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Are you ready? Let's define ready.

A recent video call with Lucy, a prospective author, and her marketing team got me thinking about your goal of writing a book. You might wonder if you are ready to jump in. My first response to that is: define ready. Writing a high-quality book is a nuanced process for thought leaders, far beyond putting words on a page. Lucy’s situation might shed some light on what being ready looks like.

Here’s the scene: it’s late in the afternoon on a Tuesday. The marketing team has asked Lucy, the founder and CEO, to attend this call to discuss a book with me, the potential ghostwriter. The team is providing their thoughts about why they think a thought leadership book is a great idea.

As I glance around from square to square, my eyes land on Lucy’s square. Her chin presses deep into her palm, and the weight of the load on her head makes it look like she is sinking ever so slowly into thick mud. Meanwhile, her team banters on.

I struggle to keep from yelping “yikes” out loud. Just looking at Lucy, I could tell she’s not ready.

Let’s define ready

Readiness in book writing requires a few non-negotiables. You will know you are ready when you can answer yes to the following questions.

Am I really jazzed about my book concept or the idea of writing my book?

The authors I love to work with light up when they tell me about their book concept. Their energy, passion, and desire to inspire or disrupt spills over onto everything, including me, causing me to be just as excited and energized. For Lucy, this was a definite no.

Do I have the time to commit to my book project?

Willingness and commitment to make room in your schedule are critical, even if you work with a ghostwriter. Looking at Lucy, I could sense that even if she started out attending the requisite weekly meetings, her commitment would erode. The demands on her time were already huge. To be fair, she was running a $1B global startup, seeking another round of funding, etc. Had I interrupted the banter with my yelp, I would have suggested that Lucy reevaluate whether now was the right time for this project. Perhaps there's never a right time, but there is always a time to be reasonable.

Do I have the right partner for my book project?

Writing a book is often a deeply personal journey. You may need to sort through failures, trauma, and self-doubt to unearth the hard-earned lessons, or uncover a few things you’ve only thought to yourself, but never said out loud. Finding a capable ghostwriter or book coach with strong writing skills is easy. Finding one who is also a confidant, ardent supporter, and dedicated partner is like finding the perfect pair of jeans. Just, yeah.

So are you ready? Did you answer yes to any of the questions? If you did, I'd love to hear from you. If you didn't, I'd still love to hear from you to talk about book writing, ghostwriting, really good red wine, cats, dogs, or anything that makes us laugh.


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