Last year I made it my goal to write the story of losing my wife Sheri in a car accident. The book became known as Sideswiped, and I finished writing it in September and released it on November 21. What I set out to do in January 2015 was accomplished by the end of the year, but not without a LOT of struggle.
Let me assure you, it was worth the struggle.
That’s why I want to encourage everyone who has ever said, “I’d like to write a book someday” that NOW is the time. Don’t put it off any longer. Make 2016 YOUR year of the book!
One of the biggest lessons that I learned along the way is the need for accountability and a learning/supportive community in order to lend a helping hand or a well-timed kick in the pants when needed. Here are three “communities” who helped me.
1) The Burly Boys Book Club. This is a testosterone infused book club that meets each Wednesday morning to talk about issues that affect our lives under the guise of reading a book together. These guys knew I was writing and always asked me about my progress and about my marketing ideas. I made sure that I had some forward momentum built by every Wednesday or else fear the consequence of friendly harassment.
YOUR Action Plan: Build a team around you for weekly accountability. This can be as few as one person or as many as 5 or 6. The point is to make sure there is someone who will encourage you when you hit a wall and remind you why you need to keep going…long after you have forgotten your “why.”
2) The North Pointe Writers Group. This group started just over a year ago with a few people from our church who wanted to blog and eventually write a book. In this monthly meeting we read a 500-word excerpt or short story to be reviewed and constructively critiqued by the group. The first few pages of my book was written for and reviewed by my peers at the writers group. Their input was invaluable and gave me the confidence to move forward.
YOUR Action Plan: Start to share your work. One way is through a blog where you can share excerpts of your book or writing about random thoughts. The main point is to put yourself “out there” where people can read what you have written. This is an important first step in becoming a better and more confident writer. You can also look online for writers groups in your area through www.meetup.com.
3) Kary Oberbrunner and Author Academy Elite. The final push for me to write my book was through a webinar hosted by author and entrepreneur Kary Oberbrunner featuring Author Academy Elite, his writing, publishing and marketing guide for authors. There is so much information out there on how to write and publish, and I wanted to make sure that I had someone to guide me through the process, answering my questions, and helping me to avoid unnecessary cost and heartache. I can say with full confidence that being a part of a tribe of published and soon-to-be published authors has been inspiring and taught me more than I could ever have learned on my own about the writing and publishing process. Most importantly, Kary teaches each of his authors how to market their book. This is a MUST. I have come to realize that marketing is as difficult (if not more difficult) than writing a book. Now I am proud to say that I am an Author Academy Elite author, and I am about to start working on my second book.
YOUR Action Plan: Sign up for the next AAE webinar with Kary. He will talk about the features of AAE in a no pressure format. It made a difference for me and can for you. What are you waiting for? Click the link! AAE Webinar