Monthly Archives: February 2007

Focus on Creating Your Best Selling Nonfiction Book

Now that you have an idea of what you’ve already got and some thoughts about how to organize it, spend some time deciding exactly what you want to commit to. Based on everything you now know, are you ready to obligate yourself to write a book this year? If so, the first ingredient is organizing your own time to make this happen.

You must believe in that responsibility and talk about it accordingly. “When my book comes out next year, I’m going to be doing a book tour in our area.” “I’m working on my first book, and I’d like to have you take a look at it when it is ready in six months.” If you consider yourself an author, others will too.

The journey to a published book starts with a single word, then a sentence, a paragraph, a page, a chapter, and then more chapters until the book is finished. After the planning process is over, the work begins. And it will seem absolutely insurmountable unless you let go of the whole at this point and focus just on what you are going to do today—or this week or this month.

Do you realize that if you wrote only a page a day, you would have a book in a year?

There is no one right way to begin, so start in the middle, start at the end—just start.

It can be as hard to finish a book as it is to start it. Do you feel your work isn’t good enough? Do you second-guess every sentence? Many writers are perfectionists, and they don’t want to write a book or invent a product unless it’s the ideal book of its type. Otherwise, they never finish it because it never reaches perfection. You will always keep finding things to change and more to say, but eventually, you need to save those gems of insight for another edition or another book.

To be at your most creative, you must be free of judgment. Know that there is a part of the process in which recommendations (personal and then professional editing) will come. But today, right now, with your fingers on the keyboard, it is critical that you allow your thoughts to channel from you onto the page.

There will come a time when you know you have to let it go or it will still be unfinished five years from now. There are many would-be authors with dusty, old manuscripts in their files. This is due to fear—fear of having his or her ideas criticized by everyone in the world. The anxiety is understandable, but an author is a person who has the courage to meet her potential and not worry about the world.

One of the worst things we can do to kill the creative process is imagine the judgment at the end. Like the critical parent many of us carry inside, we ask ourselves:
● What if I can’t finish it?
● What if my grammar is terrible and I am too embarrassed to show anyone?
● What if it is just an organized bunch of ideas and I can’t sort it out?
● What if my ideas aren’t anything new? Maybe it’s all been said before and better.

Even the most accomplished authors doubt their own abilities. But you can’t let that stop you.