5 Lessons I Learned While Writing a Book (and a bonus lesson)

Gutsy Women WinIt’s out! My book, Gutsy Women Win: How to Get Gutsy and Get Going is in the world! After years of start/stop my book has launched. What a funny phrase to use for getting a new book out: Book Launch.  One definition of launch is: "set (a boat) in motion by pushing it or allowing it to roll into the water.” Defined that way, it’s understandable as launching a book is setting it in motion by pushing it and allowing it to roll, but not in water, please.

A friend who is an author many times over said that every time she launches a book, she just hopes that her ‘baby she birthed’ is ready to take what the world will give her. I never quite thought of personifying a book this way, but it is like having a piece of you take on a life of its own.  The difference is that the gestation of birthing a book is significantly longer than nine months.

As I reflect on my writing process, I thought I’d share some lessons I’ve learned in writing a non-fiction book.
  1. Find support. I belong to three mastermind groups, all of which I’ve helped to start because I got tired of being in my own head with all my self-talk that I wanted someone else to accompany me.  I meet with each of these groups once a month. These are the groups that give the ‘atta-girl’ I need when I want to stop because it gets too hard. These are the individuals that keep reminding me when I feel everything I’m saying has been said, they tell me “But it hasn’t been said in your voice.”
  1. Just do it. Nike don’t sue me, but these three words are the words I need to say to myself over and over. Just get that butt in the chair, open up that document, and write! I just let my thoughts flow freely and make sense of them later.  I just do it and get the words/ideas/thoughts out of my head.
  1. Stop the perfection or it will stop you. You can Google lots of author advice and you will see over and over that a lot of authors fight this and just do a brain dump in a first draft. That’s a start to at least get it out.
  1. Find accountability partners. I was really stuck and not producing anything for a while. When I got tired of so many people asking me “How’s the book coming along” after a few years, I needed to stop them and finish it! I found some friends who I knew would hold me to my words. I told them I wanted to be accountable to them by sending them an email every week about what I wrote and what I was going to write. My productivity skyrocketed.
  1. Get professional editing and be ready to be humbled. I got an amazing editor, Linda O’Doughda, through my publisher. I thought I had a good book with my idea of the flow and layout. Linda made it so much better. Remember I said writing a book to publication is like having a baby. Having an editor is like having an outsider tell you how to raise your kid. You hear the advice, you get angry because it feels like a personal attack, you don’t want to believe it, then you see the truth in it. She brought in the objectivity of what would make it a better flowing book as well as more readable.
Bonus lesson:  Be gutsy enough to keep going.

Order Gutsy Women Win: How to Get Gutsy and Get Going  here!

 

1 comment

Congrats on the book, Pat! I can't wait to read it!
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