People often come to me for help in reaching their “I want to write a book” goal. The latest statistics show that approximately 86% of consultants say they want to write a book. In reality, about 1% actually follow through. I’ve had the opportunity to engage with some of the world’s greatest writers. One of my most recent books, “Think and Grow Rich for Women”, and my current work with the Napoleon Hill Foundation have added an even larger dimension to my experience. It doesn’t matter if you are interested in how to write a novel, a business book, or a self-help book.
One of the biggest things I’ve learned is about the importance of having an outline. Staying focused on your intended readers and what value they will get out of your work is important. By focusing and having an outline, you easily lead the reader through an experience that as a whole accomplishes your goals.
Which of course brings up another question: What is the purpose of your writing? Are you writing for your business and you plan to use your work as an extended business card? Are you writing to position yourself as an authority? Are you learning how to write a novel in hopes of having a best-selling book in a certain genre?
Your writing serves a purpose, for you and for your readers. Getting clear on the expectation of the book you are writing will lead you to better decisions relative to your outline, your title, your visuals, how you publish and distribute.
For example, many of the clients I work with use their book to share their unique perspectives and business offerings. Consultants are experts at this. And, their books are critical assets in their branding toolbox, which they can feature on their website, distribute electronically, or have as giveaways at speaking engagements. Being published increases their credibility and positions their expertise. After all…they wrote the book on it.
So if you are thinking of writing a book, think about the job that your book needs to do for you and then focus on an outline that leads readers through an experience that is both relevant and meaningful. Authentic sharing of information and impact is the highest honor you can give to your readers.
After all, in the words of Ernest Hemingway: “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”