October 3, 2017
Note From Rochelle
If you’re hoping to finish or start a project before the end of the year, think about joining my Write-A-Thon Group Coaching Program. You’ll get great tips, support, and the accountability you need to write. And even better, I’ve made it a super affordable program. Check out the Write-A-Thon Group Coaching page to learn more.
When the calendar turns to October, I know I have just a month to plan for National Novel Writing Month. As always, I’ll be using the month to work on a nonfiction book. Today’s tip will help you choose a topic for this year’s National Novel Writing Month adventure.
The Write Now! Coach
Are You Ready to Write Your Book?
by Rochelle Melander
Are you ready to say yes to your dream of writing a book?
Perhaps you grew up reading classics like A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, The Giver by Lois Lowry, or Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney and thought, I wish I could tell a story that would expand the imagination or allow kids to know they’re not alone.
Or maybe as a business owner or professional, you’ve dreamed of creating a book that could help your clients live a better life—eat well, overcome obstacles, or believe in themselves.
You might benefit from a write-a-thon, a month-long book writing adventure where you commit to creating your 50,000-word book in just 30 days. Lucky for you, National Novel Writing Month is just around the corner, and I’m planning a month full of tips to help you plan and write your book.
If you’re a speaker, coach, or entrepreneur, writing a book can benefit you in many ways. It can:
+establish you as an expert
+increase your credibility
+educate and inspire the public about your work
+increase brand loyalty.
+create trust with your audience
+capture media attention
+build buzz for your business
+help you gain access to important people
+generate client leads
+And of course, generate income.
But before you can start writing, you need a book idea. If you don’t have an idea already—or don’t know which idea to choose, here’s my handy dandy process for sorting through the noise in your brain and choosing the project that’s right for you.
What am I curious about?
You probably have multiple ideas swirling through your head—topics you know a lot about, ideas you’d love to explore, or stories that engage you. Write the topics or titles of each potential project at the top of a piece of paper.
What purpose will this project serve?
Our writing projects support our careers in different ways. As I mentioned above, our projects can educate and inspire our readers, capture media attention, and generate client leads. Some projects will help us earn money now and others have the potential to attract clients to our programs and services. Look at each of your projects and ask, “What will this writing project help me to do?” Underneath the title of each project, note the purpose that each project serves.
What project fits your life right now?
If you’re going through a major life change, attending school, or working on a big venture at work, this might not be the time to take on a huge writing project. Take a look at the projects you have listed along with the purpose each will serve. Consider the shape of your daily life—the time and energy you have available to write a book. Is there any project that does not fit your life right now? Write “no” in the column under the project. Now look at what’s left behind: What projects and purposes do fit your life right now? What projects support your other business, work, or personal goals? Write “yes” or “maybe” under the ones that are still contenders.
What does the market say?
It’s always helpful to check the shelves and see what’s out there on your topic. Counterintuitive as it sounds, one of the signs of a marketable idea is one that has already been done well by someone else. Why do you think publishers flooded the market with vampire books after the Twilight series took off? They were following a tested trend: teenage vampire love stories. Research books like yours online at Goodreads and Amazon as well as in your local bookstore.
Pro Tip: As long as you’re researching, make notes about each book. Copy down the title, author, and publisher of the book. Make notes on the structure and content of the book as well as how your book will be different. Check the acknowledgments for the name of the author’s agent and editors. You can use all of this information in your book proposal or while marketing your indie published book.
What does your gut say?
I make decisions with my gut. Not everyone does. Some people collect data, make lists, or consult experts. All of these are good things to do—but in the end, you need to write the book that you want to write. After working through the last two steps, you will have a few worthy projects to choose from. Answer the following questions quickly. Do not over think your answer. For each question, mark a star by the project that gets your yes!
*Which project am I passionate about writing right now?
*If I could have completed one project by next year at this time, I would write _____.
*Which project energizes me?
*Which project would I write even if no one read it?
*Which project can I talk about even when I’m tired?
*Which project would be most fun for me?
And the winner is…
After doing this process, usually one project comes out a distinct winner. If not, put aside the decision for a few days. Pay attention to your thoughts, conversations, and dreams. Notice what ideas, articles, blog posts and books come your way. No doubt, by the end of the week you’ll know exactly which project you need to work on.
How do you decide between equally viable writing projects? Share your advice in the comments below! And if you’re having trouble choosing, schedule a conversation with me.
And don’t forget: if you’re planning on writing a book this November, sign up for my Write-A-Thon coaching group. You’ll get loads of tips and support—just what you need to keep your fingers dancing across the keyboard!