Writing a book is a long road trip, not a drag race. Keep yourself revved up and focused on each step along the way. ~ Brian Tracy
A published book is a great destination. When you reach there, you might exclaim, “At last, I get to hold my book in my hands!” and realize that you have earned new bragging rights.
At the same time, you might reflect back at the number of challenges that created a bumpy ride. Hindsight being 20/20, as an author you also might wonder what made you so antsy and maybe even frustrated with the process?
Ideally, you should be able to enjoy the writing journey as much as the end result. And, since writing a book is not an everyday event, if you can accomplish several goals at once, then you can ensure that you will have a meaningful writing journey. This can greatly minimize the writing and publishing roadblocks.
Before we get into our writing goals, there are several factors to keep in mind that can impact your book and your personal writing journey. For example:
- Legacy: What do you do with knowledge acquired through your life’s experiences that is going untapped? What would the world be like if this untapped resource inspired action that can make a difference?
- Closure: Closure means finality. Letting go of what once was. Finding closure implies graceful acceptance of what has happened and honoring the transition from what was to something new.
- Personal Philosophy Articulation: Worrying about what other people think of us can dis-empower us. We stop taking chances. We play it safe. And our life suffers because of it. One way to handle these anxieties is to develop a personal philosophy, a phrase or sentence that articulates who you are. Think about the following questions: What values drive your actions? How do you want to live your life? What makes you upset and why? Write down your answers and look for what they have in common. Use the words that stand out to you to come up with your personal philosophy.
- Multi-Faceted Personal Development: Whether your goal for personal development is mental, spiritual or physical, it is a push and pull, a struggle, and there wouldn’t be any winning without a challenge. So not only you can use book writing as a personal development opportunity to hit any goals you need to get over, but also make this in to a gift that keeps giving, by allowing your readers to use your book as personal development tool.
- Marketing Tool: Documenting your expertise in a book format can boost your status and business brand name. Basically, a book is a business card on steroids.
- Attracting Clients: If you have been a business owner for some time, you must have noticed that your offerings are a match for people of certain demographic – age, gender, income, etc. Your book can help attract that type of customers through use of case studies and other strategies.
- Lead Generation and Warming up leads: If you can engage a potential lead to read your book and then they contact you, you will find there is less resistance and sales objections. Consider your book as your 24/7 sales rep.
- Measure Social Impact: Social impact measurement is a process of understanding how much social change occurred and can be attributed to an organization’s activities. It is used by mission-driven organizations, businesses, and generally by people who wish to leave the world a better than the way they found it.
- Expand your System: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” philosophy is applicable here. When you have a mission and wish to leave a positive mark on the world, then it is natural for you as an author to be inspired to think about how you can re-purpose your book. Maybe it makes sense to have part of the book content converted into a DVD or a CD. Maybe even an online course or a YouTube Channel. The possibilities are endless for diversifying the outcomes from your book.
- Boost Credibility: Whether it is a textbook or a children’s book about silly rhymes, getting a book written and published can boost credibility and quality of your professional relationships.
Now let’s see how these factors of writing/publishing your book can be part of your book planning, so you can prioritize what matters to you.
In order to optimize your writing journey, I divide potential book goals into “personal” and “professional”. Then to prioritize these goals, I create two more categories: Must Have and Nice to Have. Kind of like shopping for a house; the house must have 3 bedrooms and a garage, and it would be nice if it had an in-ground swimming pool…
Here’s a very simple spreadsheet format that you can use:
|No.||Personal or Professional Factor||Must Have?||Nice to Have?|
|1||Personal: Leave a legacy for loved ones through the book|
|2||Personal: Review and articulate my philosophy of life or other important issues|
|3||Personal: Gain closure from a traumatic event in the past|
|4||Personal: Use it as a personal development tool, for self and others|
|5||Professional: Allow prospects to learn more about me, my proprietary methods or a non-profit mission.|
|6||Professional: Use my book as a marketing tool|
|7||Professional: Attract specific type of clients or non-profit donors|
|8||Professional: Promote interaction with potential leads (For example via creating a workbook)|
|9||Professional: Create a “fan” base|
|10||Professional: Measure impact of my/our work on clients and society|
|11||Professional: Build a comprehensive system around the book, like offer an online course, create CDs, etc.|