Slaying your book planning demons

Feeling a bit anxious about book planning? Please don’t. It’s perfectly normal! (I remember staring into space wondering how I’d ever manage it!)

Remember, every great journey begins with a bit of unease—and that’s fine because it means you care. You want to write your book so much. You just can’t seem to find that place to start.

In my experience, helping authors for over a decade, when it comes to the early stages of a book, it’s more about progress, not perfection. Polishing comes later.

But you do need to know in your gut you’re heading in the right direction, without getting too hung out about details far into the future.

It’s a bit of a dance, isn’t it?

How to feel better about planning your book

So, here’s my suggestions for how to channel that 1% gut instinct and eagerness into something reliable and tangible:

You have years of experience. It has value: Trust in your unique perspective; it’s your greatest asset. Your experiences and insights are invaluable—embrace them in your writing. Think of a musician or a stand-up comedian. What makes their performances special isn’t just the songs they play or the jokes they tell—it’s how they deliver them. Each musician brings their own style, timing, and personality to their craft. I bet you’ve heard a cover version of a song and notice it feels entirely different to listen to. The unique touch that comes with a new arrangement, the rhythm, and emotions that make it their own. Similarly, two comedians can tell the same joke about a common misunderstanding, but will create entirely different experiences. It’s this individual expression, shaped by their experiences, and perspectives, that makes their work stand out. Just like them, your unique experiences and the way you share them are what will make your valuable insights special.

Write the book for your readers: Think about the impact your book will have. Envision it enhancing lives, like a big version of a friendly fireside chat. Your words have the power to connect and inspire. Just do what you do face to face but write it down.

Break Down the Process: Tackle your planning in small, manageable sections. Focus on one chapter at a time. Don’t get caught up in the details of your launch you’ve not got a title yet! Keep it simple and straightforward.

Seek Inspiration: Draw inspiration from your favourite books. Observe how to apply those insights to your work. Remember, you’ve been surrounded by books for years—you know more than you think!

Stay Flexible and Open to Changes: Pay attention to what readers love and dislike. Write for them, not just for yourself. Adapt your content to create the best experience for your audience, just as you do in real life conversations.

It will all work out ok. Cut yourself some slack.

Writing a book is as much about mindset as it is about the actual writing.

One last thought: a book is roughly the same as 80 mid-length emails. That’s a word count you can handle, right? Wouldn’t take a year, would it?

The real battle is in your head. But with the right shift in thinking, you’ve got this!

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