129. The Successful Author’s Secret Weapon

You know all those authors whose books you admire, people who put out book after book? Here’s a little secret about them: They’re no smarter than you are—and not necessarily a better writer than you are either.

That may be hard to believe, but it’s true.

The big difference between those authors and you isn’t intelligence, talent, or ability.

The big difference is that they have a clear plan to bring their vision for their book to fruition.

In this episode, discover how you can create your own blueprint for your book, use your writing time more efficiently, and finish your book faster.

Ready to make writing your book a whole lot easier?

Check out The Successful Author’s Secret Weapon, a live workshop at https://candiceldavis.kartra.com/page/secretweapon.

I’d love to see you there!

For more writing tips and inspiration, follow me on Instagram @candiceldavis.

Mentioned in This Episode

The Successful Author’s Secret Weapon *Live Workshop!*

Authors Ignited: Group Coaching Program for Nonfiction Authors

Jump-Start: A free guide to help you jump-start your nonfiction book.

Complete Author Coaching (1:1 Coaching)

Episode Transcript

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 both going exceptionally well.

In this episode, I want to talk with you about the Successful Author’s Secret Weapon and how it can help you finish writing your book this year.

It’s the first week of July, and while a lot of people are focused on vacation with family or holiday celebrations with friends, many of us are looking at the fact that this is the midpoint of the year.

Half of 2023 is behind us.

You might feel like this year has absolutely flown by. Or maybe, for you, it seems to have dragged on.

Either way, half of 2023 is already in the books. It’s done. There’s no going back for a do-over on it.

That means you only have half a year left to achieve your 2023 goals.

Or better put, you still have an entire six months left to do what you said you would do this year.

If you’ve been in the personal development space for a while, you probably set goals every year and you likely stop periodically to assess them.

Last weekend, I assessed my 3 main goals for the year, and I wish I could say I’m right on track, but it’s not that clear cut.

For goal #1: I’m on track, and I have no doubt that I’ll hit the number I’m aiming for.

For goal #2: I’m playing catch-up. I might not hit this goal, but I’m going to behave as if it’s still very much in reach and continue to go for it.

And for goal #3: I’m making a hard pivot right now. I’m not changing the goal, but I’m revamping the plan for how I’ll get there.

I’m not thrilled about that pivot, frankly, but it’s what I need to do right now.

But this episode isn’t about me and my goals. It’s about you and your goals.

December is always a busy month for me.

People come out of the woodwork.

Most of them are panicked because they said they would write a book that year, but it’s almost Christmas, and they’re way behind.

January is equally busy with people who are determined this is the year they’ll write that book.

But this time of year, the middle of summer, tends to be fairly quiet.

This, my friends, is a problem.

If you set out to write your book this year and you haven’t made much progress—or any progress at all—I want you to know you still have plenty of time.

Depending on the kind of book you’re writing, you actually have enough time to start writing today and have a completed manuscript by December 31, even if you haven’t written a single word yet.

No matter where you are in the process of writing your book, starting now and taking consistent action (lots of small bites or fewer longer, more intensive writing sessions) will get you there.

Keep in mind that any action you take will get you closer to “finished” than avoidance or procrastination will.

This is where The Successful Author’s Secret Weapon comes in. 

Listen. I need you to hang in here with me because what I’m going to tell you can change your writing life for the better.

Most of us know we need a plan for any significant project.

When you relocate from one city to another, you have a plan.

When you launch a business, you might not have a formal “business plan,” but you have a plan for what you want to sell and how you’ll make money.

When you decide to host Christmas dinner at your house or throw a birthday party for your best friend, you have a plan.

So why do so many of us think we can take on a complex, in-depth project like writing a book without a plan?

I say “we” because, for years, I was that creative writer who didn’t want to outline my books.

In fact, in the literary fiction community where I studied, outlines were frowned upon.

They were seen as a limitation on your creativity.

The truth is most of my mentors wrote compelling, award-winning, gorgeous novels without outlining them.

And the truth is also that it took them seven to ten years to write each book.

Seven to ten years.

Think about that. 

Do you really want to dedicate a decade to writing one book?

Do you really want to *wait* ten years for your book to come out?

Do you want to keep your readers waiting for a decade?

There’s nothing wrong with taking a leisurely, explorational path to writing a book if that fits your goals.

But most of the people I know—especially those who are writing personal development books, professional development books, subject-matter explorations, and even memoirs, want to have their books out to readers sooner rather than later.

A well-crafted, comprehensive outline is the successful author’s secret weapon to finishing your book faster.

Your outline is just a blueprint of your vision for your book.

Think about how important that is.

When you take the time to create a comprehensive outline, you codify your vision.

A solid outline is the perfect antidote to writer’s block because you never have to wonder what you’re writing next.

Every time you sit down to write, you can select from your outline, like choosing from a menu, and choose what section, what story, what concept you want to write next.

It’s your best tool for making sure you include everything you need to include in your book to keep your promise to your readers.

A solid outline will also help you make the tough decisions about what you want to leave out of your book.

It’s easy to go down rabbit holes with your writing when you don’t have a clear plan.

That typically means a lot of cutting and revising your final manuscript. 

That’s not a “wrong” way to write a book. It’s just a much more time-consuming way to write a book.

There are lots of other advantages to outlining your book, which I’ll cover in a later episode.

For now, I want you to know outlining your book does not have to cut off your creativity.

It’s not written in stone, and you can update it as you go.

And crafting a compelling outline does not have to be the burdensome, boring process many of us learned in high school or university.

In fact, there are simple tools you can use to make it an enjoyable process.

If you’d like a proven process to follow to craft a clear plan to bring your vision for your book into reality, I’d love to have you join me for a live workshop.

In just a few weeks, I’m hosting The Successful Author’s Secret Weapon.

Find out more at CandiceLDavis.com/secretweapon.

The link is in your episode description and in the show notes.

I’d love to see you there. And the early bird rate is in effect through Friday, July 7th.

That’s all for this week’s episode, my friends.

Thanks for listening to “Nothing but the Words.” I’m Your Book Coach, Candice L. Davis. And I’ll see you next time.

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