Think about what you’d like to include in your book. Right now, call to mind, let’s say, three concrete ideas you’d want to share with people in your book.
Now, does that feel like enough content? Too much? Too little?
You will probably have a hard time accepting what I’m about to tell you (almost every client I’ve ever worked with struggles with this). But here goes:
You are already trying to include WAY too much in your book.
Many of the most successful books out there are so basic that if you were the author, you’d be riddled with self-doubt before publishing. Let me show you a couple of examples.
The Four Agreementsby Miguel Ruiz is only 138 small pages. The author created a chapter for each agreement, plus an introduction. The agreements are:
Many moons ago, I worked as a pay phone operator. And I learned a valuable lesson about exaggeration.
(What’s a pay phone operator? Let’s just say that real live humans were your Siri.)
Every day, I sat in a cubicle sea and wore a headset to answer calls that came through a desktop computer.
I was not allowed to talk to anyone but the people who called my pay phones, and I was only allowed a pencil and a few sheets of scrap paper.
The computer did nothing but answer calls. No email, no internet, not even a pleasant beach-scene screensaver.
So…yeah, it was super boring.
One day, my manager asked if anyone spoke French. They occasionally got calls from French speaking customers and needed someone who could direct them to a French language help line.
I lifted my hand. I had taken French for several years in school, but I had zero occasion to speak it. Rusty would have been a nice way of describing my fluency at that point.
But no one else was available, so I...
Do you feel the call to write your book but can’t seem to get any writing done?
Do you know it’s the right thing to do for your business, but you haven’t made much progress?
As a book coach, I see two big reasons people struggle with doing the writing they KNOW will make a difference, not to mention alleviate all the guilt they feel at not getting it done.
Here are the top two reasons people say they’re struggling with writing:
Today, I want to share with you what I do to get past the first of these struggles.
How in the world do you get yourself to just sit down and write?
(And why the heck is this even an issue in the first place?)
If you know that a book will…
…then why isn’t that knowledge enough to...
You’re a business owner, right? I am too. I know what it’s like to funnel most of your time, recourses, and energy toward earning an income. When you think about creating that thing that will take you to the next level, you feel overwhelmed.
As a wife and a mother, I also know what it’s like to live day-to-day, juggling responsibilities and family obligations.
You've got a LOT going on.
But I also know the high price we pay as human beings when we deny that sacred part of ourselves – our creative selves, our calling, our purpose in this world. It can make us feel like our lives have less meaning.
At the end of the day, when your head hits the pillow, ALL the accomplishments of your day still don’t seem like enough compared to all that you’re NOT doing.
Have you ever felt that way?
But what if you...
When I write magazine feature articles, I always—ALWAYS—write too much. During that first draft, I can’t help but write as much as I want. So, my articles start out too long, sometimes by up to 50% (yikes!).
On the opposite end, another writer I know ALWAYS writes way too little when she writes features. She ends up with an article that’s only 50% of what the word count SHOULD be. She has to go back and add more to what she wrote to meet the requirements.
We each have a style – mine is more detailed and maybe poetic, and hers is more factual and direct. Neither is wrong or right, but our styles do impact how hard we have to work (or not work) at being concise.
What’s your writing style? If you’re struggling to be concise, you might be more like me—there’s so MUCH you want to say!
I have a hack for you.
If you commonly read what you’ve written and have no idea what to cut because it all seems...
One of my recent ghostwriting clients didn’t actually become a ghostwriting client. Let me explain.
He wanted to write a book about his incredible invention—something that revolutionized his industry. He was passionate about his field, had firsthand experience with the transformation possible, and was well-connected to others who could add stories and expertise to his book.
But he wasn’t a writer. He was an expert in his own work but not in the work of writing.
He reached out to me on a referral from another client, for whom I’d ghostwritten blogs and articles and white papers. He hoped I’d be willing and available to ghostwrite his entire book.
We talked. I listened to his findings, his personal transformation, and his description of the life he was now leading thanks to this work. He told me he had already been writing down ideas and pages of content.
And it got me thinking: When should someone who’s not a writer hire a pro and when should they...
Have you been writing but keep getting a weird twinge in your gut that something is “off?” Or a deflated feeling that what you wrote doesn’t communicate the image in your head and heart? Or maybe you like what you write but you’re not getting the kind of response that you expected?
Turns out, there might be one big reason for all these writing hurdles. Let me tell you a quick story about how I discovered this massive obstacle in my own writing.
In 2004, I had graduated college with a degree in English and applied to eight writing programs, including two “safety” schools that I thought were no-brainer admissions. During my wait for responses, I got a job at the ABC-TV station in Dallas. I produced my first TV spot. I learned to write copy for station promos and news teases.
And the school rejections started rolling in.
One after another, thin, sad envelopes appeared in my mailbox. My hope became thinner and more desperate with each one. Finally,...
In December 2006, I sat in a Borders bookstore, typed an article that would pay a penny per word, and despaired of ever getting a national magazine-writing gig. I had pitched editors with all my best ideas (I thought), and no one seemed to be open to new submissions from inexperienced writers (go figure).
I had landed a remote position as the associate editor for a regional magazine, a couple of copywriting jobs, and a steady gig writing these low-paying bulk articles. But the higher-paying and higher-profile work I coveted was in national newsstand magazines.
That cold day, the windows of Borders were fogged near the base. I stared at the droplets as they trailed down the glass and longed to stop working on the article about wedding gifts and just wander the bookstore for a few hours. I had taken a huge risk a couple years earlier by leaving my full-time job and going freelance. Days like this, I wondered if I had made a mistake.
Two women sat nearby. As they laughed...
Have you ever been so scared you lost your lunch?
After serving as managing editor of SUCCESS magazine for about a month, I got my first big interview opportunity: legendary boxer and entrepreneur George Foreman.
I was beside myself with joy--I was a big fan. After pulling tons of research, sketching out my interview questions, and arranging to work from home on the day of the interview so no one would see how incredibly nervous I knew I would be, I felt ready.
Until about thirty minutes before he was scheduled to call.
The audio recorder and phone were on the table, and I was pacing the living room, shaking my hands out at the wrists in utter terror.
I had never spoken to someone with this level of distinction before. I hadn’t yet held one-on-one conversations with celebrities and uber-successful business owners. The intimidation I felt that day was alternately driving me into fits and paralyzing me in a ball on the sofa.
Then my stomach lurched. It was five...
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