So you’re thinking of writing a business book?
That’s great! And don’t worry, writing a business book isn’t as difficult as you think. Half the time, the biggest challenge to writing anything is your mindset. You become stuck in a mindset which tells you things like…
“You can’t write a book, what are you thinking of!”
“How do you write a business book, anyway? You don’t even know where to start.”
“There’s no point in writing a business book. No one would read it. ”
But once you understand the reason why your mindset is in ‘keep safe’ mode, and you learn to embrace this, well, who knows how far your book-writing adventure will take you. I am talking from experience, here, by the way, and I’ve got a confession to make:
I put off writing a business book for a such a long time it was embarrassing. Here I was teaching people how to write books and writing all kinds of non-fiction books for my business owner clients, yet, I didn’t have my book selling on the Amazon store.
Having previously written (in a ghostwriting capacity) several non-fiction/business books for clients, you’d think I’d have my author act together first, right?
There are heaps of reasons why I put off writing my business book for so long (I talk about such excuses in another blog by the way) but once that first book fear was quashed, I realised delaying my author debut had been a career faux pa.
Now you may be thinking, here, “I want to write a book but where do I start?”
Well, if you’re all fired up and good to go, you will find thousands of resources online, plus books (I’ve written one too and I’ll share the details in a jiffy) and programmes. Do your research wisely, though. In a nutshell, writing that first draft of your business book is all about the planning initially. You can’t just dive in and hope for the best.
You’ll need to create a book outline.
Think about your overall word count and how you can break this down into chapters. From there, start bullet-pointing or mindmapping your chapters, then go back and flesh them out. By the way, I can guarantee once you start writing down your initial ideas, you’ll discover just how much content you’ve already got. Oh, and make sure to check out all the content you’ve written already – blogs, freebie e-books, videos, podcasts, and masterclasses.
Once I’d created an easy-to-follow-and-implement outline for my book, which enabled me to work in bite-sized chunks and not succumb to the dreaded overwhelm, everything fell into place. And I’m sure it will for you too.
You’ll need to set daily writing targets (and stick to them or catch up at the end of the week!).
In my case, I checked my diary and looked for a realistic date to get my first draft finished. Once the deadline was set, I calculated how many words I’d need to write each day.
Chunking down my word count into daily amounts prevented me from being consumed by the enormity of the task. And instead of adopting the mindset of, “I’ve got a whole book to write, that sounds like way too big a job, I know, let’s go and clean the bathroom instead”, I tackled my mini writing goals head-on. I looked forward to my precious pocket of writing time each day and even saw at as a me-time treat. I played little mind games with myself… can I beat the target today and write a chunk of tomorrow’s content too?
This positivity and ticking off my daily targets (if you’re a list person, you’ll know how satisfying this is!) spurred me on day after day.
One thing I realised, however, and the same might happen to you, was that my inner editor would kick in when I was writing. This led to my word count reducing each day, but when I understood that leaving my red pen alone meant I would actually reach that 30,000-word target in 30 days, I did just that.
Now if you’re wondering whether writer’s block got its claws on me, the answer is “no”.
When there was any smidging sign of it, I simply moved onto writing a different chapter, and when I’d finished I could look at the previous one from a fresh perspective and start writing again. Once I set my mind to writing my book and committed to the end result, I found the writing just flowed. Why?
- No research necessary… because I was writing a book about a subject I knew inside out and already had a good stash of content to repurpose, I didn’t have to spend extra time on research. As a result, that first draft just kind of flew out in a stream of consciousness, like a burst dam, and I was amazed at how much content I’d stored in the dusty nooks and crannies of my brain.
- I genuinely enjoyed it… straight up! Now I know you’ll be saying, ‘well, it’s ok for you, that’s what you do for a living’ and fair enough, I take your point. And yes, I do love writing anyway. But I know you will have the same pleasure. Why? Because you’re writing about your mastermind subject, the chances are it will also be a topic you’re passionate about. So not only will this dissolve the pressure you would ordinarily feel if you were tasked with writing, say, a historical novel, but also you’ll find that once you start freeing your brain of all the book content you’ve been storing, finding time to write becomes a priority – rather like that last slice of cake on your kitchen top – it’s uppermost in your mind and you won’t rest until you’ve dealt with it.😊
Here’s a round-up of my top tips for writing a business book:
- Don’t skimp on the planning – without a map to show you where you’re going, you’ll never reach your destination.
- Don’t reinvent the wheel – look at every piece of content you have written, could you repurpose any of it to create the bones of your framework?
- Leave your red pen in your pen pot until that first draft is completely ready – you’ll never finish, otherwise.
- Make your deadline realistic – be mindful of your other responsibilities and how you can work around them to get your writing done.
- Set writing targets that are achievable – they really will get you out of bed each morning.
- Be accountable – tell someone close to you that you’re writing your biz book and when you intend to have it ready (if you’re working with a coach, tell them – they’ll keep asking about it, I’m sure).
- Be kind to yourself – if you miss a day’s writing, obviously for a solid reason, then don’t give up altogether. You don’t stop dieting because you feel off the wagon (or the fridge) and ate 3 bags of crisps instead of that fruit salad, do you? Simply reassess. Can you catch up with your writing by the end of the week, or do you need to add an extra day or 2 to your deadline?
And here are a few books I wrote earlier…
90+ Content Ideas for Social Media, Blogs & Online Marketing was the first business book I wrote as myself and once I pressed the publish button, I was so happy! Because it’s a practical book which readers can return to and use time and time again (particularly when they’re overloaded with client work and they don’t have the headspace to think of content that’s going to connect with their followers) it just about sells itself. I have a Blogging for Business book in the pipeline, too, because I’ve realised that teaching your audience something, or saving them time and frustration, is the kind of book that sells. You might want to think about that too.
I was so happy to launch this first book I began working on my second book, How to Write a Brilliant Biz Book a week later. Granted, I’d created a blueprint now, based on the experience of writing my first book, so the first draft was fairly simple to pull together. By this time my author confidence had grown too, (I no longer felt that initial vulnerability which had kept me from sharing my expertise for so long) and I couldn’t wait to finish the book and self-publish on Kindle and in print.
From there I’ve also continued my author journey and co-authored two books with my good friend, Paul Knight, Lifestyle and Fitness Expert of www.paulknightcoaching.com, The Write Way to Be Happy Journal and its companion book, 91 Affirmations: Lucky Dip Your Way to a Happier, Healthier You.
It was obvious… I’d been bitten by the author bug.
And this is something I’d love you to experience too.
Writing a non-fiction book or your memoir or your business book doesn’t have to be tricky, time-consuming and overwhelming. Rather it can be exciting, life-changing, business-benefiting and confidence-boosting.
Don’t keep putting off writing your business book. If you’re anything like me you’ll be kicking yourself and questioning why the heck you put it off for so bloomin’ long!
Happy business book writing!