I’ve been there. Staring at the blank page with a blinking cursor as all the thoughts you had in the shower have suddenly vanished into the abyss called writer’s block.
Sucks doesn’t it.
You have goals, plans, and dreams of becoming a NY Times Best Seller, except your thoughts didn’t get the memo today. Well friend, I am here to help you push through that because I’ve been there!
Whether you plan on self-publishing or stepping out and taking your book to a publishing company, you have to get over the hump of lacking confidence when it comes to writing. Here are four steps that I took to keep the fire burning as I wrote my first book.
1. Become Dogmatic About Your Time
As simple as it may seem, guarding your time has tremendous benefits. A hurried writer with a laundry list of things to do, like the laundry, can easily become overwhelmed and distracted at the process. Let the people in your life know that on Sunday’s from 1-7, don’t bother you. Lock yourself away. Don’t apologize. Make your writing time sacred and quiet.
2. Read Your Story Aloud
As much as it makes sense inside of your head, reading what you have written out on a printed sheet of paper allows you to “hear yourself.” When a book is solely written from your point of view, it’s easy for your audience to disconnect. Remember your reader is getting to know you while simultaneously reading your story. How we talk makes sense to us, but not necessarily to our reader. Please consider securing an editor as quickly as possible during your book writing process. A great editor (not just a good one) will help you vet for grammar, flow and tone of voice.
3. Read Your Competitor’s Books
You have competition. Even if your story is non-fiction and it’s your personal life story, you still are competing for your reader’s dollars unless you plan on giving away your book. Take yourself to the library or book store. What was it about the cover of the book that drew you in ? What was it about the back page or inner sleeve reviews that made you want to pick it? Examine how the writer told the story, and then strive to be better. I know comparison can be a tricky hill to climb, but I would guess if you’ve set out to be a writer, you’re probably are a reader. Look at your favorite books- what do they have in common? When you learn about yourself, you will learn about your audience.
4. Grab a buddy
Nothing boosts confidence more than having someone to keep you accountable during the process. How many pages did you write this week? What is your deadline? Have you contacted your editor? Are you self-publishing? Keep a list of S.M.A.R.T goals to help you get through: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-based. You can’t do this alone and that book won’t write itself!
I wish you the best of luck my friend!
If you’re thinking about self-publishing, which in my opinion is the best way to create a platform and keep more of your money in your pocket, you can sign up for my free webinar on July 15th, titled, “Secrets to Self-Publishing.”