand and business.

Your imagination is triggered when teaching

While teaching and coaching I had the good fortune to be asked to work with three other trainers on a program for executive leaders. Sadly the training company, despite the amazing feedback and reviews decided that this wasn’t the direction for them and pulled the course.

The four of us got together to preserve the content and wrote Navigate Executive Leadership. The course was inspired by one of our authors who has been very ill, and we wanted him to have a legacy book.

For you, this could be a book which preserves your knowledge, skills and experiences which you can use to build your brand and business.

Inspiration comes from illness and adversity

Another book, yet to be published has been the hardest to write. It is a book that I never expected to write. Healing Osteoporosis Naturally came about because my spine fractured. The first thing I did after screaming in pain and crying a lot was to journal. I knew that journaling would support my healing journey.

Then I encountered an unfeeling sausage machine medical industry hell-bent on giving me drugs and ignoring me. This fired me up and given that I had a background in nutrition – I’d already trained in naturopathic nutrition – I knew that there was a better way.

I thought about that first book that I had written, it was a process, and I needed somewhere to start. I knew that I had to heal the imbalance that had occurred in my life as well as my body and so I started to write this book as I created a healing process for me. It was if every book I’d ever written was coming together to help me get well.

What I noticed in the many forums I joined searching for answers was hoards of scared people. People overwhelmed by information, who didn’t understand themselves, how this had happened and what to do. With nothing else to do, apart from learning how to walk again and ask for help, I researched, experimented on myself and wrote.

Healing Osteoporosis Naturally has been one of the hardest books to write; it’s currently on hold in the editing stage as I take time out to work on other projects around my core business. This book will be published in 2020 ready for National Osteoporosis awareness month in May.

The great news is that 18 months later my bone density had increased by 2.2% and was almost normal. Phew!

I have written because I feel so passionately about healing through nutrition and writing. This is not a book that I want to build a business around unless you count writing to heal as part of this.

This is a book that has simply called to a deeper part of me, and I know I have to help others with the skills and resilience that I have. Who knew that what started all those years ago would come together in a book that has had such an impact on me?

For you, this could be your passion or cause project, something that calls you outside of what you do for your business. It will be a healing project, and it could be a pivot into a new business.

Inspiration comes from life

I have written other books which are not published, and these are what I call my healing project books. They cover leaving a man who was living a double life and how to do that in a planned way. A book on my journey to self-love and currently I am writing a fictional piece which covers betrayal, forgiveness trust and finding love again.

Ideas and inspiration comes from many places

You can see that books come to life for many reasons. Each of these books were relevant at different times in my life, and practically all of them are still useful in some way. Natural fertility planning as you can imagine is no longer useful having passed that window…

 I have a few questions…

  • Where are you? What is going on?
  • Where do you want to go with your life and business?
  • What do you want to create?
  • What inspires you?
  • How does life inspire you?
  • Where do you draw your inspiration from?
  • How ready are you to write a book which may heal you, but that will most likely impact and inspire others personal growth?

When I talk about healing, this also covers healing people, organisations and ‘stuff’ that is going on that needs addressing.

The book that you want to write, how do you know it’s the right book for right now?

I’d love to know what you want to write, what inspired you and your hopes and dreams for this book.

Please do connect with me when you are ready to be supported in your writing adventures.

Book in for a book planning session (2 hours) and let’s get your book out of your head and planned.

When Writing A Book Is Not The Right Thing To Do

This week I read a great post from someone who said how dreadful his experience of writing a book was. He wrote his book. He sweated over his book, eventually, he published and then he felt deflated. He thought writing a book would be:-

  • Be fun
  • Make money
  • Position him as expert

When you don’t enjoy the writing process

Sadly, he didn’t enjoy the process and I don’t know why. I know when I first started writing books I was like a possessed banshee and had to get it done as quickly as possible and it took practically every waking hour.

These days I take much longer to write my BIG books. A book I am writing called Healing Osteoporosis Naturally will have taken about 2.5 years by the time I publish. So far, I have improved my bone density by 2.2% and a whisper away from normal and I want normal before I publish.

I threw myself into the process and then when I had a great manuscript I moved onto something else. When I come back to it, I’ll see it with fresh eyes and I’ll enjoy completing it.

What works for me: If I do things in chunks and take time out I see my project with fresh eyes and perspective and that is when it’s more enjoyable.

When writing a book isn’t fun

He also said that it wasn’t fun. Again, I have no idea why it wasn’t fun, but I can guess that he reached what I called the hump stage when quite simply you have had a gutsful of your book.

I recently had this with Blog Your Book In 30 Days. Again, towards the end of the book, I knew I needed to stop and do something else. When I started this book, it was great fun and then one day it wasn’t.

My clients feel the same way and my advice is to do something else so that you give your brain a chance to refresh itself.  Makes sense right?

What works for me: What I did was create a program and recorded a course of the same name. In that space, I found a way to stay with the project, create other products and find a new perspective.

Focusing on a completely different project

In the space from this book, I also created a journaling book called Colour My Life, it was great fun and I did it in a day. I’m have also completed a monthly life journal book for my journaling business – that was fun too.

Don’t let writing a book become stressful

The reason books become stressful is that you don’t take breaks from it and put too much pressure on yourself to publish. Now, it doesn’t make sense to delay your book for years, unless you want to prove a health point, for example. All you have to do is write your book in chunks. When you get to a certain stage stop and do something else, like the cover design, lead page or your marketing plan.

What works for me: The bottom line is writing a book will take time and energy and if anyone tells you it doesn’t, they are lying. It pays to be realistic about every project you take on and do it in chunks.

What about making money from your book?

Well… Your book is a product and I think what a lot of people do is that they don’t maximise their products. As a self-published author, a book for me is a blueprint that I use to create other products from, and I sell alongside related services – coaching – online courses – programs and workshops.

It takes a lot of effort to constantly sell a book, but if you are selling a well-rounded portfolio and you use your book to position yourself as an expert that is when it will pay off (over time).

If your book is important to you, then you will create a marketing plan, a product roadmap and take consistent action to promote it.

What works for me: We all have different priorities and a book for me is the blueprint I talk about and becomes part of a product portfolio.

If writing a book is not the right thing to do what can you do?

If you create a blueprint, which for me a book outline is, you can use that to create lots of other products. If for example, you started with an online course, when you get your captions done you can also get a transcript and that you can use as the basis of your book. You can do the same with a program if you record your sessions.

You could make the whole thing simpler by creating a workbook rather than a full-on book, that you use when you deliver live training, consultancy and coaching and you can sell alongside your online course and program. Later if you feel inspired then you can turn it into your BIG book.

Keep it simple

More and more I am writing simpler books and this latest round of writing journaling books has been refreshing and fun. Will they make me money? Yes. How much is too early to say as I have not started to promote them or my journaling business – it launches soon. However, you’ll be pleased to know that I do have a plan.

And finally. Before you throw your book project out of the window or decide to not even start, ask yourself why do you want to and if you don’t what else could you do with that knowledge?

And if writing a book feels like hell, don’t do it. You can build your brand in other ways. Life is not meant to be hard, is it?

Book yourself in for a pick my brains session and we can thrash your ideas around and come up with a plan of what to do next.

How To Turn A Journal Into A Book

One of the questions I am often asked is how to turn a journal into a book. And it’s a great question. We often see journals as a place where we dump our stuff, but there are many more uses to a journal than to pour our deepest emotions, thoughts and feelings.

One of my pieces of advice to anyone who is about to embark on writing a book is to get a journal for the journey. I also advise anyone who is about to embark on a journey of any kind to get a journal and write everything down.

If you are anything like me you will have loads of journals for the many different times of your life and the question to ask is the content worth converting.

Before we get to the emotion and cathartic stuff let’s look at some different kinds of specific journal that you might have. Here are just 3 examples and I am sure you can think of lots of others.

Travel journal

Let’s say you decided to pack everything up and travel to some far flung place. You could use your journal to create a rough guide combined with your story. You might turn it into a journaling book for other travellers to use. And it could become a memoir.

Food and recipe journal

In this scenario, you will have stored stories and recipes. Perhaps like me, you amend recipes to allow for my food intolerances. What you can do with this is as the name suggests a story recipe book for a particular market. Like the idea about you could create a journal for others to record their stories and recipes.

Diet journal

This will be your experiences with losing weight (I’m assuming losing it could be gaining). Your highs, lows and successes. No doubt you will have a process for your reader to follow.

Ideas and creativity journal

I have a journal full of ideas and plans and these often become blog posts, courses, books and other products. It’s a great idea to keep a separate journal for moments of inspiration because who knows what rewards they will bring.

Your journal

When you look through your journal, there will be themes that jump out at you that you may want to explore. As you look through your journal there will be one or several of these themes that will leap out at you.

Before you go any further I have a few questions:-

  • Of the themes that jump out at you, ask yourself why
  • Which of these themes are marketable? What I mean by this is the resulting book is being looked for by your ideal reader
  • Who will read your book? Aka your ideal reader
  • Why will they read it?
  • What outcome will they get?
  • What kind of book could this be? A memoir, self-help or a combination?
  • What else do you want to create from this journal content and theme? What I mean by this is, will this become a business idea that you can grow?
  • If this won’t become your main business idea, could it become a side hustle?

These questions are designed to help you to uncover the purpose of you turning your journal content into a book.

If you don’t want to turn your journal into a book for others to read, you could type up your entries into a series of books which you keep for you and never sell. In which case you would go as far as step 15 in the list below.

How To Turn A Journal Into A Book
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A journal I turned into a book

In January 2018, my spine fractured and as I stared at the ceiling in those first few days, my journal became my saviour. Not only did my spine fracture there were other complications. I found myself going from wandering in the hills with my dogs to flat on my back with breathing difficulties.

Two weeks in and I decided I would write a book. My journal not only became my dump space, but it also held my research and thoughts around natural healing. After about a month I started to write the book. At this point, I didn’t know that I could heal myself, but if this makes sense I knew that my body knew how to heal and it would.

As I was writing the book, my journal was invaluable for me to get my facts straight and know the order of events. Without this record, I would have shared faulty memories.

During the process of writing and healing, I decided what the book would focus on and that would be mindset, finding your root cause and creating a natural healing plan. I also decided that although at my next bone density test my density had increased by 2.2% all naturally, I didn’t want to publish until my bone was normal. It’s a big thing for me.

This means that so far this book has taken me 18 months, by the time I do publish it will be 2.5 years.  For this book that is ok. This might not be ok for you if you are keen to build a business around your book.

Another journal I turned into a book…

After writing a massively cathartic book called Journey To Self Love, which I decided I didn’t want to publish, I knew I had to do something. Instead, I created a passion project – a journaling and colouring book called Colour My Life, A Journey To Self Love.

Despite me asking if you will build a business around your book, you may just want to turn your journal into a book for cathartic reasons and to inspire others to know what is possible. My only ask is that you are clear about why.

Other things to consider

Your handwriting. You may find it hard to decipher your handwriting in which case you will have to best guess by reading the content around any words you can’t make out. What you will find is that the story that you are rewriting will make more sense the second time around.

What to put in or leave out: Treat this as a professional project and not an opportunity to name and shame. There is an art to writing a well-balanced book. I suggest that you write it all and then edit the superfluous content out.

You may still be in your story. If you find that feelings arise around the content. You could work with a counsellor, talk it through with a friend or partner, journal about what comes up or leave it for now.

Let’s look at the process and hopefully it will inspire you to do the same.

Step 1: Brainstorm ideas

This means reading through your journals and making a list of ideas that come to you. You are looking for recurring themes that resonate with you. Leave them to reflect and start to whittle your ideas down.

Action: Make a list of the ideas and themes that come to you. Do not censor them. When you are ready, pick up to 3 and get clear about why these and then pick the one.

Step 2: What is your story?

As you look at your themes and ideas, what is the story that brings this book idea together? My two themes are healing osteoporosis naturally and a journey to self-love.

Action: Write a short version of your story and get an idea of how this could support your book.

Step 3: What kind of book will you write?

There are many different kinds of books you could write. Will this be memoir, self-help or a combination? What about a book of journal entries with journaling prompts for the reader? Will you want to use this book for something else, such as building a business around this idea?

Think about the kinds of books you enjoy reading and consider how your book could be written in this style. There is little point writing a book you wouldn’t want to read.

Action: Start to think about what kind of book and why. Also, check out your favourite books for ideas.

Step 4: Who is your ideal reader?

Don’t spend long agonising over this. Get an idea of who this is for. Do the demographics, that’s always pretty easy. Then ask:-

  • What are their goals?
  • What are their values?
  • What challenges do they have?
  • What are the immediate pain points?
  • Where do they normally hang out to get information (books, blogs, magazines, films, gurus, etc.)?

Action: Draw a matchstick person and answer the questions.

Step 5: What questions are they asking?

This is fairly straightforward, grab some post-it notes and brainstorm 20-30 questions they may be asking you. Put them in some kind order and leave them while you grab a cuppa. Map the questions you think they are asking with the questions you were asking in your journal.

Action: Brainstorm questions and lay them out in an order that makes sense.

Step 6: Map the customer journey

Do a quick map of your journey and consider how you would map this so that it could become a customer journey. You have the questions, and your story so start there. Your journey may well have been all over the place, a book is a more linear medium and you will need to map things out so that it makes sense.

Action: Create a customer journey map.

Step 7: Assess the gaps

What else do you need to add in? This might be some evidence to back up your points.

Action: Access the gaps, and work out where they need to go in the customer journey.

Step 8: Create an outline

The outline is where you make sense of everything so far. You are looking to create flow and a solid structure for your book. At this stage what is helpful is to write under each chapter heading – this book is about.

Action: Brainstorm an outline, put in subheadings and add in this chapter is about.

Step 9: Create a chapter framework

A chapter framework gives as you can imagine your chapter a structure. I ask my clients to extend their what is this chapter about to include:-

  • What questions does this chapter answer?
  • Key messages
  • what does my reader get from this?
  • Why do they need to learn this?
  • How will I transfer learning – think questions, case studies, stories and how to’s
  • The benefits of reading this chapter
  • Questions for exploration

Action: Design your chapter framework.

Step 10: Write

Now you are at the writing stage. Write each chapter, leaving the introduction to the end. Keep each chapter separate until you are ready to upload. Do a test write to test your chapter framework and tweak as needed. Make a writing schedule and stick to it. If you are struggling consider blogging your book.

Action: Write to the first draft.

Step 11: Edit

Grab your editing plan and start the editing process. Make sure it flows, and there are no mistakes (or as few as possible). I use Grammarly and WORD’s built-in tools, as well as printing it out and proofing it. I will read it silently and aloud to check. I have a process for editing, find yours make it work.

Action: Find your editing process, create an editing plan, put the time aside and edit.

Step 12: Check the formatting

This means that it’s laid out in a pleasant and easy to read way. You have chapter headings and subheadings. Your text is consistent and spaced properly. What you will find is that when you upload it to Kindle Direct Publishing you will see if this has been achieved and can change it during the upload stage.

Action: Check your formatting. Print a page of your formatting out to check spacing, look and feel, flow and margins.

Step 13: Get a cover designed and write your blurb

Create a cover design specification and get this off to your designer. I use this person on Fiverr who has created these covers for me.

The blurb is the bit on the back of the book and the description on Amazon. If you when you get a proof book you do not have to wait for your designer, use the over design tools on Kindle. It won’t be as gorgeous but it will be fast.

Action: Work with your cover designer to get a beautiful cover. Write your blurb and remember it’s not an essay and has to fit on the back of your book.

Step 14: Upload to Kindle Direct Publishing

Go to your bookshelf create a new print book, follow the prompts on the screen; they are self-explanatory and upload your manuscript. You can assign an Amazon ISBN number for ease.

If you don’t have an account, create one and make sure you enter your tax and bank details first.

You will need to launch the previewer, and this is where you can see if your layout works. I find I have to keep going back and forth until everything is in the right place and believe me; it’s weird how WORD does things.

Action: Upload your book and have patience while you get it right for KDP.

Step 15: Order a proof book

You will see an option to order a proof book. Choose that and wait for the email that tells you how to order and pay. Sit back and wait for your book to arrive. When it comes back, edit it again and go through the process of getting another proof for your beta readers and then your proofreader.

Action: Order your proof book and go through the editing process again.

Step 16: Send your book to your proofreader

This is your final eyes. You have what you call your final manuscript and this is the last step. It should take about 2 weeks and make sure you give them a style sheet of names and terms that are unique to this book. Send them both a printed book and your WORD document.

Action: Book your proofreader well in advance and make sure you feel comfortable with their work before going ahead. Stay in touch with them and answer all questions.

Step 17: Publish

Go through the final stages of what’s needed on KDP and publish.

Writing journeys

101 days of being me is 101 daily reflective prompts which will get you thinking, writing and reflecting.

101 questions to ask before writing a book is 101 questions that will help you to find clarity in all aspects of your book journey.

What can you do next? Chat to me about planning your book marketing, blogging or writing your book.

Reasons Why You Can’t Write A Book And How To Get Through It

Nothing to do with how to write a book, but Saturday morning I was pondering life, the Universe and what it would need for me to make a cake? I have deliberately not purchased anything gluten-free and sweet and I wanted cake, so it occupied the top of my mind.

In second place for Saturday at least were some important journaling moments for me which make me feel like I was flirting with vulnerability and I was left feeling uncomfortable. When I looked at my beliefs around these things I started to wonder why it is that some people who have a massive desire to write a book never do?

To be honest with you, I have books I have written and I doubt I will ever publish, but I have decided to blog them. It feels the right thing to do.

All of my writing starts as journals and these are typically turned into blog posts. While I have aspirations to turn some of my life stories into a book, something says that’s not right for me at the moment. My books remain practical, books about writing and journaling and that feels perfect.

I had a sense of acceptance this morning of what I want to publish, what will remain as naked dances in my journal, what will become blogs to inspire others and what I will put out there as a book to build my brand.

But something else happened this morning, I reached into my soul and asked my muse what would I really love to write?

Recently I was asked a question about working with A list celebrities. My response was to work with Lily Tomlin on the script of Grace and Frankie. This was because I wanted to learn how to write in a fun way and of course, hang out with two amazing ladies. How I love that program.

What I find is with myself and my clients there is always a reason why we don’t write or we do write and don’t publish. It’s exploring what lies beneath and then deciding what to do.

Reasons Why You Can't Write A Book And How To Get Through It
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As I was journaling anyway, I made some notes about why I think some people can’t or won’t write a book and here they are. What do you think?

You need to heal some more of your stuff before you can commit to writing a book

I often find that people want to write, start and give up because they are still in the story. The story has not been resolved and in reality, they need more healing.

In this case, I would use the book outline to look for healing themes and work on these. Journal the journey. Reflect and look for insights and aha’s. You will, if you decide to publish, have a much better book and will be able to serve your clients from a stronger position.

You are unclear of your direction

So many times I hear someone say, I want to write a book for my business about this or that. However, when we explore you can feel that the energy of the book is not there. Something doesn’t add up.

When the conversation opens up, what is revealed is that the aspiring author really wants to do something else but is fearful.  Often this is because they are unclear about their direction. Something else is calling to their hearts.

In this case I would suggest getting a journal for the journey and start exploring with say an IKIGAI exercise. This is where you look at what you love doing, what you are good at, what the world needs and what you can be paid for. There’s a key to doing this so that you don’t just write ‘coaching’ in every box. Look out for another blog where I describe how to get the best out of IKIGAI.

After this it’s about noticing what comes up for you and recording that in your journal.

You are at a crossroads

This is like looking into the void and wondering what next? It’s not always about direction, this always feels bigger and life-changing. Like there’s more at play than the direction of your business. This is bigger and has life echoes in it too. The let’s pack a ruck sack and run away to run a bar in the sun kind of crossroads.

What to do eh? Crossroads can be tricky, but also full of opportunity.

I remember being at a crossroads and a decision was made for me. I discovered something my then husband was doing (it would make a great novel) and six weeks later I moved country and started a new life.

My journal once again saved my life. My suggestion would be to take a step back, journal and when you are ready to ask for support.

The book idea may change. It could be about what you did in your crossroads period. All lessons learned are usually the things we teach.

You have lost focus and this feels overwhelming

When there is no focus, everything feels overwhelming. You energy is scattered, nothing makes sense and if you are anything like me you may even shed a few tears. That’s great, get it out!

Again, get that journal out, write and if that feels stuck use journaling prompts. Give yourself space. Ideas come in the spaces, it’s where opportunities lurk.

Do the IKIGAI exercise (coming in another post). Set some goals. Put a 90-day plan together and get an accountability buddy or coach.

You are scared to share

I get this. It can feel vulnerable sharing your stuff, but if you don’t it will die in you and you will not have served the people that need to hear you.

Here’s the thing, you do not have to write a book right now. Hold that intention. Instead, map out the outline and blog it. As you release smaller chunks you will get used to the writing process, you will find your writers voice and you will get feedback. Best of all your confidence will grow.

When I look at blogs I wrote just a few years ago, I can see how my style has grown and changed.

Have faith and take baby steps.

You have other fears

We all have stuff that bubbles beneath the surface. We may suppress it or be unaware of how it is holding us back. You may not even know that you have a particular fear or fears in combination that limit you.

You know what I am going to say talk to someone and journal. It is in the reflection when we are being truly honest with ourselves that the shit rises. I like the layers of the onion I peel daily. They don’t always feel good, but I know that it’s important to uncover stuff, forgive, be grateful and let go.

When you have walked through the fire and written your words then you can think about which book, why and when.

Here’s a bit of a strategy

  • Release your inner book through your journal. Go and buy one or twenty. Dig out an unused one. Just start.
  • Write in a way that suits you – freestyle or via prompts
  • Listen to that quiet inner voice
  • Reflect often
  • Ask for support

Writing journeys

101 days of being me is 101 daily reflective prompts which will get you thinking, writing and reflecting.

101 questions to ask before writing a book is 101 questions that will help you to find clarity in all aspects of your book journey.

Blog your book is an online course for when you feel like jumping in and getting on with it

Whatever you do, make it work for you.

What can you do next? Chat to me about planning your book marketing, blogging or writing your book.

Things You Need To Know About The Book Editing Process

No matter how good a writer you are, there are several things that you must not skimp on, one is your book cover and the second is your editing.

Getting to the first draft is a challenge, but a wonderful challenge as you are creating content for your book and ideal reader. Getting to final draft is magical but is often where we get word, punctuation and grammar blindness. Editing is not easy.

I love the initial parts of editing which is bringing the content to life. However, over time it can get a little tedious. Imagine 50,000 words in front you and it needs editing. That can seem overwhelming. It will be easier if you chunk it down with an editing plan and do one thing at a time.

When I undertake at a developmental edit for a client, I am looking at the robustness of the outline, the flow of the writing, how the book connects with me emotionally and how it fulfils its promise. Often when you get a book that you didn’t help to put together you can see some fairly obvious mistakes.

What is important is that your book is checked and goes through a robust editing process before publishing.

  • Do you have an editing plan?
  • What is in your editing plan?
  • What is your editing process?
  • Who will help you to edit and proof your book?
  • What tools can you invest in to support the writing and editing process?

When someone selects your book, you want them to open it and to keep turning the pages.  The first impression your book makes, starts with the front cover, continues throughout the layout, spelling, grammar, punctuation, choice of words, content, context and right through to the blurb on the back cover.

At this stage, it is vital that you treat your book as if it were a business and create a plan to which ensures you cover all of the bases.  Your book is part of your personal brand and the only way to have a strong personal brand is to carefully define it. No marketer would dream of putting a product (your book) in the marketplace without a clear definition of the brand, who was being targeted and how to communicate the benefits.

Your personal brand is built 24/7 and 365 days per year through what you say, what you do, how you do it, what you look like and the impression you leave.  Of course, you are human, and you will make mistakes.  Just consider how your book fits with your personal branding plan.

Have an editing plan

One of the first things a marketer does is to conduct an audit, your editing plan is your audit.  The audit provides an analysis of your first and subsequent drafts, your self-editing effectiveness and ability to build rapport with your reader. It is a way to provide clarity of purpose for where you are heading with your book.

Even though your book is written to connect with your reader, it makes sense align their needs with your own unique style, so that your book reflects you and your unique gifts.  You want your book to carry the essence of who you are and what you are passionate about. It is a platform to deliver your valuable experience and to establish you as a thought leader.

Make a list of what needs to be edited

It’s not enough to know that you need to edit, you need an editing plan which contains all of the nitty-gritty stuff that you might miss. I have a long list of stuff for my clients to use once they have been through the magical part of smartening up their copy. We tick all of the boxes before the book goes to the proof reader.

Have an editing process

Do you have an editing process? Here’s what I do:-

  • Print and read without marking up the manuscript
  • Take time for reflection
  • Read with coloured pens and brutally edit
  • Edit on screen a few chapters at a time
  • Reprint the manuscript and read aloud while editing
  • Edit on screen a few chapters at a time
  • When I work with clients, I read their book to them and we edit together
  • Print, re read and edit
  • Then I move onto the stuff in my editing plan.

You will find it more productive to edit one thing at a time and it doesn’t matter how many times you edit, you will catch other stuff when you are not expecting to. E.g.

  • Spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • Widows and orphans
  • Overused words, jargon and professional terms
  • Show and tell
  • Flow and readability
  • Facts, figures and research
  • Introductions and first lines
  • Formatting your book- this is where you layout your book ready for print or digital production
  • Engaging with your readers thinking and learning style so that they can make meaning from your work

When this is done, I order a proof book. The proof book can go to your beta readers at this stage or after you have done another edit. When you have finalised your editing, the book must go to a proof reader – your last eyes.

Get help with your editing

This can be your partner, friend or coach who will read through your book for you or with you. Hearing your book read aloud is extremely powerful. Beta readers are a group of people who are prepared to read your book with a critical eye and can provide reviews when the book is launched. You do not have to do this alone.

Read books on how to create great copy

Other ways to get help is to read books on write technically good copy. Just make sure that you do not lose your voice and connection with your ideal reader. These are great for guiding you.

What tools can you invest in to support the writing and editing process?

There are tools embedded in your writing product, you can make great use of spelling, grammar checkers and the thesaurus. You can go up a notch and invest in Grammarly. I love Grammarly because it gets right into the nitty-gritty of my writing and makes me stop to reflect on what I have written.

There are lots of tools, perhaps try a few until you find the one you like. I did this a few years ago and Grammarly was a no brainer, I invested straight away.

What else do you need to know about editing?

Editing develops rapport

The words you use in your book will have an effect on the emotions of your reader and your ability to build rapport with them.  In life people like people who are like them.  People read books which are emotionally attractive to them.  You need to show you care and be authentic in sending your message.

Rapport comes from the French word to build a relationship, think of it as building a bridge from your world to your reader’s world.  Milton Erickson the father of trance and hypnotherapy and famous for his methods of building rapport, he says “anything is possible in the presence of a good rapport.”  Your role with your book is to build rapport with your readers so that you make a connection, create a relationship, influence them and create an impact.

Book rapport is your reader believing that the person who wrote this (your) book is like them and understands them.

Editing needs discipline

I don’t struggle with discipline, I just hate anyone telling me what to do, and my errant teenager still lives strong inside me. If this editing malarkey is not second nature to you, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. When I look at the dust mounting up (I live in what is known as the campo – dust is rampant) and ask dusting or editing a book? The dust is left. Each of these activities can become chores unless you change your mindset.

Your job is to get this book completed in the best way that you can and with each book that you write, you will get better at the process.

The power of reflection

Reflection is our response to experiences, situations, events or new information and a phase where processing and learning can take place.  When you reflect your unconscious mind searches for evidence and analyses it.  After which it tries to make meaning and draw conclusions based on the evidence presented. Once we have been able to evaluate what we are reflecting on, we then add value. 

Reflection is a powerful learning experience.  Not only are we learning as we write our material, but we are also learning how to present it so that others can learn from it. It gives us time to process what we have written.

In order to make sense of our writing, we simply have to leave it.  When you are ready to re-read and edit, your mind will be rested and ready to look at it with new eyes.  This is when you will be able to get the big red pen out and sort through your work effectively.

And finally, never lose sight of who are you writing for

You will have created an ideal reader before you started to write. Go back and review this, bring it up to date if needs be. Some points to consider:-

  • Are you writing for people in a particular field, such as psychology, health, engineering, sales and marketing? You cannot assume the reader has knowledge of the terminology and concepts you will use.
  • Do you need to provide background material and additional references?  What will these be?
  • What expectations does your reader have?
  • What kind of thinking/learning style might they have?  E.g., an accountant will think differently to an artist (typically).  You may be highly visual, but what about your reader?
  • They may be experts, but what is their reading level – think about the words you use or how you might explain something.
  • How fussy will they be over precise punctuation and grammar? This is soooo important.
  • Are your case study characters and your story believable?
  • Do you have an ‘argumentative’ readership, will they agree or disagree with your point of view?  What proof can you offer? 
  • What about the tone you are setting?

There we have it, a few ideas about editing which I hope hasn’t scared you off your book project. You may find you are a natural editor and just imagine holding your beautiful book in your hands.

On Blog Your Book, WRITE and 1:1 coaching, editing is a big focus area. Together we will ensure that you publish a book that you can be proud of.

What can you do next? Chat to me about planning your book marketing, blogging or writing your book.

How To Write A Book In A Day

When I think about how I write a book, like anything in life it’s a process. When I decided to write a book in a day. I created a process for it. And it’s a simple process that I can share with you.

I understand how I like to do things and what is needed to maintain my motivation. When I get a book idea I need to get it planned and outlined immediately, followed by a period of reflection and then a big jump into writing, if it is the right book for right now.

Sometimes it’s not the right book for now, but I know that it will become a book at some point.

Normally, what I will do is to test the water and write blogs. If there is a 30-day blogging challenge going on with one of the many people, including myself that are running one. I’ll break the back of it and get 30,000 ish words written pronto.

I like to challenge myself to write 30 blogs in quick succession so that I can get the content out there and tested and get a better than first draft done. What I also like to do is to take each chapter and make it into learning content, which helps me to see it in another way. I need lots of different ways to look at my content and lots of ‘projects’ running through it. This is because I like fresh, new and exciting and I need to see things from many angles.

Write a book in a day
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Over the last week, I needed to take a break from a book that I am writing called Blog Your Book in 30-Days. I’d got to the content strategy and planning chapters and felt that I needed to go back through some of my processes and simplify them. That’s often what happens when you come to write a book – you get massive clarity on how you do things and so it gives you a chance to step back and ask – how can I do this better?

In my corporate days, one of my favourite jobs was being on the lean team and looking at how people did things and why their processes were the way that they were. I loved finding why things didn’t work and making them work better.

The book that was my book in a day project didn’t just waft in, I’d been working on a multiple sources of income project and thinking about all of my content. What I wondered, could I turn into a series of books that I would love to buy and use?

As an avid journaling and a mandala colourer in. I wanted to combine colouring in with journaling and knew that I had a lot of content that I could repurpose and where the gaps were I knew that I could fill them in quite easily.

Knowing that I had the content and that this would be a simpler project than let’s say writing one’s memoir I set about pulling it all together. What I also focused on was how I could make this a template for a series of books.

The book that I have created will be winging its way to me in the week and I want to ratify it as a proof of concept rather than the final idea. That’s the beauty of self-publishing, you can create a prototype and test it until it’s right quite simply.

Let’s look at the process and hopefully it will inspire you to do the same.

Step 1 – Brainstorm ideas

As I said I love to journal and I adore mandalas. There’s something incredibly relaxing about colouring a mandala in while letting a prompt run through your head. I’ve found in my journaling workshops that this is one of the most powerful ways for people to gain clarity. The idea or should I say ideas were no brainers.

Have a think about what content you have either on a blog or in a course that you could easily repurpose into a simple book. It can be connected to your main business, a business you want to move into or a side hustle. The key is simplicity.

Let’s say that you are a money mindset coach, you could produce a journaling book that takes your reader through your process, without all of the explanation that you might reserve for you brand busting book – that can come later.

What if you are a marketing consultant and your blog is full of tips. Need I say more?

Perhaps you are a therapist who specialises in relationships, you could also create a journal that enables the reader to move through a 21 day process of seeing their relationships in another light.

Brainstorm book titles

As part of your idea generation process, make a list of book titles. Let them sit with you. Before you finalise your book, you will have to choose. I know one will leap out.

What about being brave and asking a few trusted friends what they think?

If time allows, head over to Amazon and look there.

Action: Make a list of simple ideas where you know you have the content or can create it easily. Do the same for book titles

Step 2: Do a knowledge audit

This is where you go an find your content. You’ll be surprised at what you find. After I’d created this book, I put the keyword planners into my file explorer and was shocked at how many planners and templates I’d created.

Action: Find the content, put it into a place that makes sense for this book project.

Step 3: Who is your ideal reader?

Don’t spend long agonising over this. Get an idea of who this is for. Do the demographics, that’s always pretty easy. Then ask:-

  • What are their goals?
  • What are their values?
  • What challenges do they have?
  • What are the immediate pain points?
  • Where do they normally hangout to get information (books, blogs, magazines, films, gurus’s etc.)?

Action: Draw a quick matchstick person and answer the questions.

Write a book in a day (1)

Write A Book In A Day

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Step 4: What questions are they asking?

This is fairly straightforward, grab some post-it notes and brainstorm 20-30 questions they may be asking you. Put them in some kind order and leave them while you grab a cuppa.

Action: Brainstorm questions and put them in what you consider to be a logical order.

Step 5: Map the customer journey

Do a quick map of which content in which order. You have the questions, so start there. And perhaps it doesn’t matter. Just make sure that it makes sense in some way.

Action: Create a customer journey map based on your questions, if relevant.

Step 6: Assess the gaps

Basically, what do you need to write that you don’t already have? For my book I had everything except a small piece of content that I had to write on mandalas.

Action: Access the gaps, making sure that this is not a huge task. Decide how you will fill the gaps.

Step 7: Compile the content

Now you are at the compiling stage. When you write a book, you normally create each chapter and leave the introduction to the end.

Action: Compile your book.

Step 8: Write the missing content

This will include an intro and any chapters or content that needs to go in that you don’t already have. These will also make great blogs.

Action: Do the writing bits.

Step 9: Spell, grammar check & proof

Make sure it flows and there are no mistakes. I use Grammarly and WORD’s built-in tools, as well as printing it out and proofing it. I will read it both silently and aloud to check.

Normally, I would suggest that you send this to a proofreader and you can, it’s up to you. I’d wait until you get the proof copy back and give your proofreader a well-read copy of your book.

In my case, this is content that has already gone through editing and proofing so it’s unnecessary at this stage.

Action: Spell and grammar check with more than one tool. Make sure you also print your book out and read through it. Book the proofreader for later.

Step 10: Check the formatting

This means that it’s laid out in a pleasant and easy to read way. You have chapter headings and subheadings. Your text is consistent and spaced properly. What you will find is that when you upload it to Kindle Direct Publishing you will see if this has been achieved and can change it during the upload stage.

Action: Format and remember as above to print out to make sure you have formatted it correctly.

Step 11: Upload to Kindle Direct Publishing

Go to your bookshelf create a new print book, follow the prompts on the screen, they are self-explanatory and upload your manuscript. You can assign an Amazon ISBN number for ease.

Normally I would get a cover designed by a professional, but as this book is a prototype and I am looking at proof of concept, the cover is not important. I chose an image and used the KDP cover designer. My eye is not pleased by this cover, but I know it is only temporary.

You will need to launch the previewer and this is where you can see if your layout works. I find I have to keep going back and forth until everything is in the right place and believe me it’s weird how WORD does things.

Action: Create a KDP account if you haven’t already done so. Make sure that you go through the tax information first. Then create a new book on your bookshelf. Follow the prompts and do not publish…

Step 12: Order a proof book

You will see an option to order a proof book. Choose that and wait for the email that tells you how to order and pay. Sit back and wait for your book to arrive.

Action: Do not publish. Make sure you order a proof. Look out for your email inviting you to purchase. When you get it back, be very critical and audit it thoroughly.

That’s my write a book in a day process

This whole process took me a day. To be honest, I didn’t sit all day and do this, I did each part with a break and finalised the KDP part the following day. But all in all, it took approx. 10 hours and it only took this long as I wanted my mandalas in heart shapes and I could have given this task to my VA.

The bottom line is I was able to write a book in a day because I made it easy for myself, I had the majority of the content, I am technically capable, I had the desire and motivation. Yes I know what I am doing, I should, I have been doing this stuff for years. But here’s the thing, you can do most of this yourself and outsource the bits you can’t.

If you have never written a book and want one, make it easy for yourself. Once you have published this, the next one which is potentially your big brand and business book will be easier. Better still, blog your book. This is another way to get it done, test your writing skills and content on your readers, build your brand and turn visitors into leads.

My book facts

  • 281 pages
  • 5 full chapters
  • 21 prompts and mandalas
  • 13564 words

Let me know what you think and you know where I am if you need support with this.

What can you do next? 

Write a book in a day (1)

Write A Book In A Day

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How Do You Define Success When You Are Writing A Book

Success means different things to different people. You may write a book and never publish it, yet it is a success because it has helped you to heal. Success could be that your book has helped to raise your visibility and attract new clients.

You may have more speaking engagements. It could be that you want to become a bestseller and sell thousands each week. You have to decide what success means to you and embrace it.

Behind success is motivation. Unless you know what motivates you to write a book then it will never get written. Writing a book requires energy. Just today I have found it hard to write because my energy levels are depleted.

On the weekend I was fed gluten after persistently checking with the chef, only to find that they had lied. The knock-on effect is that because of lower energy levels I have no motivation and without motivation, there will never be a success. Or in my case, the chapter I am working on will stay in draft!

No matter what superhero strengths I have, practically nothing was written yesterday. However, what I know is that if I can do something towards my book then I’m making progress and the feelings of success will come.

When you think of writing a book what keeps you motivated and on track towards becoming a published author?

The following questions have been designed to get you thinking what success means to you, and what makes you feel successful on the journey to becoming a published author.

What will this mean to you when you successfully publish and become a published author?

Let’s break this question down and consider each part. To successfully publish could mean that you get your book onto Kindle Direct Publishing and press publish. To all intents and purposes, you are published and an author. It could mean that you’ve done that and now you are being hailed as a successful author. It makes sense to understand what this question means for you and to set some goals.

Is success?: –

  • Getting your book to live and available status?
  • Letting others know that it has been published and looking for opportunities to create a buzz around your book?
  • Selling an amount each week/each month/each year?
  • Getting bestseller status in your Amazon category?
  • Hitting the bestseller list on the big book lists?
  • Feeling wonderful because you are achieving your goals?

What does success mean to you?

No matter which of the above are your goals or how you motivated yourself to achieve them, success is a strange beast. Goals are about progress towards something you want, and success is a feeling, or at least it is for me.

Perhaps for you, there are some concrete things you can identify. Money in the bank as a result of writing and publishing your book. More speaking engagements? Possibly wealth, fame and influence? What about the power that success might bring?

Perhaps success is about feeling happy, having an impact on others, inspiring change and making a difference?

The first thing to do is to define what success means.

Is it things or is it feelings? What is it that leads you to fulfilment?

I believe that success is a set of feelings that lead you to take action that results in you meeting your goals and getting what you want, which leads you to feeling successful and fulfilled. Let’s face it no one wants to be rich and miserable… or do they?

When you imagine yourself having success do you associate feelings of contentment and inner peace? Can you see yourself smiling and stepping into a greater sense of well-being?

What is difficult about defining success is that when you are asked the question it feels loaded with an expectation for you to specify the things that you will have.

Instead, my invitation is to consider holding your book in your hand and flowing into the feeling. Then imagine the lives you have impacted and feel that. Feel into imagining subsequent books and seeing the faces of your readers getting what they want because your words inspired them.

What are your success habits, and how can you use them on this project?

Having read the above there are two things to contemplate. The success habits that mean that you will blog regularly and write your book so that you reach the goal of being able to publish on the day that you said you would.

Then there are the feelings that success brings and how that motivates you to continue.

When I think about habits, I like to model something that has been successful for me. When my spine fractured, I journaled every day, but more than that I did affirmations and visualisations. I spent time researching and understanding my subject and then formulating a plan to heal. Every day I took action no matter how small towards my recovery. I experimented with ideas, some worked, and some didn’t. Listening to my body and considering the responses was immensely powerful. My success habits also included faith, belief and courage.

Think about how you can get what might seem like an impossible task completed, map out the steps that you take – every step. Now transfer that across to your blog or book project. What do you learn?

Which successful author do you identify with and why?

This always fascinates me. And the authors I love are those who’ve come from humble beginnings and then pow they seemingly have overnight success – as if…

One of my favourite authors is John Marrs. If you haven’t read The One, please do so, it’s brilliant. What I love about John is that he writes consistently interesting novels with intriguing plots and I read that The One is going to be a Netflix film, how brilliant is that?

He strikes me as a hardworking, humble, dog loving author who followed his dreams. He does the work required to bring him those feelings of success we talked about.

And that’s the key, he writes and publishes consistently.

Would you feel your book was a success even if it wasn’t a bestseller?

Hint: the answer is yes, writing is hard work and being one of the small percentage of people who do publish means you rock!

However, writing and publishing is one thing, actually selling your book is quite another things. Many people can dream of being authors, yet few keep marketing their books and ideas.

For your book to be a success in terms of the rewards that it can bring outside of those lovely feelings, you need to be working on your marketing.

One of my favourite ways to bring your work to your ideal client’s attention is to blog your book. By writing consistent high-quality content which you promote you can engage regularly with your audience and inspire them while building your author platform.

Bestseller status is interesting. You can be a bestselling in a quite obscure category. Just last week I was looking at a personal development book from a famous author which was number one in call centre management. That’s what I call frigging the system.

You have to consistently sell 1000’s each week and stay on the bestseller lists. Go and look at Amazon and the NYT lists and research the authors. What would you have to do and how much would you have to spend to sit alongside them?

By employing other more strategic tactics that fit with your business model you will achieve success.

Make a list now of 20 things you could do to promote your book.

How will you profit from writing a book?

Profit is an interesting word. You might profit from the sales you make or you could profit by creating other products and services that align with your book ideas and concepts.

What else can you put on your product roadmap? Make a list and map them out over 24 months. Not sure what you could do or want to brainstorm them, book in for a planning session.

You will have already profited by learning new skills. Think of the planning that goes into getting your book written, published and promoted. Look at how your writing will have grown. Remember the days that you took consistent action to get these things done and the skills you employed and the habits you cultivated.

Profit is not just cash in the bank it’s also personal growth.

Please do comment on these questions, I’d be intrigued to know now that you have contemplated all of this what success and writing a book means to you.

If you are put off writing a book because it feels too big consider blogging your book. Everything is in bite-sized pieces and you can feel successful every time you hit publish and someone comments. And by the way, all of this feedback can help you to write a better book.

What can you do next? Chat to me about blogging or writing your book.

Getting To The Heart Of Why You Are Writing A Book

Let’s explore why you are writing a book. It is, I believe a very personal journey and one that you need to get right, otherwise, your book will never get written.

I have a few books that I have written that are not published, but writing them was deeply cathartic and at the time that was incredibly important.

My latest book Blog Your Book in 30-Days is as you can see very much connected to my business. I’ve enjoyed writing and blogging this book while creating a course of the same name. It has a real purpose. I knew exactly what I wanted to achieve when I started the project.

Find your why and it will be easier to write – I promise.

About You and Why You Are Writing A Book

You will, of course, have noticed that books don’t write themselves, you do need that all-important ingredient called motivation. Motivation starts, I believe with getting your head around the why of your book.

Why do you want to write a book?

This is a great question. Why oh why do you want to write a book?

Write because what you have to say matters to you and your ideal reader. Write because it fulfils a purpose and certainly write because you want to make an impact with your word.

Writing a book will help you to find your voice and your message, or at least clarify it.

And a book will help you to be seen as an expert and that increases your credibility and desirability.

Why do you want to write a book?

How do you perceive writing a book will change your life?

Writing a book will change your life in many ways. First and foremost you will learn new skills and find resources that you didn’t know that you possessed.

You will heal because writing is cathartic. Of course, this depends on what type of book you are writing.

When you become better known you will attract more of your ideal client to you and that will certainly change your life.

Why do you want to share your story, knowledge, skills or experience?

For me, I am an educator so I want to teach you what I know. I also want to inspire and entertain you.

Most of all I want to inspire you to know that you can whatever it is I am writing about.

I believe there is little point keeping what you know to yourself. Knowledge is meant to be shared.

How do you feel about sharing your words?

I invite you to fully connect to this question. You may be feeling scared and asking who am I to be doing this? This is good old imposter syndrome. I understand this and it is quite common.

One of the things I suggest to my clients is to create a book cover journal so that they have been through the process of publishing and get to hold their book in their hands. When they come to do it for real it’s not so bad.

I’d hope that you are feeling excited and looking forward to sharing your words. Embrace your butterflies and enjoy the process.

Why are you the best person to be writing this book?

You are the best person because this is your story, knowledge, skills and experience shared in your unique way.

What else? Own this because it’s important.

Are you writing a book you would like to read?

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” –Stephen King

"If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that." --Stephen King

First of all look at your bookcase and grab some books that you have really enjoyed reading. What do you love?

  • Short chapters?
  • Good storytelling?
  • Case studies?
  • Intriguing questions?
  • Detailed?

Then consider the books that you didn’t enjoy and ask why?

Next, the kind of book that you are going to write will depend on your purpose, business, goals and what you want to create in the world.

I always say to my clients, why write a book that you wouldn’t enjoy reading.

In the past, I have written a few healing memoirs and never published. They weren’t right for me. Just recently I have been looking at these and working out how I could turn them into journaling books.

I love books which are story and self help with a section on questions for my journal.

What do you love?

Naturally, you can write any book because you want to. Writing should be fun and if you want to write something for pleasure – then do so. Just know why.

Ready to make an impact?  Book in a call and lets explore how you can create an impact with your book (or blog).

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