I hear this question almost every time I tell someone I am a writing coach:
“I would like to write a book some day. How do I get started?”
Even in my Protege Program we work a lot on the basic problem of beginning to write, finding time to write, getting in the mood to write or just plain getting around to thinking about it.
Most people I talk to think that if they could just sit down and start, they would write great prose. And the sad thing is, it might be true for some. However, for most people, your first writing will not be good.
That’s not because you aren’t a good writer, it’s because most people are not trained and experienced writers. Sure, we write emails and letters, occasional papers, blog posts, profiles and so forth. We do it based on high school and college English training and think that is good enough.
The truth is, writing is a profession. To write well, you not only have to write often, you have to learn from professionals. Most people skip this step.
The result is that they write a few sentences, think it’s bad, and give up. Or they never start, always finding an excuse to put off writing to another day, when they will feel more “inspired” to write.
What’s the solution?
In this article, I will discuss getting over that first obstacle: putting your words on paper and leaving them there.
Step number one, the most crucial step of all, is the decision to make writing your book or article the most important priority in your business. You might argue that this takes time away from your marketing, from your clients, and from other aspects of your business that seem more important.
You must realize that building your writing skills, which include writing your book, your marketing materials, your bios, your articles and your internal memos and policies, is the single most important step you can take to make your business grow.
One of my clients, a high level executive coach, finally wrote his book last year and after giving away a few hundred, he got a phone call. The man wanted to meet for lunch. As they sat down, the prospect took my client’s book out of his briefcase and set it on the table.
“I read your book,” he said. “I loved it and I want you to be my coach.”
The job was worth $15,000 to my client.
Just remember, writing is the quickest way to communicate your expertise to your market and begin attracting clients.