Before talking about how to write a book, there are a couple of important points regarding success that I’d like to mention:
- You can achieve anything you desire in life. All you need is persistence, self-belief and enough desire to do it.
- It is people that help make the world go round. What product or service can you create that will add value to people’s lives?
You may think that’s a difficult question – but the answer is simple – what knowledge and information do you have that people could benefit from?
I had several motivations for writing my autobiography. One of them was to give people an insight into my life. Ordinarily, due to my Cerebral Palsy, most people see me as being very physically disabled. But I’ve never thought of myself as being disabled. I’ve done so many things and have overcome much adversity. In my first book Stairs For Breakfast I show people how anything is possible.
What to write about
Have you got an inspirational story inside you? People love being inspired. If you can write an entertaining, inspiring and informative book you’re onto a real winner.
What skills and interests do you have? Can you write a ‘How To…’ book?
For more ideas on what subject to write about visit your local newsagent and look at the range of magazines for sale. Additionally, go to www.dummies.com and browse the vast array of ‘…For Dummies’ books. Books and magazines would not be published if there wasn’t a demand for them.
What are you passionate about? When you write about something that you absolute love doing, you’ll write it well.
The process of writing a book
You could write a series of short stories/experiences. If you wrote a 500-word blog post per week, in just over a year you would enough words (28,000) to publish a book.
I wrote my book in a very systematic way. Before starting each chapter I typed a list of things I wanted to cover in the chapter. Then, as I was writing the chapter – and had covered each item – I crossed it off the list (using Strikethrough in MS Word) and moved it to the bottom of the list. Doing this gave me a great sense of achievement.
It’s important to reward yourself when you’re doing something which requires time, effort and persistence. Treat yourself when you’ve reached a milestone. With writing a book for example, go out for a nice meal when you’ve finished a chapter.
There’s no doubt, I had the self-belief, the desire and the persistence to write my autobiography. I knew it would help and inspire people – and that it would give me a platform as a public speaker.
I was so motivated to write a book that on average I typed 700 words a day (all with one finger). It took me 15 months to write 216,000 words. Enough content for two books. My second book is yet to be published but it has the title Screw It, I’ll Take The Elevator.
When I told my mentor Glenn I was going to write my autobiography, he replied “At the end of every day email me the number of words you’ve written that day”. So I did. At the end of virtually every day, for 15 months, I sent Glenn an email – with just a Subject line. For example, “Words today: 752”. Although I had the desire to write a book, it was such a simple way to help keep me motivated.
I’m a great believer in setting yourself goals – but when you also make a commitment to someone that you’re going to do something, it radically increases the likelihood of you achieving it. You don’t necessarily need a mentor. It just needs to be a person you respect, who believes in you – and who will give you a nudge, if you need it to keep going.
One important factor to being successful in life is the ability of working with people. Whatever you want to accomplish, it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to do it in isolation. You’re probably going to need people to help you along the way.
Collaborating (people joint-venturing together, working as a partnership) is a common practice in the property investment community. Joint-ventures are very effective and successful when people complement each others’ strengths and skills, eg some people have strong people-skills whilst others are better at number-crunching/using spreadsheets.
In Part 2 I’ll explain how to have someone else write your book for you.