As summer approaches and writers furiously scribble to finish their book in time for the holiday market, we chatted to CompletelyNovel author and business book mentor, Karen Williams, about the things writers can do to ensure they finish. These procrastination-busting tips are great for fiction and non-fiction – check them out and keep up the great work! You can read an excerpt of Karen’s book, Your Book is the Hook on CompletelyNovel.
5 things that will stop you from writing your book and how to avoid them by Karen Williams
As a business book mentor, I know that writing a book isn’t for the faint-hearted. It is, however, a good marketing tool for your business and a great way to showcase your expertise. With self-publishing tools like CompletelyNovel, it’s easier than ever before to get your book published, and it’s a really effective way to get in front of the right people.
However, what you’ll find, whether you are writing a non-fiction or a fiction book, is that there will be things that stop you from writing. But as with many things, when you know what they are, it makes it easier to avoid them! With my latest book, Your Book is the Hook, I went from the idea to a published book in less than six months, and that’s why I’d like to share these stumbling blocks with you and how you can overcome them.
1. Getting stuck in the enormity of your project
Writing a book is a big thing and unless you break your book project into bite-sized chunks, you’ll struggle to get off the starting blocks. Then it’ll be easier to procrastinate and you’ll probably be stuck with a half-finished book. I always advise my clients to create a plan for their book from the beginning, and this can take two approaches. Firstly, I suggest they map their knowledge, wisdom and expertise to create the structure that they’ll be sharing in their book. Even if you’re writing a fiction book, your process will be similar as you’ll still need an outline before you start to write.
Secondly, I also suggest that they look at the mini-goals that need to be completed. That means working out where you need to do some more research and the individual milestones that need to happen along the journey to getting published. Working back from your launch date with mini-deadlines will help you to manage the project and see how much time you need.
2. Trying to do it all by yourself
As a business mentor, I’m there to champion my clients every step of the way, but even if you decide to go it alone, having someone to support you will keep you accountable for your actions. If you’ve committed to writing two chapters by a certain date, your accountability partner will keep you to your promise and motivate you to get it done.
3. Being a perfectionist
When you like things to be just right, it’s hard to let go with your writing. I’m not suggesting that you should be slapdash, but if you are always editing and re-editing, then you’re never going to move onto the next page. So I have a suggestion for you. If the words aren’t flowing, there’s nothing stopping you from making notes on your topic and going back to it later, or filling in the gaps when you’ve done some more research. Make the time to write now and worry about polishing it later.
4. Being worried about what other people might think
I know that writing a book can be scary and you might wonder if you’re good enough, whether anyone is going to read your book, or what people might think. But how would you feel if you never got your book out there? When you do stick your head above the parapet and share your best work with the world, there will be a few people who don’t like it, but there will be many more people who will love what you do.
5. Struggling to find time to write
It can be difficult to fit in time for writing, because other things can get in the way, like a day job, a business, and having a life! If you’re struggling to find time to write, there are various things that you can do to make it happen – some people choose to meditate or do a visualisation – and if you’d prefer a more practical approach, you just need to make it a priority.
I advise my clients to schedule protected time in their diary to get their book done (without distractions!), and to either write a certain number of hours a day or block out a chunk of time when they’ll write. I also run a writing retreat in Spain to give people the time and space away from day-to-day life to focus on this one task only, without those other things getting in the way!
Ultimately if you make your book a priority and know why you’re doing it, it’s more likely to happen. So now that you know what might be stopping you, what do you need to do to get your book done?
About Karen Williams
Karen Williams works with business experts – coaches, therapists and consultants – who want to stand out from the crowd and write a non-fiction book that helps them to grow their business.
As a coach and mentor, she helps her clients to not only get their book out of their head, publish and promote it, but she also enables them to ensure their business is book ready. This allows them to create and market their best book that increases their confidence, raises their credibility and attracts higher-paying clients.
She is the author of Your Book is the Hook which teaches her six-step writing approach, How to Stand Out in Your Business, and the Amazon number one bestseller The Secrets of Successful Coaches. She has also contributed to many other business books. You can find out more about Karen and her books here.