How to trick yourself into writing a business book

business book advice

By breaking your big idea into manageable sub-topics, you can tackle the job a little at a time and effectively trick yourself into writing your business book.

Let’s say you’re a life coach or speaker with a huge message that could benefit a large number of people, and you know a book is the most effective way to reach them. But…

You’ve started the first few chapters, then you hit a brick wall.

Your idea is big, but you’re not sure it’s big enough.

You’re just too damn busy to write.

So your book is a thought, a theoretical concept, a pipe dream. Months go by and you’re no closer to holding your transformational book in your hands. Surely inspiration will strike soon, it’s just a matter of patience.

The truth is, your book is never going to descend from the heavens into your waiting arms. But it doesn’t have to be blood, sweat, and tears to write it, either. The trick is to fool yourself into writing it so it feels easy.

Here’s how.

Know your why

It’s never enough to want to write a book: you have to know why your book needs to be written. If this isn’t clear, it’s no wonder your motivation is low. The truth is, you could have many reasons for wanting to write a business book, including:

  • Wanting to get your big message out to the world
  • Looking to skyrocket your client leads
  • Trying to attract high-quality clients
  • Hoping to land great speaking gigs
  • Planning to leave a legacy
  • A desire to earn more money

Some of these goals may not sit right with you. Do you feel bad about wanting to write a book in the hopes of boosting your business? You don’t need to. It’s the value your book offers your readers that will do that job for you, so enjoy the side benefits.

Develop the right idea

A great book needs a great idea at its heart. You might be struggling to come up with an idea, or worry the ones you have aren’t up to the task. If you’re not even sure you’ve landed on the right topic, you’ll never get started.

Fear not, this simple one-page flowchart takes you through every step you need to narrow down your business book ideas.

Mind map

Now that you’ve identified your core idea, get a sheet of paper and mind map it. Put your big idea in the middle and draw links and bubbles out of it, each with a related point. Don’t worry about the order yet, just get everything out so you’re not frustrated any more.

If you’re more of a linear thinker, use post-it notes. Write a thought on each one, stick it to a whiteboard or flip chart paper at random, then organize the notes into groups when you’ve finished.

Are those ideas flowing now? Good. Each method should make it seem easy – you’re fooling yourself into planning your book!

Bribe yourself

Now to make the process of writing really tempting: bribe yourself to get closer to your goal.

First, jot down all the main points for each chapter. If you don’t, you run the risk of discovering part way through that your content needs to be chopped and changed, or that you don’t have as much material for a particular section as you thought. But you don’t want this to be hard work, so plan a little reward for each chapter plan you complete.

Then, give yourself a small word count to complete each day, like 500 words. Now you’ve got your points outlined, all you have to do is pick a topic and write about it. It’ll feel like your manuscript is tripping off your fingers.

Keep it flowing

When you’re writing your first draft, just write. It doesn’t matter if it’s terrible, you’re the only person who’s going to see it. And really, don’t show it to anyone. It’s pretty pointless to get damning feedback on an idea that’s only half formed.

If you need to research a point or dig out a story, don’t stop. Just make a note to yourself and carry on. The part of your brain you use to create is different from the one you use to edit and research, so let your mind get into the flow of writing and make it easy for yourself.

Edit and release

Once you’ve edited (and edited again), publish and be damned. Don’t think too hard about it, just let it go. Instead of agonizing over your manuscript again, plan your launch party and order celebratory drinks. That’s much more fun and productive.

Oh, and while you’re at it, self publish. Going for a traditional publisher at this stage is like opening a chocolate box only to have your hand slapped away. It should be your book, produced your way.

Did I fool you?

It’s really not so hard to write your book if you have a process. And rewards. And chocolate. With those three in place, you’d be a fool not to do it.


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  1. Great article Ginny full of good advice! Lots of detail and action points for people to take.

    It’s good for people to realise that it takes a different type of energy to write, then it does to research or edit.

    I’ll save this for later.


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