Can’t start your business book? Here’s why and how to fix it
It’s so annoying, isn’t it?
You’re all set to write a book for your business. Correction: you are writing your book.
But whenever you sit down to plan out your content you feel stuck.
Then procrastination sets in.
This manifests itself in things like: talking about your book, reading blogs on book writing (like this one), asking for advice on social media about your book, and daydreaming about the sales figures and never-ending royalties you’ll get from said book.
None of which is helpful.
‘Why the heck can’t I just write it?’ you ask yourself. ‘Am I too lazy? Too stupid? Not committed enough?’
You are none of these things. In fact, there’s a reason why you’re struggling to start.
But you don’t know what it is.
It’s pretty simple, really. It’s because you don’t know why you want a book.
The real reason you can’t get going with your book
‘Of course I know why I want a book!’ you say.
OK, hold on.
As a business book ghostwriter and book coach, I speak to a lot of people who are struggling to get going with their book. And when I dig down into it, for nine out of 10 people the main reason is that, although they think they know why they want a book, what they’ve actually got is a few different ideas in their heads all competing with each other.
Not knowing your one main why is a surefire way to lack of clarity.
Lack of clarity leads to trying to be all things to all people.
And trying to be all things to all people is the number one way to feel confused and distracted as you write.
What’s more, if you’re unsure your readers will be too. That means they won’t get what they need from your book, which means you’re not really helping anyone.
Let’s break that down. If you don’t know why you want to write your book:
- you won’t be sure who you’re writing it for, which means . . .
- you won’t be clear on what the core message of your book is, which means . . .
- you won’t know what to write about, which means . . .
- you get stuck with starting it.
You can see how knowing your ‘why’ is the first step towards feeling confident about your book. All the other decisions you’ll make will hang off that one word.
So why do you want to write your business book?
There are a number of reasons you could choose. Try these for starters:
- You’re keen to position (or re-position) yourself as an expert in your niche
- You’d like to give away copies to potential clients or speaker bookers, thereby showcasing your knowledge and personality
- You want to sell it at speaking events to reinforce your talk
- You’d love to help your readers overcome a problem
- You need to attract new, or more profitable, clients
- This burning topic you’re passionate about has to get out somehow!
- You’d feel great about writing a memoir for family and friends
- You want to claim your space
- You’d love to grow your list and generate leads
- You crave the emotional satisfaction of being a published author
- You want the kudos of having written a bestseller
- Being considered a thought-leader is important to you
How to find your ‘why’
Which of these is your biggest why?
One may jump out at you straightaway. If it doesn’t, ask yourself what results you hope to get as a result of having this book. Picture yourself, with your book, enjoying those outcomes. What would they be?
Whatever you do, be honest with yourself. How important is this end goal to you? Have you chosen it because you think it sounds good, rather than being what you actually want? Do you feel a bit bad admitting you want a book to raise your profile, when you think it should only be about helping people? (it can do both, of course).
And is your goal realistic? If you want to write a bestseller but your book is about a niche area of plant care, you might need to re-think. You’re unlikely to be able to combine both aims in one book – and that’s fine.
By the way, there’s no good or bad goal – only the right or wrong one for you and your business.
Why your ‘why’ is all you need to know
Knowing your ‘why’ determines what kind of book yours will be. Here’s how it works.
If your main goal is to help people, that means you’ll be aiming at readers with a particular problem you can solve, and your book’s big message will be the approach you take to doing that.
If your main goal is to build your expert authority and raise your reputation, that means you’ll be writing your book for the readers you want to influence, and your book’s big message will be the unique and personal angle you take on the topic in question.
If your aim is to write a bestseller, that means you’ll be aiming at a relatively broad audience, and writing on a subject which appeals strongly to large numbers of that readership.
Now it’s getting easier. You know why you want a book, which means you can decide who it’s for. Once you know that, you can work out the central theme and message of the book.
Now you’re schmokin’
You’ve taken away the doubt.
Which means the frustration dies down too. No more wondering why you can’t get started – it’s all clear.
So start with your ‘why’.
Then your ‘who’ and your ‘what’ will become clear.
Once you’ve done this your book will have a razor sharp focus that will help you write it, instead of the fuzziness that was hindering you before.
There’s nothing stopping you now!
But if you could do with someone to hold your hand through this decision making process, apply for a free Author Maker Strategy Session with me. By the end of it you’ll know what’s holding you back, and what to do next.