Money is a remarkable motivator (at least for me). But it’s not likely to sustain you through the journey of writing a book. Business growth and financial freedom come from publishing. I’ve seen this again and again. But it does not fuel authors through the creative process. What does is a readiness to share your expertise.
I chose the work readiness with care. The first step towards writing a book is not about a passion for sharing; it is about readiness. How many passionate authors have a half-finished manuscript in their files? So, what goes wrong? Faced with the moment of truth – sharing the book with others – their mind kicks back in, takes over and says no. They are not ready.
You ARE ready when you feel a sense of frustration at not having a book on the market. That friction is born of all the evidence of your career. You have seen your expertise help people. You know it works. Seeing people struggle with the problems you know you can solve for them drives you crazy. You work as hard and fast as you can, but you want to reach more people. Fast. Even speaking in front of audiences of 10,000 is not quick enough. You know that people leave the room and forget to act. They need your book to remind and inspire them and take with them on their journey.
Passion is a popular word (which makes me want to resist it)! But we do need passion to write 25,000 to 45,000 thought-provoking words on the page. This passion is a kind of internal well born of your desire to help. Your memories of your clients ‘ah-ha’ moments will foster it. These moments use all your skill and experience. Your client achieves a moment of realisation. They see a vision of a different future. They recognise how their past actions or beliefs stand in the way of that possibility. These are emotional moments of real connection. Foster this well of passion until it is bubbling and bursting forth.
My metaphor is a train. Your mind is the engine, your passion the fuel. But we must set ourselves on the tracks and keep up momentum to reach our destination. Choosing a process and sticking to it is the last essential element of readiness. There are moments of excitement, such as when we climb aboard. The thrill of reaching your destination sustains you through boring or repetitive bits. The goal? Your and readiness and passion for helping more people.
You may think the journey can wait. I disagree. As I was a rookie journalist, I’d sometimes doubt the value of the ideas I had for stories. With spooky regularity, I’d see my story idea written by someone else soon afterwards.
Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, puts it this way: ideas choose you. And if you don’t respond to their call, they find someone who will. I agree. Ideas are in “the ether” looking for a way to materialise.
So, if you know your expertise helps people, and feel ready to write a book, please don’t put it off. Your ideas are relying on you to express them.
PS: Want more? You might like: How to live a more creative life starting today.