Do you want to write a book but aren’t sure where to begin?  This episode of #BizapaloozaChat gives you some insights, tips and strategies that will help you get started — even if you’re stuck.

Kathryn Lang is an author, freelance writer, and speaker.  What sets her apart is that she’s NOT a best selling author (yet), she’s a business owner, a homeschooler and an avid writer.  She wrote her first book at 17 and after getting a “rejection” because she needed her parent’s permission — she decided to put her book in a drawer and forget about it.

But that didn’t stop her.  She picked up her pen and paper and started writing again.  And in this episode, she shares some of her insights and tips for getting your book written.

Where to Get Book Ideas:

No wonder you’re stuck on writing a book, you are stuck on getting book ideas! Lang’s solution is simple, she keeps an eye and ear out for pictures and phrases that will trigger an idea for a book or a character.  Sure, she uses computers, but her favorite way to keep track of ideas and to organize them is by using an old recipe file and index cards! To Kathryn, there’s nothing better than actually putting your hands and pen to paper.  She likes to say “Pen and paper don’t crash”!

Another way to get ideas actually comes from keeping yourself organized.

 

What to Do When You’re Stuck

In addition to simply keeping files with ideas, we also talked about what to do when you’re stuck and can’t seem to get yourself writing.  Our community had some great ideas most of them centering around what I’d call “hair of the dog” — when you can’t write — sit down and write something anyway.

 

What are the steps toward writing a book

As someone who has only co-written a book, I didn’t realize how different the book writing process was depending on what you were writing.

 

As I looked around for some specific steps, the one I decided to share with you today is James Altucher’s “cheat sheet” that he wrote about on Medium: (I’ve made some tweaks to these but they are generally his).

  1. Read every day.
  2. Write every day.
  3. Pick the worst thing in your life and explore it.
  4. Give yourself permission to write poorly.
  5. Write as many chapter titles as you can.
  6. Finish with an impactful story
  7. Focus on the hero’s journey
  8. Write 30 things no one has ever said
  9. Do it again

Should you self-publish?

We also talked a bit about self-publishing.

 

Since both of us are fans of John Locke (no, not the philosopher – -but the modern day author of a series of entertaining books on Kindle. My favorite is the Donovan Creed series), we raved about his amazing rant that reframed self-publishing into investing in a product.  He said something to the effect of “No one looks down on Bill Gates for investing in Microsoft — why do people look down on authors who invest in their work?” (totally paraphrased).

But what’s the difference between self and traditional publishing?

And then there’s the money involved

But the good news — there are people for that

Ultimately, no matter how you choose to publish or what you choose to write, the conclusion of our podcast and chat was – if you have a book inside you — sit down and write it.