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Overcoming the first hurdle: starting your book

“I need to put it off.” “Not right now.” “I have too much going on.” Any of these statements sound familiar?

How about “I’m too busy with being dance/soccer/scouts/school mom, coordinator of everything at home, caregiver to aging parents, friend, CEO, founder, funding chaser, volunteer, mentor, role model, human being, time for me.” Whew. Yes, girlfriends, we got a lot going on.

But when don’t we? Has there ever been a time in your life that was less crazy? I bet it was a while back. People who have amazing ideas and great stories to tell don’t live boring lives. On the contrary, you live a productive, full life with a truck load of experiences and wisdom that are just begging to be shared.

Often it is getting started that is the problem. But there might be a good reason. Perhaps you don’t know where to start. Maybe it is overwhelming to think about. Maybe a bit of self-doubt thrown in. The idea of writing your book can be paralyzing. And hiding behind all those excuses is simply that; hiding.

Overcoming that first hurdle: getting started

The first phase of a book writing project is often referred to as discovery. It’s a great time to let your thoughts just flow. I'm hopeful these tips inspire you to jumpstart your book project:

Capture your ideas

Keep a journal with you to capture ideas and experiences as you go through your day. Pen and paper or digital version are fine. Disorganized is fine. Free form writing is fine. Lousy spelling and grammar. All just fine. As many details as you can tolerate. Just write stuff down. The point is to capture it while it is fresh. This is one habit you will never regret developing.

Brainstorm more than one concept

Explore multiple concepts for your book. You may start out wanting to write about business strategy. Just don’t be married to that one concept. Keep your mind open to new ways of presenting your ideas. Use the ideas that work well together and keep others for a second book or another type of publication.

Tell somebody

Tell your spouse or significant other, a colleague or employee, friends, family, or your favorite ghostwriter. It doesn’t matter whom you tell, just make it real by saying “I’m starting my book today.” There is power in that statement. And don’t worry right now about how long it will take. Manuscripts take months to create. But months turn into years if you never commit to it.

Enjoy the ride

Imagine how good it will feel to finally get started. Writing a book is a significant undertaking. Approaching the process with a positive mindset and a sense of adventure will transform it into happy work. And the feeling of accomplishment you experience will be unrivaled.

Don’t wait for the busiest day of the week

The main character of the children’s book Someday is Not a Day in the Week looks for “someday" on his calendar and realizes if it did exist, it would surely be the busiest day of the week. Indeed.

If you have a book in you, today is the best day to start. Because getting started is the first hurdle. Once you overcome that, it gets easier. You may even find the momentum you need. You just need to start. And to help you start, use my Blueprint Cheat Sheet to declutter your mind and put some focus and structure around your book idea.

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