I have an announcement to make.
I am writing a book. I’m writing a book about writing a book. (To which Paris, our marketing and communications coordinator, said: “That’s so meta…”)
This should be a cinch for me. I have been an editor for nearly twenty years, over which time I have worked with hundreds of writers. Most of them were professional journalists or feature writers, but in recent years in my role as publisher at LifeTree Media, I have worked almost exclusively with first-time authors.
Every day I support people in writing their very first nonfiction book. I give them a framework to follow, help them choose a focus for their book, and supply them with tools to organize their thoughts, overcome self-doubt, and follow through to completion.
Over time, I’ve developed quite a colourful bag of tricks to help even nervous, inexperienced authors to get the words out. We now have a neat and effective system for turning a glimmer of an idea into an outline, and then a manuscript, and finally a finished book on store shelves. It works.
So you could say I know a thing or two about the process. Documenting our system in a book of my own should be a walk in the park, right?
Wrong. The truth is, I am totally intimidated by the size of the task before me. (Just like the authors I work with.) You see, although I have worked on many books, I have never written one myself. (Just like the authors I work with.) I find myself fretting: What if nobody likes it – or, worse, if nobody reads it? What if I never even get it finished? I am a busy person, you know! Hm. This is sounding all too familiar.
Clearly, it is time for me to practice what I preach.
Luckily, I have a program to follow. I’ve seen it work for others; now it’s time to put it to the test on myself.
As I write, I’ll be sharing my experience and excerpts from the manuscript on this blog and in our newsletter. (Pro tip: accountability boosts productivity!) It’s bound to be an exhilarating, exhausting, sometimes nerve-wracking ride, so send me your own tips, suggestions and words of encouragement. Every new author needs a coach, and I am no exception.
PS: to all those brave and brilliant authors I work with… I get it now.