When I was writing my book, I was involved in this really fantastic community of writers, who were all writing their books together, supporting each other, and providing feedback on anything from title and cover design to content.
The community was online, but one of the other writers also lives in Houston, so we met up for coffee last week, and it was so fun to chat with another author in person. (Her name is Ali Katz, and her book is called “Hot Mess to Mindful Mom: 40 Ways to Bring Balance, Joy, and Happiness into Your Every Day.”)
Ali and I had both launched our book around the same time, and we had this really lovely conversation over iced coffee about how the book is really only the beginning for both of us. The book-writing process was so exciting and inspiring, that we’re now easily barnstorming the next big step. In fact, she’s already started writing her next book!
Here are some ways that we talked about how writing a book is really only the beginning:
1) In the process of writing, you realize how much you have to say on a topic.
Before I started writing, one of my biggest concerns was, “What if I write for a couple dozen pages and then realize I’m running out of unique/valuable things to say?!”
Now, I get it, as a writing coach and someone who spends a lot of time every month talking about and blogging about writing, this was a silly fear, but when you’re caught up in those worst-case-scenario what ifs, your mind goes to really irrational places.
But, honestly, once you start writing, you let the floodgates open. In fact, one of my all-time favorite quotes on writing is by author Louis L’Amour:
“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
Once you turn on the faucet to your writing, once you actually start typing words onto the paper, the words will flow. You have to just trust that process, and you’ll quickly realize that you have a lot to say on the topic! Probably more than one book, even. ;)
2) You start to realize what other mediums you could use, besides just words.
If you’re anything like me, I was so focused on writing “THE Book” that I had tunnel vision, believing that my message was best put in book format. But, now that I have the book out into the world, my eyes have started to see new places where I can share the same message, just in a different way.
Heck, I’ve started using Periscope (@PaperRavenEdit) to shoot quick 5-10-minute videos, all about writing. Now, I’m thinking YouTube and Podcasts. I’d always known that I wanted to do those things, but I didn’t see how. Now that the book is out of me, it’s like I’m more receptive and aware to the different ways that my audience needs to hear my message.
3) You hear positive feedback from readers and gain confidence.
There is absolutely no replacement for a kindly-worded review on Amazon or a phone call from a friend about how your book inspired her in some way. The confidence boost is absolutely amazing and will easily launch you into thinking about more ways to reach more people with your message.
I’ll never forget the phone call I received from a friend, shortly after I put my book on Amazon. She and I have been friends for years, so I wasn’t surprised when she called, but I was very surprised when she said, “I just couldn’t wait to talk to you. I just finished Chapter 2, and I am so inspired right now! I think I’ve wanted to write a book for a long time, but now I think I can actually do it!”
My book didn’t make the NYT’s bestseller lists, but my book made an impact on one of my best friend’s lives, and that is pretty amazing.
When your message starts changing lives, even the lives of those who are already around you, the confidence you gain is more energizing than anything you’ll experience in this world.
And your book is already inside you. Trust me, if you’ve been thinking about writing a book for more than a few months, the book has already germinated and percolated and stewed. It’s time to sit down and write.
Grab my book, Start Writing Your Book Today: A Step-by-Step Plan to Write Your Nonfiction Book, From First Draft to Finished Manuscript on Amazon.com, and let me show you how, step-by-step. You’ll have a book before you know it, and the book is only the beginning of a fantastic ride.