As many of you know my book “Get Out Of Your Own Way” came out on December 16th this year. It has been almost 2 years since I first had the idea of writing a book about this. The process has not at all been what I would have thought writing a book would be, instead it has been a journey of self learning, discovery, and realization of the long game. Here is why I think you should be writing a book as well, even if you don’t think you have anything to say.
2 years ago I laid in bed one night unable to fall asleep. Not because I was anxious, caffeinated, worried, or for any other reason than excitement. The funny part was I was excited about an idea, something that had prior to that point never existed in my head. Something that would be born that night 2 years ago and turn into something so far from its original inception that I wouldn’t recognize it anymore and yet still be giddy like a child who knows Christmas is tomorrow!
The idea was simple… “Bob… you should write a book”. At the time I had no idea what I would write about. I had just begun my speaking career and my first reaction was “who the hell wants to read something I wrote…” The funny part is that I would come to find out that I had been inadvertently amassing an amazing tribe that would support me with something bordering on fanaticism and it would ultimately be that tribe (side note, this is YOU who is reading this blog post, and I want to truly thank you for that) that would get me to take action.
However before we get to that stage I want to walk you through a few things I think are important for anyone else who may have been toying with the idea of writing a book, or who is now thinking to themselves that they may want to write one. The process at first seems daunting and overwhelming, but I am going to break it down for you in a few simple steps that will help you not only accelerate the process but also finish something I think is of much higher quality.
What’s the next step then?
Like any good long form story starts, I began with an outline. You can’t begin to write a book unless you at least have an outline of where you want to go with it. The points you want to make. The stories, anecdotes, adventures, misadventures, and growth along the way. This was for me, the hardest and most time consuming process of writing the book. This part took almost a year for me. Now in my particular case I was looking to gather as much information to support my theories I was writing about and I took that year to do that. Much of what I wrote in my book Get Out Of Your Own Way is compiled not just from my own experiences but by what I have seen work for the thousands of entrepreneurs I have helped during that time, along with what I learned myself along the way.
The outline is an important phase of what you do. It helps you quantify and clarify what you’re doing and put a path to your thoughts so that the reader can follow what you’re doing. The outline is good because it can be fluid and adjust as you need it. I am not saying you need to take the next year to write your outline. In fact my good friend David Fabricious wrote one of his books in an entire day from concept to final product. I think this is the exception not the rule though. For most of us we should be outlining our thoughts before we begin the writing process.
So it took me a year to get that part done. I wasn’t working on it full time for that year, it was more here and there as the mood or thoughts struck me and as I built my base of experience upon which to write about. However the next step was begin writing the book. The funny part is that I had been creating excuses for myself about why I couldn’t or shouldn’t write this book. Finally it was someone from my tribe, someone I consider a good friend who pushed me to do it. So I began writing. I started with the first section of my outline and it was PAINFULLY slow going. It took me about a month to finish that first chapter and it was one of the easiest ones to write. I was insanely discouraged by my progress or lack thereof. What’s a guy to do when it takes a month to write the easiest chapter of a 12 chapter book?!?!
Then I had an epiphany! I was trying to type something out from an outline. The problem with this is that I am not a great “writer”. My form of communication is talking. I could talk about these same concepts all day long and with insane ease. So I decided to take a new approach. Instead of trying to write the book, I would record my audio of it and see what happened. 6 hours later I had the entire book “written” in audio form. Knowing the value of my own time I sent these 6 hours off to a transcriber from e-lance, $75 and 3 days later I had a written copy of that 6 hours of audio!
What was shaping up to take the next year of my life or more to complete had just been done in 6 hours! This elicited feelings of joy, giddiness, and astonishment! Had I really just done this? Could it have been that easy? I must be kidding myself if I thought so. These were the thoughts running through my head at the time, but I pushed forward none the less. Once I got the transcription back I noticed the next hurdle. This writing was almost TOO conversational. There is nothing wrong with writing in a conversational tone, but this was to much, it needed to be toned back. So I began the process of fixing that.
A few weeks later I had what I thought was a pretty solid version of my book. Knowing my own lack of grammatical and spellmatical (yea that’s a word…. Look it up, I dare you 😛 ) abilities I decided that I needed a professional editor to go through and clean it up a bit. Take my words and polish them to a shine for me. So I began the process of locating an editor that I thought would get me, get what I am trying to communicate, and not butcher my words for the sake of “proper writing”. A few months later I had something that we both agreed was pretty freaking good! This is an important part of the process not to overlook. A great editor can fix up your language and make it shine, but shouldn’t be so overbearing that they change what you’re trying to communicate.
Ready to Launch…. or maybe not…
We were now ready to launch the book… or so I thought. I had done a ton of research around how to launch a book so that it would become an amazon best seller however what I would come to find out is that while I knew a lot, having someone with expertise in your corner is invaluable.
I am not going to go into the details of every little thing I did in the process of launching the book, but suffice it to say that this part of the process has been the most time consuming, and what feels like the longest part of the whole process! I was fortunate enough to find someone who’s business is launching books, and while it was a significant investment up front, I could not have been happier with hiring this person to help me out. There is so much that I would have missed if I hadn’t hired him. If you want to know more about who that is and how he can help you launch your own book send me a message and I will make the introduction!
2 years later that crazy idea has finally come to fruition. I know that if you read my book and implement just 20% of what I teach you that your business will grow by leaps and bounds! I can’t wait for you to read it yourself and let me know what you think!
If you have made it this far through this lengthy post then hopefully I have already provided you with quite a bit of value, and I have a few more things to offer you!
Lastly, I want to say thank you to each and every one of you who has taken the time to read this post (and the book too!). You are the reason that I wrote a book and the reason I do everything I do. Without each and every one of you supporting me in various ways along this path this book would never have happened. So THANK YOU!
Have you picked up your copy of the book yet? If not go grab it by clicking on the picture of the book below!
What do you think? Tell me if you have written a book or are looking to write one yourself in the comments below! I want to know what you liked and didn’t like about this post so I can write more that will help you achieve everything you’ve ever wanted to!