Let’s face it, writing a book is hard work. There are a million little details associated with the authoring process; outlining, plot development, research and editing just to name a few. If you’re a self-published author, there’s the additional work of proofreading, ebook formatting, cover art development and the endless marketing and promotion of your book before, during and after launch. However, of all these many challenges, there’s one that stands out above all the rest. Whether you’re a perennial best-seller or a first-time author, there’s nothing more important. So, what is it? What’s this monumentally important task that will make or break your authoring career? Two words: getting started.
Thanks, Captain Obvious
Yeah I know, it sounds simple, right? But, here’s the thing, most people are born procrastinators. You have that great idea for a book in your head. You’ve got the plot. You’ve got the characters. All that’s left to do is to sit down and get started writing. Except, the big game is on tonight, you have relatives in town or you had a hard day at the office and just want to veg out in front of the television. There are a ton of shows on your DVR you've been meaning to watch. You're WAY behind on all the Netflix series everyone's talking about. Then there's the fact that your Kindle is overflowing with all those books (and book samples you'll never get to) you've downloaded but haven't gotten around to reading. It’s easy to do, right? After all, the idea isn’t going anywhere and you’ll get to it eventually. At least, that’s what you keep telling yourself.
The “F” Word (No, not THAT one)
Then there’s the other big anti-motivator--fear. What if your big idea isn’t as good as you think it is? What if you’re not able to get the story in your head to come out the way you want? What if you devote months of hard work and it flops? Writing is hard enough all by itself but when all those little doubts start creeping into your head, it makes the simple task of getting started seem downright terrifying.
Finally, there’s the issue of focus. If you’ve given serious consideration to writing a book, chances are you have a bit of a creative streak as well as a healthy amount of intellectual curiosity. While those attributes serve you well as a writer, they can be detrimental when undertaking a project with the intensity and complexity of writing a book. It’s not impossible by any means. But, it’s definitely a challenge to be aware of, especially if you have a history of jumping from project to project.
What’s the secret?
So, right about now, you’re saying to yourself “Okay smartass, you’ve covered all the reasons why it’s so hard to get started, but do you have any answers for solving the problem?” Well, as a matter of fact, I do. Check out part 2 and then start writing. (This is the part where I suggest you subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss any of this stuff. And do NOT procrastinate on this.)
Do you have any writing tips to share? Is there any part of the writing process that's particularly challenging? How do you get in the zone? What tools do you use? Where is your favorite place to write? Give us a shout and let us know? We love to hear from readers.