When people found that I had published a few books, they asked me how I did that and what the process was. Very often, they added things like, “I want to publish my book too,” or, “I have a story/idea that I want to turn into a book.” My question for them is always the same: “Is this is your dream?” If they answered yes, I shared my whole story about how I published my first book and where I struggled during the process.
Because I am still getting those questions, I decided to share that via an article, so I don’t need to repeat myself and, who knows, maybe this article will inspire somebody else to follow that dream and become a published author.
Getting started is easy; you can just pick the topic, create the annotation of things you would like to have in your book, and that’s it. I know that sounds easy, but this is also the moment where many people stop. Their motivation is not strong enough to help them to overcome the weeks, months, or years that this could take.
You don’t need to write a lot; you just need to write often. That’s why setting your daily goal could help you to see the progress every day. I know that lots of authors recommend giving yourself a deadline. I am not a fan of that advice because if you are not able to meet that deadline, you will be only be discouraged and demotivated.
I like to highlight, in the annotation, that part of the book that I finished. And the more yellow parts I see in that Google document, the more satisfying it is because you are able to see not only the progress and hard work behind you, but you also see that you are close to finishing it.
Common Excuse: Writing a book is hard!
Of course, it’s hard. If it was easy, everyone would do it. If your dedication is stronger than your excuse, you will turn your dream into reality, and you will find a way to do it. And trust me, if I can do that, and I consider myself a lazy person, you will be able to do it for sure.
What’s Your Motivation
To finish the book, you need to have a reason why you even want to start writing. We all have different reasons; some people love to write, some people want to be authors, some want to have their book to impress others, some want to leave something behind them, some are doing it for the money … we all have our own reasons.
My two reasons why I started to write and why I am still working on all those books, even though it sometimes is quite painful, are quite simple. My first reason is that I want to share my knowledge and stories with others. One person can change the world by giving people the right knowledge or hope, and if one person’s life was positively influenced by my books, then it was worth finishing them. My second reason why I didn’t stop, and I am still trying to finish them, is that none of us knows how much time we have in this life. And I don’t want to wait till my retirement to have the time to finish them because time doesn’t wait for anyone.
Common Excuse: I do not see any progress!
Motivation is not getting you anywhere; you feel motivated only if things are easy. When you find the reason “Why?” you want to publish a book, and the reason is stronger your excuses, you are on the right path to finishing it.
I know that everyone wants to be successful, but success does not come overnight; it comes via the combination of small steps that we take every day. That’s why I am trying to write every day, even if it’s only a few sentences, because those few sentences will create a whole page after a few days, and a few pages will create a few chapters.
Millions of books go unfinished every year. Those books could have brought joy to others; others could have found something inspiring in those books that could have helped in their life when they are struggling. But because many authors quit, those books never got the chance to have a positive impact on their potential readers. When you start writing, try not to quit, you don’t need to finish it within a month, take your time.
And if you are feeling stuck and don’t feel motivated, try reading some other books to get inspiration from them. As Stephen King once said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” That’s why you should read a lot even when you are working on your book. Ideas from those books could help you with yours.
Common Excuse: It will take lots of time.
Of course, it will! I finished my book after One Year, 10 Months, and 21 Days. And I didn’t even count the years before when I was trying to write, all those articles that I never published or articles that I rewrote ten times because they were not good at all.
My first book took me almost two years, the second one a few months, but the other books I am writing have already taken me years, and they are not even ready. I was able to use my idea for a children’s book four or five years from the moment I decided to create it. The novel I am writing has been in my mind for more than fifteen years, and I am still writing and rewriting it. Everything in life takes time! Stop checking the time you already spent on it; this is only demotivating you. If you have a dream, just follow it and don’t set a deadline to your dreams.
Ask for Feedback
When you finish the first draft of your book, ask others for feedback. Half of the people you ask will promise you to give you feedback, but they never will, and that’s OK. Your dream is important to you, not to others; that’s why I am recommending reaching out to more people than you were planning to in the beginning.
Try to ask for feedback also from people you know but who are not close friends; they will be able to provide the honest feedback that you need. When you have feedback, you can spend some time rewriting your book and implementing other ideas you will get from that feedback.
Common Excuse: I am scared of what people will say.
I almost never published my first book because I was afraid of what people would say. And even though you may have written a book that most people will like, there are still people who will give you that one, two, three stars in a review just because they don’t like it for some reason. They don’t see the time you spent on it, and that’s OK. You’ll never be able to please everyone, so you might as well stop trying.
I know it’s easy to give up your dream and settle for mediocrity even though we have all this potential buried on the inside. That fear of rejection or bad feedback could easily discourage you, but we all have things that we want to accomplish, and I believe we all should follow our dreams.
You can settle in life, but if you want to be happy, follow your passion even if it might be scary at the beginning. Your goal is to give everything you have for something that is in your heart or dream. I did that so I can look back after 10, 20 years, and be able to look back at this time and say I gave everything I had, or at least I tried. If your intuition tells you that this is it and you should have your book, start writing and don’t think about how much time it will take you and what others might tell you.
If you are going to self-publish your book, I recommend you hire a Proofreader and Editor. People who already have experience with publishing books will help you to improve yours. There are many websites like Upwork, where you can find the right person to help you with your draft and help you to make it even better.
Also, hire a designer who will help you to create the cover of your book and format the text of your book. You can have the most interesting story and best book ever, but if your formatting is not good, it could easily kill your book, and people will not even start reading it.
Common Excuse: It is expensive!
Yes, it’s expensive if you are self-publishing your book, especially when you are writing in a language that is not your native language. But let me ask you if it’s your dream to have a book, can you put a price tag on your dreams? You can always ask your friends for help, or you can offer your book to a publishing house, and if they are interested, they will pay for an editor, proofread, and graphic designer.
Everybody can publish a book through services like Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) or IngramSpark. With just a few clicks, you will have your book accessible everywhere on the internet. KDP also offers a free ISBN number to authors if those books are not going to be published anywhere else, so you can easily publish your book there. Or you can contact publishing houses and offer them your manuscript and get your book into bookstores.
Common Excuse: What if nobody wants to publish it?
Do you know the book Harry Potter? I think you know that book. J. K. Rowling was rejected by 12 publishing houses before one gave her a shot. And I personally have lots of stories about how I was trying to get my first book published and how many publishing houses told me that people don’t care about books on sourcing and recruitment. Or the stories about when I was trying to publish my book in the Czech language; I contacted almost every publisher in my country because I wanted to have a book in my native language. Many turned me down and never gave me any feedback, but I was persistent.
If you have the same dream as I had, to have your own book, there is always a way to publish it. You will be surprised how many people are willing to help you if you ask them. If you have that dream and it’s something that your heart wants, I can tell you that it’s painful not to follow your heart. It’s better to try at least than to say to yourself for the rest of your life, “I should do that.”
And as Steve Jobs said, “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Writing a book is not an easy journey, and it’s not a journey that takes only a few days, but I can promise you that during this journey, you will learn a lot and you will learn about yourself.
And you never know, maybe you will not stop after the first book. I can tell you that once you start, you will realize that writing is addictive.
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About the author: Jan is a Talent Acquisition Leader with progressive experience managing teams and establishing processes. He has extensive experience in full life cycle recruiting and a broad knowledge of international recruiting and sourcing. Jan is a blogger, speaker, trainer, and author of the book “Full Stack Recruiter: The Ultimate Edition” and the creator of Sourcing.Games, as well as many other projects.
Let’s stay in touch: www.jantegze.com