I can still remember coming up with crazy short stories when I was 7 years old.
I loved writing. I’ve always loved writing.
And today, I have the ability to publish what I write, without middlemen.
I’ve received quite a few emails about my Kindle experiment, so I thought I’d share a few of the lessons I’ve learned so far.
Here we go:
1. Start Small
You don’t have to write a 1,000 page tome in order to publish on Kindle. You just need to solve a problem.
When I wrote my first book, I wrote something simple. Not simple as in watered down, but simple as in focused, clear, and to the point.
My first book was Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself. Each chapter contains one question, which nudges you to look inside to find what you’re passionate and excited about right now.
It won’t win any prizes, but it’s out there helping people. So if you’re held back by what you think your book should be, let it go, and start writing. Write because you love to write, and let the rest fall into place.
2. Solve a Problem
Nonfiction books solve problems. I don’t write fiction, at least not yet, so my books focus on helping people move toward their goals.
One of my books helps you write blog posts. Another one reveals how I made over $100,000 online doing what I love (no longer in print).
Readers want to hear your story, and if you can solve problems by telling your story, even better.
For example, if you know how to grow tomatoes, you can write a short book on the subject. If I were to start growing tomatoes, I wouldn’t want to wade through 500 pages. I would want as few pages as possible to help me grow juicy tomatoes.
But what about originality? Aren’t you supposed to produce something mind-blowing? I don’t know. I write what I write. It’s mind-blowing for some, and not for others. Your writing is not for everyone. Remember that.
Don’t wait for a groundbreaking idea. Start writing now, no matter how you feel. It will take time to get good, and to discover what you truly want to do.
You have to be willing to wade through some … algae.
3. Tell Your Story
We’re afraid of sharing our story, yet that is exactly what is required.
Your story makes you unique. We’re all afraid of the same things. We all have the same desires. Your story allows the right people to connect with you, to relate to you.
When I wrote, How I Made Over $100,000 Online Doing What I Love (no longer in print), I knew I would get criticized at some point, because books about money, and especially online business, so often do.
I almost didn’t publish it. I had doubts. My story felt mundane. I couldn’t see who would want to read it.
Luckily, I knew from experience that just because I thought my story was mundane, didn’t mean it was mundane.
Don’t be afraid to share your story. You will have doubts. You will be afraid. That’s part of the adventure. It’s a part of life.
Not everyone will like your story, or your books, but so what? Immerse yourself in the joy of writing. Let other people immerse themselves in whatever they choose.
4. Keep Writing
The more books I have out there, the more books I sell. If it sounds obvious, why do so many people give up when their first book isn’t a smashing success?
When you launch a new book (if your books are relevant to each other), all of your books get a boost. That’s what happened when I launched my last book.
So keep writing. This is about action, and learning what works. Stop trying to figure out the perfect plan, and start writing. You have to write in order to improve. You don’t get better through excessive thinking and planning.
Let it be a chaotic mess if it has to be.
As writers, we’re constantly doubting ourselves and fearing the worst. It’s not something to be gotten rid of, but something to embrace.
Use your fear to fuel your writing. When fear paralyzes me, I know that I’m not alone. We all feel the same feelings. Deep down, you’re afraid of the same things I am.
I don’t try to hide it, because hiding my fears and doubts would mean hiding a part of myself. I don’t give fear power, but I also don’t push it away.
If that doesn’t make sense, don’t worry, you’ll find your own path.
Your body may shake with doubt as you write your book(s), but you just keep writing.
What are you truly afraid of? Someone saying something bad? Are you going to let that keep you from doing what you love?
You don’t know if what you fear is even bad. You just think it will be.
6. 1-Star Reviews
Before writing my first book, I was afraid of negative reviews.
After publishing several books, I’ve noticed that about 10-15% of reviews will be negative, or at least not positive.
That’s just how things are. Not everyone will like my books, and I accept that. My books aren’t for everyone.
I’ve also noticed that most 1-star reviews have nothing to do with the book, and everything to do with the person leaving the review.
You see, we express what we feel. My book may be amazing, but if something I write triggers fear in someone, they may leave an angry review.
Readers don’t really review books, they review how the books make them feel. If someone isn’t ready to follow their passion, they may hate my books for reminding them of the fact that it is possible.
Forget about the reviews, and write from your heart. That’s what I do. I write the books I feel inspired to write. Whether or not people like them is not up to me. I can only do my best, and the rest is out of my hands.
(Note: Yes, learn from the reviews (if possible), but if someone is being overly negative, forget about it.)
7. Have a Writing Process
Having a writing process helps me write high-quality books, fast.
A writing process means that I have a checklist of sorts that helps me get through my books. It allows me to focus on writing, instead of coming up with the fundamentals of my books every single time.
You discover your way of writing by writing.
But if you want to discover what my writing process looks like from beginning to end, check out my book.
Obviously there are many things I haven’t included in this post, but worry not. There’s more coming very soon.
Have a fantastic day!