One of the biggest things stopping potential authors from beginning to write a book is confidence. Or rather, a lack thereof.
Writing a book can feel like a massive undertaking for first time writers. And, it is. Yet I can also tell you that it’s never as difficult as it might seem.
Particularly, when you break it up into little steps.
And most definitely when you equip yourself with the knowledge and tools before beginning.
So, let’s take a look at a few things you can do, to fill yourself with confidence, before you embark on your book writing journey.
Or BEFORE you give up on the idea entirely.
Too many people dream of writing a book someday, but never have the guts to give it a go. Therefore, the world loses a potentially valuable book.
At The Rural Publishing Company, we want to see many more authors get their start into writing and fulfilling their dreams – as we believe your stories, your experiences, your perspectives and your words, really are needed.
Developing the belief in YOUR ability to write a book
Anyone with the desire and determination to do so, CAN write a book. In fact, they say that EVERYONE has at least one book in them!
In reality too, you don’t necessarily need to consider yourself a ‘writer’ or a ‘good writer’ to give it a go. If you have a great idea and something you wish to share with the world, and can at least get some words on the page, it’s amazing what a good editor can do to take ‘ordinary’ writing into being something truly extraordinary.
Secret 1: The secret to great writing is engaging an awesome editor. The true magic of a book doesn’t always come directly and only from the author’s words – the magic and the ‘razzle dazzle’ comes from the editing process.
Find evidence in other authors
Once you know that everyone can write a book, and that editors work all sorts of magic, it’s easier to believe that perhaps you too, can write a book.
But let’s take it a step further.
I want you to do some research.
Jump on to Amazon, and take a look at the Best Sellers list, in the category that you think your idea for your book, might fit into.
Click on the top 100, one by one, and check out the authors and their bio’s.
Yes, there’s probably going to be a lot of impressive sounding people. But if you dig enough, I bet there’s a few in there who aren’t too different to yourself.
You’ll most likely find that there are other authors who might be rural, regional or remotely based across Australia, who have managed to write a successful book.
You’re also likely to find that many authors may well have the same professional or business background that you do.
Or maybe, that they’ve come from similar background with similar challenges and difficulties.
At the very least, you’ll start to see and understand just how diverse authors can be.
There are no rules, to who gets to become an author.
The authors already out there, are simply the ones who decided to back themselves enough to give it a red hot go.
Therefore, why can’t you? There are no reasons big enough for why you can’t. So it’s time to start believing that you CAN.
Secret 2: Anyone can write a book as so many people already have. If they can – you can. It’s time to back yourself and just go for it.
Learn an effective writing process
One of the things that many beginning authors mistakenly believe, is that writers sit down in front of a screen and the perfect words simply pour out of them like magic.
This is hardly ever the case.
Even the most experienced, professional writers tend to follow a PROCESS that helps the right words form.
And as we said earlier, a lot of the magic happens in the editing stage.
The very simple but incredibly powerful writing process that we teach at The Rural Publishing Company is this:
- Write a Rough First Draft
- Edit again.
Doing things in this way takes the pressure off, as instead of aiming to write perfect prose the first time, you begin by simply brain dumping a whole heap of brain junk, on to the page.
You then start organising the garbled thoughts and ideas into a plan or a chapter structure.
And only then, do you start expanding each of your chapter topics into actual words. But the first draft is always a case of ‘spit it out’.
Then, you edit, edit and edit some more – until you have something worth publishing.
Now, this is clearly a very basic overview of this writing process.
You can learn this in more detail in our mini course – How to Write Anything, Good.
Alternatively, you can also learn this process in even more detail, plus a whole lot more about writing your first book in our bigger course – How to Plan & Write Your Book.
These courses are a fantastic place to start, as the more information you have before tacking the writing process, the easier it will be to create your amazing book.
Incidentally, How to Plan & Write Your Book also helps you develop more confidence, as we have included an entire section (with videos) on Creating the Confidence to Start.
Secret 3: Perfect prose doesn’t just happen. You need to follow a strong process to help tease the magic out.
Get personalised, hands-on support and accountability
While it’s possible to do a lot of things alone, including writing a book, big things like these are always easier when you enlist the right support.
You may well have that typical, romantic notion of a writer squirrelling away over their words in some dark corner alone. This isn’t always conducive of getting a book written and done, however.
Hiding yourself away while you write may well be your idea of fun (it’s often mine!), however it also may keep you far too isolated and therefore, stuck.
It’s easy to get stuck during the writing of your book – and the best way to get unstuck, is by talking it over with someone who can offer suggestions and encouragement.
Sometimes you really just need to bounce ideas around with either a mentor or a writing buddy, to hash out a chapter or to inspire a new idea or direction.
If you don’t have anyone in your immediate circle who can help you do this, joining an online community or coaching program can be really beneficial. Particularly, if you’re a rural, regional or remote author with limited access to local people who can help you.
At The Rural Publishing Company, we’ve aimed to fill in the gap, by providing one on one book coaching, or the more affordable option of our small group coaching program.
Both of these give you access to us and our professional team – where we can be on call, whenever you need us, with support, suggestions, ideas, inspiration and a little bit of friendly ‘whip-cracking’.
Because not only do you need support and someone to bounce off, but you also need someone else to keep you accountable and on track.
When you only have yourself to answer to, it’s easy to make up excuses in our own heads, as to why we can’t possibly keep writing or get something done.
On the other hand, when you have a mentor and a couple of peers egging you on, you’re much more likely to finish.
Secret 4: Support and accountability mentors and buddies are key to you successfully completing your manuscript and book.
Have tactics up your sleeve to tackle writer’s block
Before you start writing a book, it’s always a great idea to educate yourself on a few practical tactics that you can employ if/when ‘writers block’ strikes.
Every author hits a brick wall from time to time. Following our writing process will certainly help you to prevent encountering writers block too often, but it will still happen here and there.
Here are a few things you could try:
- Change your writing location
- Take a break
- Do something (and think about something) else
- Exercise (a brisk walk, run, swim, horse ride can help!)
- Do something silly and fun
- Talk to a mentor or author group.
There are more ideas and more detail on this in our course How to Plan & Write Your Book.
Secret 5: BEFORE you start writing, have some tricks up your sleeve so you’re not fearing ‘writers block’ and so you know what to do when it happens.
Set targets and rewards
Another really powerful strategy to utilise when you’re writing a book, is to set yourself targets – and then reward yourself when you reach them.
For example, you might choose to write one chapter a week – and then when you get that done, you might reward yourself with your favourite dinner or activity.
This is really, really important, and I can’t stress this enough.
It’s one thing trying to write a report for work, when someone else has given you a deadline to have it finished by (and there are serious consequences for NOT getting it done) – and it’s an entirely different scenario when you’re writing a book for yourself, without that tangible deadline or reason to have it finished.
Giving yourself little rewards along the way, really helps to keep you motivated.
Particularly, when you hit the dreaded ‘messy middle’. This is where you’re around half way through writing your book, and your initial enthusiasm has worn off, and there’s still a whole lot of book and writing to go.
This ‘messy middle’ stage is often when authors give up on manuscripts, file them away, and they never see the light of day again.
We don’t want that for you – we want your book finished.
Secret 6: Setting yourself firm targets to achieve on a regular basis as well as nice rewards for when you get there, is key to getting your book finished.
Design your cover & announce your book to the world
No, we haven’t skipped straight to the publishing part of the process, we’re still just focused on you having the confidence to start writing a book and actually getting it done.
But doing this part, makes your book more tangible and provides even MORE motivation to get it finished.
Step 1: Get your cover designed.
Even if it’s just a rough mock up of your final cover design, getting someone to produce this for you, before or during the writing process, will really help you to see that your book is REAL.
Having that visual representation of what your book is about, and seeing some fancy graphics, can really spark your imagination and excitement levels far more, than if your cover is just an idea stuck in your head.
A rough cover design will bring your book to life, even before you’ve finished writing it. And it really can enhance your confidence in your ability to bring it to life, when you can really see and feel it.
Step 2: Announce the impending arrival of your book.
Now, this can be daunting, but a lot of writers, authors and publishers highly recommend doing this.
This is where you announce and start promoting your book, even before you’ve written it.
It can be daunting, as yes, it’s a big, public commitment.
But it is a guaranteed way of MAKING yourself finish.
To take it that step further, you can even offer it for pre-sale. When you’re committed to a bunch of people, who are investing in and paying money to become your future readers – you bet your bottom dollar that you’ll move heaven and earth not to let those people down.
Secret 7: Get yourself a cover mocked up – and announce your book, to really make sure you’re gonna get your book done.
Time to get writing that book
After all that, there really is only one thing left to do – and that’s to get started.
Follow the guidance and secrets above, and you’ll not only develop the confidence to start writing your book, but you’ll actually be able to get it finished.
Ready, for us to publish.
What We Offer
Personalised, one to one coaching, to help you get your book written.
Done for you publishing services, where you retain all rights and royalties.
Book writing and publishing courses so you can learn the processes yourself.