Confessions of a Reluctant Business Author

“Are you kidding me?! Don’t even go there,” I tell my husband and son when they ask about my next book. With the recent release of Share of Mind, Share of Heart: Marketing Tools of Engagement for Nonprofits and the 5th anniversary of Taking Care of the People Who Matter Most: A Guide to Employee-Customer Carethey keep asking me, “So when are you going to write book number three?”

The truth is writing isn’t easy for me as as I am plagued by perfectionism and paralyzed by the blank page. That’s why I consider my first book a major personal and professional accomplishment – nearly eight years in the making from conception to publication. I’m also thrilled with my second book – it only took two years.

How did I shorten the learning curve between my two books? Thinking back on my experience, I realize that I benefited from:

  • More confidence as an author based on: 1) my first book’s success, and 2) my familiarity with nonfiction book writing and publishing. I knew what to expect with my second book, including understanding that marketing a new book can be as intensive as writing it.
  • More consistent writing experience as a business blogger (since 2005) with some ideas and content that I could build upon, instead of starting totally from scratch.
  • The prodding, encouragement and constructive feedback of three fellow writers who support each other in a Book Critique Group. We pushed ourselves to write and share content on a monthly basis. Then we’d meet to discuss our “review comments” and talk about our writing progress and setbacks.

In maintaining this blog, I still struggle with writer’s block brought on by fear of the blank page. I have to remind myself to just get something (anything!) written down. To overcome the perfectionism that impedes my writing, I find it helpful to remember that what I’m working on is GEMO (“good enough, move on”). Then I give it a rest by taking a break so I can go back to it later for fresh editing. The process is sometimes laborious, but it works for me.

That’s why I’m extremely proud of my two books. Do I have book #3 in me? I’ll let you know …
Note to family: in the meantime, quit bugging me!

2 Comments

  • Can procrastination (and your blog) help you get your book written?

    By Tom Collins Blog writing and book publishing have always scored at the top of our surveys for topics pet bloggers want to learn about. So here are some quick thoughts on those themes, inspired by two blog posts that hit my inbox this morning. Confes…

  • Linda Reed Friedman October 23, 2012 Reply

    As reluctant business author, I too am struggling with the blank page. Thanks for sharing your experience writing. I know the book I’m writing will be done soon, although I’ve sometimes wondered if it would make if off the cutting room floor.A second book? Are you kidding?

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