3 Things You Didn't Know About Writing a Book (That Might Just Save Your Sanity)

If you're a first-time author, you may be feeling a bit alone in your process. You may be wondering, "Does every author go through this, or is it just me?" 

I promise, you're not alone. Writing a book for the first time is a challenge - but thankfully, with the right support (and a little insider know-how), you can tackle it like the badass influencer you are, and stop driving yourself crazy. 

So, here you go ... 

3 Things You Didn't Know about Writing a Book
(that might just save your sanity)

#1. You can't do it in a weekend.

You can do a lot of things in a weekend, but writing a book from start to finish isn't one of them. Oh, I know there are gurus out there who say differently - but I think those claims are misleading. What those programs are really teaching is how to write an outline and (maybe) a bare-bones rough draft in a weekend that you can then send to an editor to turn into a real book.

But (and for those of you who know me, I'm beating a dead horse here, but I'll say it again), your rough draft is not a finished book. 

That said, if you have a few free days and want to build some momentum, here are some things you CAN do in a weekend that will move you a lot closer to finishing your book.

- Write your book's purpose statement and identify your ideal readers so you know who you're writing for. 

- Write a killer outline so you can plow through your rough draft like a pro.

- Pull content from your blog to fill in a portion of your outline (using the blog-to-book strategy I shared here).

Any of the above will be a HUGE step toward completing your manuscript, and you can easily do each one of them in a weekend without driving yourself insane or nosediving into self-flagellation. 


#2. Your first draft will NOT be a masterpiece. 

The idea of a flawless first draft is a plague on writers everywhere. It simply isn't possible to write a perfect first draft. (If you want to know why, I've written about it in depth here and here.) 

So, do yourself a favor, and stop trying to get it right the first time. Editing yourself while you're writing is the best way to kill your creative spirit and end up with a mediocre book. 


#3. You don't need to be a great writer to write a great book. 

The core of any great book is a great idea. If you have a great idea, you can write a great book, even if you've never put a single word on paper before.

Seriously. That's why coaches and editors like me exist. 

There are a thousand reasons to hire a (great) editor and book coach, but the biggest one is this: you're not an editor. (Unless you actually are, in which case, cool beans!) My point is, unless you're considering a career change, you don't need to know what an editor knows. 

I know so many writers who stress themselves out trying to learn everything about editing, production, and publishing so they can do it all themselves and save a few bucks. But with no training or experience to rely on, they're on a huge learning curve, and unless they have a genuine passion for writing and language (as well as a lot of spare time), they soon get frustrated and burned out. 

If you're not good with sentence structure, or don't know how to format a chapter, no worries. A good writer/editor can take just about anything and turn it into an awesome book. Just focus on getting your ideas on paper and ask for help with the rest. That way, you can go back to doing the high-value tasks in your business that only you can do. 


So, there you have it: my three sanity savers for authors.  

What's holding you back or driving you crazy about writing your book? Post your stories in the comments below! 

Bryna Haynes is a word alchemist, book strategist, and the founder and President of The Heart of Writing. She's also the chief editor for Inspired Living Publishing and the best-selling author of the multiple-award-winning book, The Art of Inspiration: An Editor's Guide to Writing Powerful, Effective Inspirational and Personal Development Books. In over a decade as a book coach, editor, ghostwriter, and publishing consultant, she has helped hundreds of authors find their authentic voices and create powerful, memorable, successful works. She lives outside of Providence, RI, with her husband, Matthew, their Moonbeam, Áine, and their Little Star, Aelyn. 

Bryna Rene Haynes