“I have no time to write a book.”
“Writing a book takes years.”
“I can’t write a book. I am just a blogger.”
I hear this all the time.
For a long time, I also believed in the same. The only trouble was I desperately wanted to write a book.
I had written hundreds of articles, but they meant nothing.
Then one day, I heard a tiny voice in the wee hours of the morning. It said, “Write the damn book. Start today, and do it fast.”
If there is one thing that I have learned in my creative life, it is to act on the tiny voice when you hear it. I opened my laptop and got to work. I was going to write a book, and I was going to start the same day.
I needed an idea.
Something I was good at so that I could write it fast.
Something that people would want to read.
Something that solved a problem.
Something people were willing to pay for?
I couldn’t think of anything, so I turned those questions to myself.
What would I want to read?
What problem of mine would I like to solve?
What am I willing to pay money for?
The problem I wanted to solve at that moment was — how to write a book and that too fast. Suppose there was a book which told me that I would have paid money for it.
I was sure there were many books available on the topic. Perhaps the information existed on the internet as well. But I thought, “If I could give it a bit of a twist, perhaps I could write a useful book and learn a lot in the process.”
So I told myself, what if I write and publish the book in a week document the process, thereby proving that it can be done?
That was it. I had my topic and a unique angle.
My next question was. Who was the book for? Who was the niche audience I was serving?
The answer — writers like me.
Writers who want to write a book but were intimidated by the process.
Writers whose inner critics stopped them each time they tried.
Writers who wanted to write books quickly.
If I could explain the process and prove that it is repeatable, there might be a market for the book.
I got to work. By the end of the week, I published the book.
Within a week transitioned from a wannabe author to a published author.
Do you want to write a book too but to intimidated by the process?
Chances are you might already have written a book.
If you have been writing articles on Medium, your blog, or any other platform, you might have enough material for a book.
Your book is already in those articles, and all you need to do is to curate them in the form of a book.
My next book is on productivity. While writing it, I found I have already written more than twenty articles on productivity. I already have plenty of material for the book in those articles.
All I need to do is curate it and turn it into a book.
J.R. Heimbigner, another Medium writer, wrote his first book as medium articles. He started as a listicle of 21 productivity tips. He then broke down each tip into a post. 21 Medium stories later, he had enough content for a book, which he self-published in 2019.
You will be surprised to know how many writers write their books this way. They write a sequence of articles on a topic to tease out their ideas. When they have enough material, they write a book from it.
You can write fiction using this strategy.
Fredrik Backman wrote A Man Called Ove in the form of blog posts under the heading, “I am a Man Called Ove,” where he wrote about his pet peeves and annoyances.
Soon he realized that his writing had the potential for the creation of an interesting fictional character. So he turned it into a novel. His novel has more than two million copies sold and adapted into a film of the same name.
Your book doesn’t have to be 50,000 words long.
If you have written 5,000 words or more on a single topic, you have enough content for a short read.
Because books don’t have to be 50,000 words anymore. Most of the non-fiction books had one or two ideas that are explained in the first two chapters. The rest of the book is usually padding around those ideas in the form of examples and let’s say fluff.
People don’t have time for the fluff. Instead, they want useful information given to them in a straight manner.
Several bestselling books are less than 100 pages these days. Here are some examples:
Living off the Grid with Organic Gardening by Anik Biswas (20 pages)
The Canning and Preserving by Maritza Parker (23 pages)
7 Steps to Flawless Communication by Thomas Kass (90 pages)
The Art of War by Tzu Sun (26 pages)
Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It by Kamal Ravikant(56 pages)
As long as you have a solution to a problem or an interesting story to tell, you can turn it into a short read.
Kamal Ravikant turned his self-healing story into a book and sold millions of copies.
In his book, Choose Yourself, James Altucher tells the story of Kamal Ravikant, who was one of his followers. They would correspond regularly until one day, Kamal Ravikant went missing.
James found out that Kamal was very sick and getting worse. He had been ill for months. Some days he couldn’t move or wake up. Other days he had enough energy to go outside but only for a few minutes, and then he had to go back inside. Kamal’s sickness was a mystery. The doctors couldn’t help him; he was infinitely tired, feverish, in pain, and it was getting worse.
Months went by without any word from Kamal, and James started fearing the worst.
Then one day, Kamal commented on the James blog again. He started interacting with the community. James was delighted to know that he was alive. He asked Kamal, “What happened?” “How’d you get better?”
Kamal’s response was the incredible:
“I’ll tell you the secret,” he said, “I thought I was going to die. I was just lying in bed and couldn’t move, I had a high fever, and was in too much pain. I really thought I was going to die. Finally, I just started saying over and over again, ‘I love myself.’”
Kamal then wrote about his experience in Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It.
And I got better. My body started healing faster. My state of mind grew lighter. But the thing I never expected or imagined, life got better. But not just better, things happened that were fantastically out of my reach. This I couldn’t have dreamed of […] I found myself using the word ‘magic’ to describe what was happening. And through it all I kept repeating to myself, ‘I love myself. I love myself. I love myself.’
But his book was just 40 pages long. No publisher was ready to publish it. So he self-published it. The book became a phenomenon. It went on the bestseller list on Amazon and stayed there for months.
Here is the book summary by none other than James Clear on his website.
Don’t think you have to write a 200-page book.
Don’t think that you need a year to write a book.
Don’t think you are just a blogger and can’t write a book yet.
Just go through what you have already written and see if there is something you can turn into a book.
Leave me a comment if you need any help to proceed.
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