03 Jan 112. The Secret to Writing Your Book This Year
As we start a new year, you may have some regret about not finishing (or even starting!) your book last year.
But you absolutely can make this the year you write your book.
In this episode, discover my simple 4-step process to get past blocks, doubts, and excuses and finally write your book.
Whether you plan to self-publish or you’re looking for a traditional book deal, the only way to publish your book is to start writing and keep going to the end.
While you may be familiar with the mechanics of writing a book, the process in this episode will take you beyond head knowledge and straight to action and results.
Listen in and get started writing your book!
Mentioned in This Episode
Hey there and welcome to Nothing but the Words. I’m your Book Coach, Candice L Davis.
I hope your week and your writing are going well.
I’m recording this episode on New Year’s Eve, 2022.
As we approach 2023, I see much of the same advice online that we see year after year at this time.
Different coaches offer their unique take on how you can reflect on last year and set goals—not resolutions, heaven forbid—for the new year.
I also see the people who claim New Year’s is just like any other day and should be treated as such.
Well, New Year’s Day can be just like any other day, obviously, if that’s how you want to think about it.
But for me, it has quietly become my favorite holiday.
I still enjoy Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter. If you give me the chance, I’ll celebrate Juneteenth, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day—all the days.
Any excuse to take some time to slow down, be with family and friends, and have a good time.
But in my life, there’s a sacred silence and slowness to the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, and it all culminates on January first.
This has slowly become the holiest time of the year for me—a time for reflection and a space to create a clean slate in any area of my life.
However you view the new year, I want to suggest it’s not a time to beat yourself up about the goals you didn’t achieve in 2022.
Maybe you promised yourself you’d write your book last year—again.
You might have gotten started and run out of steam, or you might not have written a word.
It really doesn’t matter.
By the time you hear this, last year will be over. It will no longer exist, except as a memory.
If you had the capacity to write your book last year, you would’ve done it.
If you had enough time, enough knowledge, or enough courage; if you had enough information, support or accountability; if you had enough focus or self-belief, you would’ve written your book.
It’s all good. Based on what you thought and what you believed and what you consumed, you did what you could do last year.
If that meant you didn’t write your book, don’t apply moral judgment to something that’s simply a fact.
If you didn’t write a book in 2022, the year that lies ahead of you is still yours for the taking, one day, one week, one month at a time.
This can be the year you write your book.
I know. Easy for me to say, right?
Let me give you a four-step secret to make becoming an author your reality.
Step one is the easy part. Make a list of the actions you need to take to write your book.
If you’re not sure what those are, go back to the first ten episodes of this podcast.
For instance, your list will probably include:
- Choose one book idea.
- Validate my book idea.
- Get to know my one perfect reader and what they want.
- Outline my book.
- Schedule my writing time.
- Hire a book coach.
Step two is also pretty straight forward. Schedule the actions.
Don’t just create a to-do list.
Put each action on your calendar.
Block that time, set a reminder, and treat those appointments with your book just the way you would an appointment with your coach or your doctor or your boss.
The third step is where the magic happens, friend.
Step three is to make a list of the thoughts you’ll need to believe in order to finally write the book you dream of writing in 2023.
In her book Artpreneur, my coaching client Miriam Schulman talks about how artists need to have belief in themselves, belief in their art, and belief in their customers. She calls this the belief triad for selling art.
I highly recommend her book to anyone who does creative work and to anyone who sells anything.
For you as an author, you need to develop belief in yourself as an author, belief in your book idea and as a product, and belief in the readers ready and waiting to hear from you.
Just make a list of everything you’d have to believe in order to achieve your goal of becoming a successful author.
Don’t filter yourself. Just get those beliefs down on paper.
What do you need to believe about yourself as a writer, an author, a storyteller, a voice worth hearing?
What do you need to believe about your book idea and the unique value of your book?
What do you need to believe about your future readers?
And finally, step four is to practice those beliefs.
The trick here is to start at a level where you can really integrate the belief you’re practicing.
So for instance, if you want to believe you’re a solid writer, but you don’t believe that, then level that belief down to something you can believe for now.
You might practice believing, “I’m developing my writing skills,” “I’m learning to write better,” or even “It’s possible I can become a stronger writer.”
Instead of trying to convince yourself you love writing, you might start with practicing beliefs like, “It’s possible I can start to enjoy writing,” or “I’m learning to find the parts of writing I enjoy.”
Don’t try to take giant leaps in your beliefs unless you can actually believe them.
Studies have shown that practicing affirmations that feel impossible to you can actually do more harm than good, so you’re better off baby-stepping your way to your desired belief.
To practice your beliefs you can use any number of tools and methods.
I have Post-It notes with the beliefs I’m practicing on my desk and on my whiteboard.
I use a simple app called My Affirmations. One new belief at a time pops up on my phone at different times throughout the day.
I also use a practice I learned from my client Patrice Washington, author of Redefine Wealth for Yourself, which is to pick one belief and write it 10 or 20 times in the morning, so I’m drilling it in my mind.
I also speak my beliefs out loud when my unsupportive thoughts come up in my mind. I might look a little crazy talking to myself, but it works for me.
And I journal about my beliefs and the actions they inspire me to take.
As you integrate a belief at one level, move up to the next level.
Once you believe “I can develop my writing skills and get better at writing,” for example, you might practice, “My writing is getting better and better as I write my book.”
Find the thoughts that work for you and resonate with you.
Those beliefs will propel you to take action.
Those are the four steps, friend.
Step 1: Make a list of the actions you need to take to write your book.
Step 2: Put those actions on your calendar.
Step 3: Make a list of the beliefs you need to hold in order to write your book this year.
Step 4: Practice those beliefs.
That’s the secret formula, and it doesn’t work without the element of belief.
Know that I’m also holding belief for you, just as I hold it for every one of my coaching clients.
I believe without a doubt that you and anyone who has a desire to write a well-written, meaningful book that makes a positive impact can absolutely do that.
If you need support in writing your book, I invite you to join me and my incredible community of authors in Authors Ignited, where you’ll get support, accountability, and compassionate feedback from me.
Doors are currently still open at the 2022 price, and for anyone who joins before January 10, 2023, I’ll be offering a special bonus of a 1:1 coaching session with me.
My 1:1 coaching costs 7x more than membership in Authors Ignited, but with this bonus, you’ll get my 1:1 attention to really dive into your book idea, wherever you are in the process.
Check it out at AuthorsIgnited.com.