Writing a book. Why you might not end up with your first idea
Are you writing a book? Want to write a book? Like the idea of writing a book but have no idea which one to exploit?
I get it I truly do. I have written 100’s of 1000’s of words over the years. Some I have published, many I have shaped into books, and they now languish like a dastardly rotter on my hard drive, and some are crashing into my brain screaming write me.
But there are only so many hours in a day, and it is deciding well which one SHOULD I write?
Which one should I write? Which book does my head want me to write? More importantly, which one does my heart want to write and which is the right one for right now?
Writing a book for right now
Whenever I talk about writing a book for right now, it means two things.
One: There will be a book that needs to be written that is from your heart, which will be healing and cathartic. This book you may publish later, but right now you need to write it.
Two: Your right now book is a book that you right that aligns with your brand and business and is about something you may be known for, and you also want to be known for.
One is a book that may become a two, and you’ll see why soon.
The evolution of writing a book
There is a school of thought that when it comes to writing a book you do some research, find a gap and exploit it. So if there is a gap in the market for books on bats for children aged 11-15 then write it regardless of your business or where you find yourself in life. This has (allegedly) proved useful for people selling this system of writing a book.
Then, of course, you may have a publisher who through extensive research spots a gap, and this becomes your next book.
However, I am talking about writing a book that is written from your heart that will become aligned with your brand and business. This book is one that will excite and inspire your readers to know that if it is possible for you, it is possible for them.
How does a book evolve?
The best way that I can tell you this is to describe my journey. Or at least part of my journey.
I’m a long term journaler, and writing has saved my life on more than one occasion.
Some years ago I had a massive awakening, I’ve had a few, but this one changed the direction of my life completely. I wrote a book I called Rude Awakenings – a journey to self-love. At the same time, I created an e-book and course. I needed to do all of these things together because I was in effect teaching and coaching myself. As I created the course, I did the work in the course and wrote the book. This works for me as a method of healing and creation.
I then sat back and thought what on earth did I do that for – it has nothing to do with writing a book or journaling.
My mission is about inspiring others to write and to heal through writing. I always suggest that you start with a journal and then write your book – whatever kind of book this is.
When the proof book came, I was excited to read it but less than motivated to edit it. Something felt off key and as I couldn’t put my finger on what, so I popped the book in the cupboard and waited for divine inspiration and timing.
What happened next was another big awakening – my spine fractured and I spent the best part of a year in rehabilitation and healing. After four days of lying looking at the ceiling in agony I went and found a journal, and a few weeks later I started writing a book. I need to support my healing.
This, it transpires, has been the hardest book I have written, because there is so much nutritional and scientific stuff I had to read and learn at the same time. But hey it helped me heal, so that’s good, right? I stopped writing and editing as I needed a break, I set a publication date (Oct 14th) and took a breather.
Or so I thought.
In the gaps comes opportunity
Once I had put healing osteoporosis naturally to one side, I started to look at my business and how I could simplify it and re-align everything again. Being ill scatters your energy when you have some somewhat.
I checked in with my heart to find out what to do next. When I looked at my existing books, they looked tired, so I put new covers on and edited them. I realised that Writing to Heal must become a series of books. But I pondered what subjects could I write around? What would be the most relevant?
It struck me while I was journaling on my 101 days of being me, journaling adventure that this is what I have been creating. Sometimes I could kick myself for not seeing the obvious.
I was also struck by the way in which I have been writing books. Each one has seemed at the time to be the right book.
They were the right book because they were cathartic to write. I, however, could not have published them like this as they did not fit with my brand and were not aligned with anything.
They had a purpose, and the purpose was healing. Now that I can look at the journey as that, a journey, each one makes more sense as I move forward.
Rude Awakenings, for example, will become Writing to Heal a Journey to Self-love. I also have Tapping into your Divine Inner Wisdom and The Healing Process. Each of these is a part of my Writing to Heal series.
As luck would have it, I have 100’s of 1000’s of words already written – sometimes keeping old stuff is a wise move. Ok, not necessarily laid out in the right chunks but there none the less available to be repurposed.
Never throw your words away
My invitation to you is to look at journeys you have taken and the words you have written. These can be in your journal, a blog or a series of chapters that you thought might become a book.
Do nothing with them other than to acknowledge that you have content which you could repurpose.
Ask a few questions:
- What is my core business?
- Am I doing what I love, that I am good at, what the world needs and for which I can be paid? Yes, this is a closed question.
- What is my mission?
- What vision do I have for my brand and business?
- What do I want to be known for?
When you get some clarity around these, you can start to think how a book fits with this and why you would even write one.
When you know why then start to plan your book
It is only through introspection and allowing what needs to come in the spaces will you find your answers. It takes a while to plan, write, edit and publish a book, so it does need to be the right book.
Perhaps like me, you write it to heal and let it sit on your hard drive waiting to be birthed or maybe you know that you want to write and publish this year. Either way, it’s your right way and right book.
Never beat yourself up that you have written loads and you can’t think where or how to use it, that will come.
This visualisation for my book exercise will help
Take yourself on a journey and see what arises.
What will you do next?
I invite you to become creative and consider what else you can create around your book? What products and services can come from the book?
Your book is not a business calling card it is a business asset.
Even if you can’t think which book or how to get it written, know that because you have set your intention, it will come. Remember some books are meant to evolve with you.
Writing a book which evolves recap
- You have an awakening and life changes
- You start to journal and explore how to heal
- You write chapters for a book or your blog your journey
- The writing is deeply cathartic
- Doubt or lack of motivation sets in and you park your idea
- Life changes direction, and you work on other things
- Through serendipity aka the gaps, you can see where your words fit with your goals
- Your ideal reader
- It all makes sense
- You create a vision for your book, brand and business
- You go through the planning and outlining phase of writing a book
- You undertake a knowledge audit and find what you can repurpose and what needs to be written from scratch
- You may blog your book to test the waters
- You write and publish your book
- You develop a product road map and develop products and services around your book
My hope is that you feel inspired to go back and look at what you have and ask the question – is it time for this book to be written?
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