Recently I made a decision to not edit and finish the two books I was working on. I also decided to no longer offer book coaching packages for healing memoirs. Something happened and I fell out of love with working on this kind of book.
Letting go of this was liberating.
It got me thinking about all of the other people struggling to get their books out of their heads and published.
What is it that drives us to write a book, when maybe it’s not the right book or the right strategy for right now?
Is there a devil on your shoulder saying you should do this because…?
Think about it why are you pushing yourself to create a book? Or why are you thinking of writing a big book – over 40k words?
Ok, confession time, before I ramble on. I am creating two little books which are part of a passion project, so I haven’t fallen out of love with books – not at all. I have fallen out of love with putting myself under pressure.
I’ve been working on getting into my discomfort zone and looking at what I want and considering what opportunities I may be missing by sticking with what I know.
Being in the discomfort zone is like flirting with vulnerability and I have been feeling uncomfortable. And I like it. Call me a masochist, but I think that once in a while we need to stretch ourselves – don’t you?
Through journaling, I can be honest with myself and I invite you to do the same. Ask tough questions of yourself, reflect and then let go of your shoulds. Do something that fills you full of joy and passion and does good in the world.
I reached into my heart and asked my muse what would I really love to write?
Ages ago I was asked a question about working with A list celebrities. My response was I would love to work with Lily Tomlin on the script of Grace and Frankie. This was because I wanted to learn how to write in a fun way and for fun.
Fun. That for me was what was missing in my writing. I needed to write some fun things. What about you?
What I find with myself and my clients there is always a deeper reason why we don’t write or we do write and don’t publish. If you are stuck, try exploring what lies beneath and then deciding what to do.
As I was journaling, I made some notes about why I think some people can’t or won’t write a book, and here they are. What do you think?
There’s more healing needed before you can commit to writing a book
Writing is healing and when you start to write your story, often what happens is that you are back in the story, and stuff comes up.
When this happened to me, I used the book outline to look for healing themes and worked on these.
- Journal the journey
- Reflect and look for insights and aha’s
- Ask for help
You will, if you decide to publish, have a much better book and will be able to serve your clients from a stronger position.
If you discover it’s the wrong book, you will have reaped other benefits and can now think about the right book or a better project for you.
You are unclear of your direction
So many times, I hear someone say, I want to write a book for my business, but my writing is not flowing. However, when we explore, you can feel that the energy of the book is not there. Something doesn’t add up.
When the conversation opens up, what is revealed is that the aspiring author really wants to do something else but is fearful. Often this is because they are unclear about their direction. Something else is calling to their hearts.
In this case, I would suggest getting a journal for the journey and start exploring with the Exploring Purpose E-book Part 1. Later you can consider your IKIGAI.
After this, it’s about noticing what comes up for you and recording that in your journal.
You are at a crossroads or stuck on a cosmic roundabout
Life feels like driving around the cosmic roundabout or being stuck at a crossroads and not knowing where to get off. It’s not always about direction; this often feels bigger and life-changing. Like there’s more at play than the direction of your life and business. It might even feel like you want to pack a rucksack and run away to run a bar in the sun kind of crossroads.
What to do, eh? Crossroads and cosmic roundabouts can be tricky but also full of opportunity.
If you have a book and it’s not flowing, go back to the drawing board. Take this short course, Simple Steps To Planning Your Non-Fiction Book – head to this page, sign up to get your Udemy offers and get stuck in.
In the end, you may discover a different book, or you decide to use the outline for a course instead…
You have lost focus, and this feels overwhelming
When there is no focus, everything feels overwhelming. Your energy is scattered, nothing makes sense, and if you are anything like me, you may even shed a few tears. That’s great; get it all out!
Again, get that journal out. Give yourself space. Ideas come in the spaces; it’s where opportunities lurk.
Do the IKIGAI exercise and grab the Exploring Purpose E-book Part 1. Get an accountability buddy or coach.
Whatever you do. Stop writing something that has no focus. When you are overwhelmed, the best thing you can do is refocus and do things in little chunks.
You are scared to share
I get this. It can feel vulnerable sharing your stuff, but if you don’t, it will die in you, and you will not have served the people that need to hear your message.
Here’s the thing, you do not have to write a book right now. Maybe you never will. Perhaps you want to do a passion project instead (more on this soon).
Hold that intention. Instead, map out the outline and blog it. As you release smaller chunks, you will get used to the writing process, you will find your writer’s voice, and you will get feedback. Best of all, your confidence will grow.
Perhaps you are too scared to share because it is not the right book, or you don’t really want to write a book.
Have faith and take baby steps.
You have other fears
We all have stuff that bubbles beneath the surface. You may suppress it or be unaware of how it is holding you back. You may not even know that you have a particular fear that is stopping you.
You know what I am going to say, talk to someone and journal. It is in the reflection when we are being truly honest with ourselves that the rubbish rises. I like the layers of the onion I peel daily. They don’t always feel good, but I know that it’s important to uncover stuff, forgive, find the learning and let go.
When you have walked through the fire and discovered what you really want, then you can think about which book, why and when.
Here’s a bit of a strategy
- Release your inner book through your journal. Go and buy one or twenty. Dig out an unused one. Just start.
- Write in a way that suits you – freestyle or via prompts – the Exploring Purpose E-book Part 1 is a good place to start
- Listen to that quiet inner voice – what is it saying?
- Reflect often
- Ask for support
- Stop doing something that isn’t right for you right now
- Consider writing a shorter little book that is more fun and easier to do
Whatever you do, make it work for you