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Is it time to write a book?

is it time?My online bootcamp for graduates of the proposal challenge begins tomorrow, and you can almost taste the anxiety and excitement in the group. Suddenly it's just got real: having crystallised their vision for their book in the proposal, now it's time to step up and start writing.  

One of the comments that participants in both the proposal challenge and the bootcamp frequently make is: 'It's time.' It's time for them to stop talking about writing a book and start doing it.

But how do you when it's time for YOU to write a book? The truth is that the book begins way before you start the actual writing. It starts with your vision for your life and your business. This is not a one-off job: what you want from life evolves over time. Goals shift and develop as you approach them. 

This in itself can stop people from sitting down and writing a book: they’re terrified of writing something that won’t be true a year from now.

Supercoach Michael Neill warned me against writing a book too soon, what he called ‘premature articulation’.

‘We try and put words to it before we've really felt it… There is a time to write. I know for me, the timing of my books is tied into some movement in me.’

Don’t leave it too late, though. It’s possible to end up writing what you used to believe, or something that you know is true but doesn’t excite you any more. As Natalie Reynolds, author of We Have a Deal, put it, here’s a moment when it’s right to make the tea, and it’s when the water’s come to a rolling boil, not before, and not after when the kettle’s switched itself off and the water’s cooling. If you can catch that moment when you’ve deeply felt and experienced what you’re writing about but before you’ve lost your excitement about it, you’re onto a winner.

Graham Allcott, author of How to be a Productivity Ninja, put it this way:

‘Go out and do the work first and then put the work into a book later. I think it's important to have a backstory and a credibility to bring to the book. Let's say someone's really coaching on relationships, say just as an idea or a topic. If, on week one of your business, you start writing a book, someone is going to say, "Who are you to tell me about this?" Whereas if I can say, "I've taught Outlook to Bill Gates and timekeeping to the Swiss and efficiency to the Germans," well, there's a great start. I think it gives you more credibility when you're in the room with people and when someone picks the book off the shelf. More importantly, it makes the book better because it gives you the experience of all of those conversations.’

If you’ve done the work and built the backstory, if your ideas have been tested in the real world and you’re ready to articulate them to people who’ve not even met you yet (but really need to), and most of all if you have a real desire to do it and an excitement to get started: it's time. 


You can hear Michael Neill, Natalie Reynolds and Graham Allcott - plus a host of other incredible interviews - in The Extraordinary Business Book Club

This entry was posted on 29 January 2017 at 17:39 and is filed under publishing | content strategy | writing | books. You can leave a response here.

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