So You Want To Write A Book

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my dog, Ebby. She is eight pounds of fluffy playfulness and  love. I talk about her all the time, to everyone. I admit, it’s absurd and I can’t believe I’ve become one of those people.

Almost three years together now, and it still stuns me, though, that I actually have a dog. Growing up I never really had pets. We had a guinea pig for almost a year once. And I had a rabbit for just over a year about twenty years ago. I’ve always loved dogs but I was never, ever, going to get one. Walk a dog? Pick up after it? Are you kidding me? 

A few years ago, my niece graduate high school and I was staying with my parents to attend the graduation ceremony. I had moved into my condo a few months earlier and my mom and I were having a little heart-to-heart. She asked how I liked my new place. I loved it, but admitted that I was feeling a bit lonely. She casually mentioned that I should get a dog. I’m sure it was a throw-away comment. She doesn’t remember sayin it. She knows me too well. I, of course, scoffed. Who me? Look after a dog? Walk it? Clean up after it? Haha, very funny.

Then I started thinking, and obsessing. I have allergies, so if I were to get a dog, it would have to be a poodle or bichon fries. I’d been around those dogs and not experienced any side effects. I could walk a dog. Why not? Picking up wouldn’t be the worst thing ever, right? 

I checked the Winnipeg Humane Society webpage to see if they had any toy poodles for adoption. They had one. Maggie. A five year old. She was gorgeous. I was in love. She was mine.

The next day was my niece’s grad ceremony. That night I checked the Humane Society page. Maggie was still there. I dreamt of Maggie. I spent the next day at work looking at Maggie’s picture. I called to make an appointment to see her, they said I just had to come down. I couldn’t get there until after work. I called at 4:30 as I got into my car. Maggie had just walked out with her forever family. 

I was heartbroken.

And obsessed. I needed a dog, and I needed one now. 

I scoured the internet until I found Ebby. Well, she wasn’t Ebby, she was Female #2, but she was mine. 

I brought her home and almost immediately wondered what I had done. I loved her the moment I held her. I had food and a kennel and toys and everything she could possibly need. 

There are many things I wish I could do over again but thanks to YouTube and training classes, Ebby and I have learned along the way. 

I wasn’t ready to have a dog when I got Ebby, but I am so glad I took that chance. I am so glad that my obsessive thinking about Maggie and needing a dog, lead me to Ebby. 

I tell you all of this because as much as I love talking about Ebby, and I do love talking about Ebby, I’m going to ask you to think about writing the same way I looked at getting a dog. 

When people think about writing a book, they often think about the book tours and the instant fame and money rolling in. (Think puppy cuddles and love). If they’re a little more realistic, they also think about the time and hard work it takes to actually write the book. (Think early morning walks, picking up poop, and endless puppy energy). It is the work and not knowing where to start, that prevents a lot of people from writing. (No way would I ever walk a dog).

If I’m honest with myself, I’d wanted a pet for a long time. I just hadn’t allowed myself the freedom to truly consider it. For a lot of people, writing a book is something they have wanted to do, but have not allowed themselves the freedom to consider it.

I invite you to take some time now, to give yourself that freedom. 

Is now the right time for you to write your book? Are you ready to write? How can you know? I firmly believe there is never a bad time to start writing. If thinking and obsessing over the idea of writing is enough for you to take the leap like thinking about Maggie pushed me to get Ebby, then go for it. Check out my free mini course on getting started to give you the boost you need. Think of it as going to the pet store for dog food and toys, and maybe a training video or two. 

While you’re giving yourself the space and freedom to think about the possibility of writing a book, here are a few things to consider:

  1. The 10 Year Test. Marie Forleo, in her book, Everything is Figureoutable, talks about the 10 Year Test. Essentially, the test goes like this. You’ve been thinking about writing your book, but you haven’t done it yet. You’ve come up with all kinds of reasons why, like life is busy, work is stressful, writing is hard. But the idea of writing keeps nagging you. And so you say, “I’m too old, I don’t know how to start or how to publish.” Ask yourself if, in 10 years from now, if you haven’t written, will you regret it? Will you be mad at yourself for not writing your book? If you had started now, how much happier would you be ten years from now? Writing it may be difficult and you may not succeed in the way you think you should, or your success may by far exceed your expectations. Ten years from now, will you regret not taking the chance now?
  2. The One Thing. Gary Keller and James Papesan, in their book, The One Thing, talk about doing one thing each day or each week, focussing on one aspect of your business that will take it to the next level. For me, writing is my One Thing. How can I be a writing coach if I don’t understand the writing process? But writing is more than the One Thing for my business. It is the One Thing for me. In the summer of 2018, I took a hiatus from writing. I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue with it. I searched for other creative outlets, ways to spend my time, and to express myself. Through it all, it always came back to writing. Writing was the One Thing I wanted to do. It always has been. That doesn’t ean it has always been easy, but it is what I love, what I have always wanted to do. Will writing a book help you grow your business? Will it help you grow personally? Creatively? If the idea of writing has been nagging at you for some time, perhaps it is your One Thing that you have yet to acknowledge. 
  3. It’s time for growth. Building on #2, will writing a book help grow your business? Getting your name and message out there is always a good thing. You don’t just have to stick to hard-copy books in the bookstore. Ebooks, blogs, and business articles are all ways to expand your network and grow your business. Think about the kind of business you are in, where you want to grow your business, and the opportunities available to you, or that you can make available to you.

So, is now the time for you to write? It is always a good time to start. Check out my mini course on getting started. It will help you figure out your message and your ideal reader. It will show you exactly how to start writing. By the time you have finished the course, just a few minutes for four days, you will know if you are ready to start writing, and you will have started writing.

course graphic for three things you must know when starting to write a book

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