Writing, Writing Tools

What are your biggest frustrations when writing a book? #WritingTips #MondayBlogs #writinglife

Writing a book is a huge task.

That book idea you’ve had may have been bubbling away under your skin for years, like an itch you can’t scratch!

You read about full-time authors who gather their writing materials and float down the path to their writing shed at the bottom of the garden, rattling out three novels a year. That’s the dream. To write and share your creativity and stories with the world.

Or perhaps your writing dream is slightly different, and you see yourself centre stage at a TEDx talk addressing hundreds of people about your specialised topic? You finish talking to thunderous applause, and everyone rushes to the back of the room to buy your book and get the chance to meet you.

No matter the goal, you have to go through the physical action of planting your bum in the seat and writing the damn book first.

That’s when our frustrations make themselves known. These include the doubts that flitter about our head like annoying flies on a hot summer’s day. We swat them away, but they circle back for more.

What are YOUR biggest frustrations?

Here are the ones I hear every single day from my writing club members:

Not Good Enough 

The never-ending deluge of questions include:

  • ‘Am I good enough to write?’
  • ‘Am I good enough to publish?’
  • ‘What do I know about XYZ?’
  • ‘It’s all been said before, so what can I offer?’
  • ‘Do I have what it takes to write a book?’

Do you recognise any of these questions? The answer is probably yes. You will have had fleeting thoughts about your worthiness to write and publish your book at some point. It’s a natural process our brain uses to keep us safe.

But, for some people, the simple answer is ‘no, you’re not good enough.’ I fit into this category when I first set out to write. I was a teenager and had no experience writing a book. I loved stories, telling tall tales, and imitating my favourite authors, but I was unprepared for novel writing.

It took me years of reading, writing, sharing my work, getting knocked back by publishers, magazines, and competitions until I started to produce anything worth reading.

That ‘no, you’re not enough’ was, in fact, a ‘not yet!’

Writing is a skill that can be learned, explored, and developed over time. Many independent authors only realise this fact once they self-publish their first attempt and receive negative feedback and minimal sales.

But instead of retreating to their safe space, they need to learn from the experience and grow.

Are you committed to developing your craft? Do you want to write the best book you possibly can? Are you willing to put in the work (and editing) required to produce a book that represents you and your business?

If so, then you’re in the ‘not yet’ category and can now settle down to write your first draft, knowing it’s going to be a steaming pile of crap, but it gives you a starting point to improve upon. Congratulations, you’ve just taken your first step towards becoming an author.

Lack of Time

How often have you told your family and friends about your book idea but finished off with ‘if only I had the time’?

Stop! If you genuinely want to write a book, then you’ll find and make time to write. It’s all about commitment and dedication. That author floating down the path to their writing shed in the garden are few and far between. Most authors (me included) have a full-time job. I run a book coaching membership and blog for businesses that have neither the time nor inclination to write their blog content. I also have a publishing contract to fulfil. I write for a living, but my time is not spent solely on my novels.

I must create time to work on my books around running my business and supporting my three children.

Finding the time to write is a game. We’re all different. Some of us are early birds, and others are night owls. Some of us can sit for an hour or two to write, and others need to grab half an hour here and there. Some of us can find a quiet space to write at home, and others need to write as the kids are taking part in their football or swimming classes.

What works for one writer may not work for another. Find your own groove.

I’m a weekend writer. It works for me and fits around my coaching business.

One of my writing members discovered that the Pomodoro technique fits around her tight schedule and wrote her book in small portions throughout her week. Another client sets aside two full days a week to concentrate on her book but doesn’t include that time in the school holidays.

Play around with your schedule, add writing time to your calendar, but COMMIT! There’s no such thing as a lack of time, only a lack of planning and dedication.

Where Do I Start?

You’ve got a fabulous idea for a book. It’s going to revolutionise your industry. Your peers and going to thank you for creating something so helpful and inspiring. But you have no idea where to begin!

This is probably one of the biggest frustrations for new writers. The self-doubt of ‘am I good enough’ tends to bubble up once they start writing and after they’ve carved time out of their schedule.

If you’ve never written a book before, how on earth are you supposed to know where to start?

You may find yourself reading articles and wondering what it means when it refers to:

Front and back matter

ISBNs

Formatting

Mobi files

Metadata

Wide distribution

Wrap covers

Developmental edits

This is where a book coach/mentor helps. Having an accountability partner can make the difference between a half-finished manuscript and a published book.

Find All the Support You Need in a Creative Writing Club

My monthly Accountability Coaching Club was designed to help women write and publish their books in a safe group environment at their own pace.

This is a creative writing club with a difference. Instead of meeting up once a month to write and share feedback, you receive mentoring, support, a private Facebook group to ask questions and share your wins, as well as guest speakers from the writing, editing, and publishing industry.

For £49 a month, you can write your book with the peace of mind that a multi-genre author and book coach is holding your hand every step of the way.

What’s included in the monthly membership

  • An initial 1:1 strategy session to talk through your book idea and create an outline to follow as you start writing your book.
  • Monthly group coaching call (via Zoom) where you set your writing goals, get feedback on your work, ask questions about any aspect of writing.
  • Monthly group co-writing session (via Zoom – usually on a Sunday morning) where you have three hours of dedicated writing time to work on your book. Think of it as a virtual coffee shop!
  • Monthly group catch-up calls (via Zoom) to check in on your progress. These sessions include a guest speaker from the writing, editing, and publishing industry.
  • Private Facebook Group for members only. A safe space to ask for feedback, get access to me as you write, and support one another.
  • Honest feedback and accountability

All the coaching calls are recorded and shared in the Facebook group for any members who can’t make the live sessions.

Interested? To sign up for the monthly membership, all you need to do is book your initial 1:1 session. Once this is set up, I’ll email you a link to the Facebook group and a list of all the coaching dates. You don’t need to wait to jump straight in, so please don’t worry if you can’t book your 1:1 for a few weeks.

I feel more confident and organised now, and I know I wouldn’t have got this far without joining the membership.” Liz Stanford – The Calm Birth School

BOOK your 1:1 strategy session today and break down the frustrations stopping you from writing your book.

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