In a TED Talk with over two million views, scientist Alex Wissner-Gross proposes a ‘new equation for intelligence.’ He says, ‘Intelligence should be viewed as a physical process that tries to maximise future freedom of action and avoid constraints in its own future.’ I’d summarise Wissner-Gross in this way (with apologies), ‘Smart people don’t make a choice until the last minute’.

The true reason authors can’t get started writing their book is this: they don’t know who they are writing for. They think they know. But when we work together, they discover they have not gone deep enough to define their reader.

Wissner-Gross’s observation about intelligence makes this reluctance understandable. This choice is one of the hardest to make. It goes against the grain for intelligent people to narrow down their focus to a defined audience. In fact, resisting the idea of picking a person to write for shows just how smart you are.

But here’s the thing. Not only do I advise you to narrow your target audience, I want you to choose a real person to write for: a client who you have worked with in the past, who you like and who values your smarts.

Do this, and you will get your book started.