I seem to be a magnet these days for aspiring authors.
I am getting ready to launch my fourth book in three years, and I think I am finally getting this whole “book writing/publishing/marketing” thing down. I’ve had a few conversations this week with friends who have either had a manuscript sitting in a desk drawer for years or an idea in their head that they really need to get down on paper.
So I wrote this post for them, covering the top three objections to writing and publishing. I list the objection, and then I give a friendly “boot in the rear” about how they should just get going.
If you are interested in me helping you get your book out into the world, I am currently putting together a cohort of folks that I will guide through the writing and publishing process. Please send me a note if you’d like to be involved!
OVERCOMING THE TOP THREE OBJECTIONS TO WRITING AND PUBLISHING
Objection #1: I don’t have the experience or expertise to write and publish a book.
My boot in your rear: Take time to seriously incorporate this saying into your consciousness: “There is nothing new under the sun.” Yep, your fresh and new idea is not fresh and new. But if someone has explored that idea in the past, that means that your idea is actually a good idea.
In my yoga class, our teacher often plays this wonderful song called “Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen” by Baz Luhrmann. The lyrics are based on an essay written as a hypothetical commencement speech by Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich (originally published in June 1997). The essay gives various pieces of advice on how to live a happier life and avoid common frustrations; it was often erroneously described as a commencement speech given by author Kurt Vonnegut at MIT. Whatever the background and pedigree are, here is how it goes:
“Advice is a form of nostalgia.
Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal,
wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts, and recycling it for more than it’s worth.”
In other words, your idea can be viewed as a fresh new product with an enticing new label that just might reach a new audience. Yes, even if that advice has been given before. Based on your unique life experiences, it is YOUR responsibility to create a new label for that time-tested advice and make it attractive to a new consumer. Guess what … they might just never pick up that product unless they see the new label. So, if your ideas, lessons, and stories have value, even if they have been shared before, it is your responsibility to get them into the hands of people that need them. Make this world a better place.
Objection #2: I don’t have the time to write and publish a book.
My boot in your rear: Okay, I’ll admit that I have friends that have been working on a book for nine years. As you’ll learn in the chapters to come, you can get your message out in a matter of months, if not days. I am not a fan of “write your book in one weekend” because creativity needs some time and space. You will need patience to formulate your thoughts. But you can write and publish in a reasonable amount of time.
For those who are still saying, “I don’t have a minute to spare!” I’d like to ask you to take the word busy out of your vocabulary and replace it with “I’m not able to make it a top priority.” We all have the same amount of time in our lives. Busy is not an excuse. I also know from personal experience that your book can be done in a matter of weekends within a 100-day period. I’m a fan of John Lee Dumas’ Freedom Journal, and many people have used the combination of gratitude, intention setting, and focus to bring their books to life in a shorter amount of time than you might think possible.
See my post on how much time it takes to write a book.
Objection #3: I’m scared!
My boot in your rear: Yeah, whatever. I told you that the publishing industry is a wild world. Writing and publishing a book are not an activity I’d categorize in the easy zone. But haven’t you heard that all of the growth in your life happens in the uncomfortable zone? So put yourself in that uncomfortable zone and GROW. I love advice I’ve heard from Tim Ferriss that I will paraphrase here: “Do projects not because of the outcome but because of what you will learn during the process.” You will learn a ton about both your inner and outer worlds when you write. In fact, one of my favorite power writing phrases is something I have heard Michael Hyatt say, but I believe it is attributed to Dawson Trotman:
Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through the lips and fingertips.
In other words, write because it will help you to think more clearly about the things that are most important to you.
You might also be scared of how much it costs to write a book. That is a valid concern. See my post about how much it costs to write a book.
Again, I’m putting together a cohort of aspiring authors that would like to write and publish a book. Get in touch with me about your interest. I’d love to see if there is a potential fit.
Check out this nearly 40-page report on a recent Author Outreach report I did to better understand author goals, achievement to goal, satisfaction, time and financial outcomes related to book publishing.