You know that writing your book could open doors for speaking assignments, would give you added visibility and credibility, and would allow you to become the authority—the author who quite literally wrote the book on your area of expertise.
But life gets in the way. I’ve seen this time and time again. Maybe it looks like this:
Since the pandemic your business has exploded. Your phone has been ringing, and your calendar couldn’t be any more packed. There is no time for your book.
Or maybe this is what has happened:
Since the pandemic your business has tanked. Speaking engagements were cancelled or postponed. Opportunities evaporated. You are doing everything possible to keep your business afloat, and you certainly don’t have time for writing.
Or maybe it’s something else altogether:
Your health has been precarious. Your loved ones are sick or dying. Life has thrown you a major curve ball, and you are reeling. You have priorities, and your book just didn’t make the short list.
No matter which scenario is true for you, life often gets in the way of our best plans, and that includes writing your book.
If you are ready to put your book back on your list of priorities, here are some action steps you might take for a successful book reboot.
- Give yourself grace. Now isn’t the time for self-flagellation. You won’t help yourself by playing the blame game. Accept that what has happened is behind you.
- What got in the way? While you shouldn’t play the blame game, it is important to understand what really got in the way. Was the derailment of your book project a factor of one circumstance, or were there other factors in play? For example, I often see authors who are struggling with central focus, a well-defined target reader, a grand entrance of “The Bitch”—that negative voice that resides between our ears. Get to the real issues.
- Ask yourself: Can you choose to be in a different place? Have priorities honestly shifted that now permit you to put your book first? Are you able and willing to dedicate the time and resources to getting the book done? If now isn’t the time, accept that, and revisit the issue down the road.
- Take action and conduct a Book Reboot.
Book Reboot 101
Put it on your calendar. Whatever you do, DON’T put your book on your to-do list. You typically work your to-do list by what is urgent, and while your book is important it isn’t likely urgent. Block calendar appointments realistically during the times where you have peak creative energy. Guard that time commitment, and hold it as sacred space.
Create boundaries. It’s time to tell the kids/spouse/friends that your book is back in first place on your list of priorities. Assure them that it won’t be forever. Let them know when you are available and when your calendar is off-limits.
Decide/set intentions. What will you do? Will you commit to writing five or more hours each week? Will you only be content when you completed your word count goal for the week? Are you committing to a percentage of your book complete by milestone dates?
Get help and support. Who do you need on your team? Is it time to engage with or reconnect with a book coach? Do you need the support of a writing community or accountability partner? Would a retreat or a VIP coaching weekend be the right strategy for you?
You may have had to hit the “pause” button on your book, but if it’s time for a book reboot then put your action plan together and work your plan. You can do this!