Behind all hobbies, all challenges, all start-ups is an idea, a person, a dream. If you weren’t passionate about what you do then you wouldn’t have risked leaving your comfort zone to pursue something unusual. But getting that passion across to other people — or to your clients or customers — is another matter.
I am a writing coach and editor who works with individuals and start-ups to help them create a book about their passion. And I have found that you can write a book about anything you do, whether that’s baking wedding cakes, advising people on their pensions or coaching people to become more confident in their personal lives.
Whatever it is that drives you to create, inspire and grow will inspire others too. And when they are inspired, they are more likely to trust you enough to work with you. It’s that simple.
But writing a book is hard, right? Plus, it takes ages.
Well, yes and no. Sure, it took J.R.R. Tolkien 16 years to write *Lord of the Rings, *but we’re not talking about an epic fantasy novel with hobbits and its own language here. We’re talking about something you know like the back of your hand. So I wanted to tell you four things that will show you how feasible becoming an author this year actually is. Take a look at this:
Don’t believe me? Take a look at your website. Or your blog. Or your LinkedIn profile. Take a look at your marketing material or the pitch you use when selling your product or service to others. There’s actually a lot of copy floating around already. So step one is to get all of that together and see what you’ve got. Which blog post got the most engagement last year? Use it. Which page of your website makes your heart sing? Use it.
Mind mapping is useful for all sorts of things, but it is invaluable when writing a book. Get a large piece of paper and write down everything that matters to your business or idea on it. Link the ideas with big swirly lines. Underline the ones that shout the loudest. Hell, you might even have that lightbulb moment that’s so far eluded you. When you’ve done it, see if you can put these ideas into 6 chapters. Because, for most books, 6 chapters just work.
Your book will need an introduction that tells people what their dilemma is, shows them how you will solve it and why you are the right person to do this. Do it now. Next, write a conclusion or call to action that will appear at the end of your book. What do you want your reader to do? Contact you? Recommend your book to their friends? Ask them to do it.
Yes, that’s right. In my One Page a Day writing schedule, I ask authors to write just 400–500 words a day. That’s a page. Do it five days a week and take the weekends off. Do this for 12 weeks. What have you got? A 30,000-word book. Ok, it may be a little rough around the edges, but that’s where a good editor comes in. The main thing is that you will have created something inspiring that tells your story and helps your customers to believe in you.
Writing a book doesn’t have to be hard. And it doesn’t have to take 16 years. In fact, you could achieve it this year. You achieve it in the next few months. So stop getting in your own way and start writing. It’s how your passion becomes a reality.