Start with your “Why,” and your “Who” and “What” become clear when writing your business book. Instead of fuzziness and frustration, you will have razor-sharp focus that will help you write.
You are preparing to write your business book, you’ve got your one brilliant idea, but whenever you sit down to plan out your content, you feel stuck. Then procrastination sets in. You find yourself talking about your book, reading blogs with writing and publishing tips (hello!), searching social media for advice, and daydreaming about the sales and royalties you’ll get when you finally finish writing your business book.
But you’re not really writing. It’s so annoying, isn’t it? “Why can’t I just write this book?” you ask yourself. “Am I too stupid? Too lazy? Am I not committed enough?”
Of course, you are none of these things. I’d argue there’s a very specific reason why you’re struggling to start, and it’s pretty simple: you don’t know why you want to write a book.
“That’s silly,” you say. “Of course I know why I want to write a book!”
As a book coach and business book ghostwriter, I speak to a lot of people who are struggling to just get started with their books. When we dig down into it, while everyone thinks they know why they want a book, 90 percent of these would-be authors have conflicting ideas rattling around inside their heads, competing with each other.
Being unsure of your one, main “why” is a guaranteed ticket to a lack of clarity. A lack of clarity leads to trying to be all things to all people, and that’s the number one way to feel distracted and confused when you write. Plus, you’re unsure of who your readers will be, which means you won’t give them what they need from your book, so you’re not really helping anyone.
Let’s clarify that. If you don’t know WHY you want to write your book:
- you can’t be certain who you are writing it for, which means…
- you, the writer, won’t have a clear idea of what the core message of your book is, which means…
- you won’t know what to focus on, which means…
- you’re stuck before you start.
Can you see how knowing your “why” is the first step to being confident about your book? Every decision you make will spring from knowing your “why.”
Do you know why you are writing your business book? There are any number of reasons you might have, including:
- You are aiming to position yourself as an expert in your field or niche.
- You would like to showcase your knowledge and personality by distributing copies to potential clients or bookers for speaking engagements.
- You want to sell your book at speaking events to reinforce your talk and extend your brand.
- You are motivated to help your readers overcome a problem.
- You are trying to attract new clients.
- You are passionate about this topic and the information has to get out somehow!
- You want to claim your space, grow your list, and generate leads.
- You have always wanted to be a published author (with a bestseller!).
- Positioning yourself as a thought leader is important to you.
Are any of these your biggest “Why?” One may jump out at you, but if not, ask yourself what results you hope to get as a result of publishing this book. Picture yourself, with your book, enjoying your fantasy outcome. What does that look like?
Whatever your answer, be honest with yourself. How important is your end goal to you personally and to your career? Is it what you actually want, or have you chosen it because you think it sounds good? Are you uncomfortable admitting you want a book to raise your profile when you think a more appropriate answer would involve helping people? A book can do both, of course.
It is also important to make sure your goal is realistic. If you’re determined to write a bestseller, but your book is about a niche area of exotic plant care, you might need to re-assess. It is unlikely you will be able to combine both of these aims into one book – and that’s OK. There’s no good or bad goal, but there might be a right or wrong – or a good and better – one for you and your business.
All you need is “Why”
Here’s how knowing your “why” determines what kind of book yours will be.
- If your main motivation is to help people, you will be aiming at readers who have a particular problem you can help solve, and your book’s big message will be the approach you take communicating your solution or philosophy, etc.
- If you are aiming to build your expert authority and enhance your reputation, that means you’ll be writing your book for the readers you want to influence, and your book’s big message will be the expert or creative angle you take on the topic in question.
- If you are set on writing a bestseller, you may be aiming at a relatively broad audience with a message that appeals to large numbers of that readership.
Now it’s getting easier. You know why you want a book, which means you can determine who it is for. Now you can work out the central theme and message of the book. You’ve taken away the doubt, which means the frustration dies down as there’s no more wondering why you can’t get started. It’s all clear.
Start with your “Why” and your “Who” and “What” becomes clear. Instead of the fuzziness that was hindering you before, you will have razor-sharp focus that will help you write.
Choosing The One Brilliant Idea For Your Business Book
Identify Your Book’s Audience (And Write For Readers Interested In What You Have To Say)
Three questions to help you crystallize and focus your message
Three Things To Do Before You Write A Book
Seven Writing Tips To Increase Your Productivity