The only thing you really need
Writing a book requires several things: time, passion for the topic, guts, money, an understanding of your audience, just to name a few. But the one thing I tell my clients to bring to the process? It's something that few people associate with writing. It's patience.
If I had a dollar for every time a client lost patience during her book writing journey...I'd use it on a grand scale to make a difference in the world, for people, for the environment, for things that actually matter. But I digress.
So let's talk about why patience is the key to making your book happen.
Patience with the process. A book writing journey is an arduous process. I break it down into 5 Stages (get the infographic), each with its unique challenges that can cause even the most dedicated author to jump the guardrails and get hopelessly ditched. Without patience, authors lose focus, chase the next shiny object, and make poor decisions. One client complained that "it's taking too long" after eight months and went straight to an independent publisher. Months later, her book still wasn't out because it needed to go through the last three stages of the process. She is no further ahead and, surprise, surprise, she's even more frustrated. A book must go through every stage, even if you are self-publishing. Side note: can this process go faster? Sure. But it depends on a multitude of factors. (I'm working on a webinar/masterclass that focuses on what to expect when you're expecting to write a book. Stay tuned.)
Patience with the industry. Book writing and publishing is a quirky industry that seems to change daily. If you've never written a book before, the learning curve can be a bit steep. The rules and requirements can be subjective, the pace can be crazy slow, and it seems like no two publishers do things the same way. Authors grapple with a sense of lost control over the process and their book as more people, like writers, editors, designers, publishers, and PR teams, get involved. Patience is vital with the whole bloody lot of us, because we are vital to launching a successful book.
Patience with yourself. This one is big. Every author faces doubt, fear, and self criticism as they pour their ideas and wisdom onto the page. It takes patience to mine for the gems buried in your experience, the gems that no one else has because they aren't you. It takes patience to uncover the real, deeper value your book will bring to its audience. It takes patience to endure the rounds of editing, revision, and redesign that will happen. It takes patience to launch your book, build a following, and endure all that marketing and PR requires of every author.
It's funny to me that we don't talk about patience much in book writing circles. But I do. I've been doing this just long enough to know that patience is like the fuel in your car. If you run out, you're not going anywhere. I believe it's one reason so many books are left unwritten. And I find it even funnier that I, a ghostwriter with ADHD, am writing an article about the importance of patience. Oh, the irony.
The bottom line is to discern when to have patience and when to push ahead with your book during every stage. Because an unwritten book is not actually a book. It's just an idea. Most of the time, you just need to push yourself.