Book Coach Anna Fox shares epic tips on how to save time and start your book now.
If you want to write a book, you’re probably aware there’s a lot to learn. There's voice, story, how to start and structure it, what kind of book it is, what publishers want, self publishing...and everything else you could possibly think of.
You might be considering a course or a workshop so you can learn more about it, or you might have done a few already. And that's great: writing a book requires skills you have to learn if you want to do it well.
Yet there's often a crucial element missing in the teaching.
And that element is the reader.
The common perception and practice, is that you think about your reader when you’ve written your book. And then you only do it because you HAVE to, so that you can sell your book or attract an agent or publisher to sell it for you.
However, you're entirely missing the point and making the writing process longer and much more arduous.
Your reader should not be the last part of the process; they should not be the add-on at the end.
Rather, you should carefully consider who your reader is right at the beginning, and you shouldn’t be writing anything at all without a clear idea of who they are.
And when you're considering them, you shouldn’t do doing it in a general sense.
You should be thinking about them very specifically.
So specifically, that there can only be one of them, and you should be writing with this one person in mind.
You should know exactly who they are: their sex, age, marital status, job, hobbies, where they live and what they’re doing at pm on a Tuesday.
This is the person you need to know. This is your Ideal Reader.
And here are 3 great reasons (though there are more) why this little known information is a game-changer when it comes to successfully writing your book.
1. You avoid overwhelm
One of the biggest difficulties you're likely to have as you write your book is knowing what to include, what to leave out and how to know the difference.
It often drives people crazy and it’s no wonder: if you’re an expert in a particular area, it's second nature to want to include everything you possibly can!
But trying to include everything will often lead you down a rabbit hole into a warren of thought with no way out...
And the result? Overwhelm.
And after that? Frustration.
And after that? The urge to throw the laptop out of the window and a compulsion to stuff your face with carbs to stifle that feeling of contempt for a book you so lovingly started.
This overwhelm cycle has nothing to do with whether you're a good enough writer. It’s just a natural biological cycle where your brain simply can’t cope with all the data and how to organise it, so it shuts down.
And it's entirely avoidable when you know your Ideal Reader.
Because when you know who you’re writing for, it becomes instantly clear what to put in your book, and more importantly, what to leave out.
It’s like cooking a special dinner. If your guest is a vegetarian, you know how to plan the menu. But if you don't know their food preferences, are you going to cook lots of different dishes in case they're a vegetarian, or a vegan, or someone with a nut allergy just so you don't leave someone out?
Of course not. You’re going to find out what they eat first, and plan the dinner accordingly.
And it’s exactly the same with your Ideal Reader. Knowing who they are reveals what you should write because when you know them, you know what they want to read. And you completely avoid the overwhelm cycle.
Additionally - and interestingly - when you get specific like this, you find that your book appeals to a far greater audience than if you'd thrown everything in, because now your reader feels like you're talking directly to them.
2. You create and share a legacy
Writing a book is like making and breaking bread: it’s meant for sharing. And putting it in the hands of your ideal reader completes the process and makes the overall experience more satisfying.
To use another metaphor, it’s like a waltz or an embrace: you can’t do it on your own. And when you know who you’re embracing, your writing process becomes so much more intimate and personal. You also feel more intentional and focused with a clear sense of purpose, which makes it easier to write and finish your book.
It also makes it easier to hand your book over to your reader at the end, because you know it's not the end of life for your book: it’s the next and necessary part of the process that you can look forward to with excitement and pride.
And then it has the potential to live on, long after you're gone.
3. You and your book become irresistible
Writing for your Ideal Reader helps you ‘fall into’ your natural writing voice as opposed to scrimmaging around, trying to ‘find’ it.
When you’re writing a book, you can find yourself writing in a way you think you should, and as a result when you read it back it doesn’t sound like you at all. Instead it sounds silly, or unnatural, or bossy, and then you think you’re a rubbish writer.
But if you’re thinking of your Ideal Reader while you're writing, it starts to feel more like writing a letter to a friend. You’re just writing for this one person, so your rhythm and use of language feels natural. You automatically feel more relaxed and your focus switches to sharing what you want to say, rather than thinking what you should say and how you should say it.
And then you start to sound more like you.
Readers can sense a non genuine voice a mile off and when they do, they’ll shelve the book.
But there's nothing more attractive than a voice that's genuine.
And this will make you and your book. irresistible.
And what more could you want than that?
Want to know more about how you can get started on your book? Join Anna for a FREE 90 minute workshop 7 Reasons You Haven't Written Your Book Yet (and how to get started today) on Thursday 10th June at 7pm GMT. Join now.