Just about everyone who reads this blog has one thing in common: We all want to market and publish a book. (Successfully and painlessly, for that matter!)
But after that shared goal, we break down into the following groups:
- You’ve already written a book you’re ready to publish
- You have a book in mind but have yet to write it
- You have several book ideas but aren’t sure where to start
- You don’t know what to write, you just know you want to write and publish a book
Regardless of which group you fall in, my goal with this blog is to help you move forward this year.
But today, I want to talk to those of you who’d love to write your first book — or second or third book, as the case may be — but aren’t sure where to start.
First: Narrow Down the Possibilities
Start by contemplating your options. For example, you could write:
- A fiction book that challenges you creatively
- A how-to book that showcases your knowledge about something
- A topic-focused book that positions you as an expert
- A memoir you prize for posterity
- A book of poetry that satisfies your artistic side
- A children’s book you can share with younger generations
- A short story collection that marries your works from years’ past
- A travel-focused book that chronicles adventures to be had around the world
Pick one. If you want to write more than one, terrific! But just start with one for now. Pick whatever resonates with you, whatever gets you the most excited. And if there’s more than one option you’d like to explore, list those too, but make sure your list is ranked.
Prioritizing is good advice for creative types, because it’s not saying you can’t do all the things you want to do. It just means you should do them one at a time so you can make each effort your best.
If you want to write several different kinds of books but you’re not sure where to start, this tip is like oxygen. Often it seems like choosing just one road means you’ll never explore the other roads you see before you. But that’s not the case at all.
Consider the challenge of taking more than one journey at a time … maybe walking one path while listening to an audio description of another path while reading a picture book of yet another.
Think you’d get as much out of any of them as you would if your attention were focused on the path at hand?
If you’re still having trouble choosing, go back to the reason you want to write a book in the first place, the personal goal that links to your book-writing dreams (read this for help setting your book-writing goals). Then choose the type of book that best supports your goal.
Second: Make Your Goal Public
Whether you have a list of 20 possible books or you just barely decided on your first topic, the next step is making the life-improving decision that you’ll write a book this year.
Commit to it. Vow you’ll do it. Tell everybody, and tell them what you’re going to write.
As for me? I’ve been solidly in the too-many-ideas camp for a while, but I’m going to focus my first month of effort on a how-to book about launching a paid copywriting career. More on that after I map out specifics. What about you? Where will you direct your attention this month? Please share your goal or topic-of-choice in the comments below.
Next week I’ll talk about how to set up your marketing platform and why it’s something you should do even before you write your book. I’ll also cover how and why you should share your goals with others (especially if you’re bent on succeeding!).
To your book-writing success!