Biggest risks that will derail your book project

As the author, co-author and ghostwriter of six books with four more on the way, I’ve noticed three major danger points — or risks — that can derail a book project. I hate to see these risks sabotage your journey to publication, so I’m writing this post to alert you to those dangers.

What are those danger points? Getting out of your head and actually starting your book is the first one. So many books never get started because of our own negative self talk. And the book that is never started will never be finished or published.

The second danger point is getting distracted and bogged down in the middle of the book. Writing a book is like a marathon and once the initial excitement and energy from starting dies down, the realization of how much work the project involves sinks in. That can lead to procrastination and fatigue, stopping you in your tracks.

The third risk? Perfectionism. The book is so close to be done, but it doesn’t get finished because you can’t find the perfect chapter titles or you want to add just one more story to make it better. However, the longer you drag out finishing the book, the more momentum you lose. Resist the temptation to read over it yet again and add more content.

Here are 3 actionable strategies you can use to de-risk your book writing journey and get that book in the hands of your readers:

  1. Start the book: Sounds obvious, but it’s the truth. Millions of great books never happen because the would-be authors sabotage themselves right out of it. Doubting your message, your abilities and your discipline, you never take the concrete steps you need to get writing. My advice is to do it — tonight! Or this weekend. This is why I wrote the Start Your Book and Workbook two pack, to help you start your book in a weekend. You can get it in my store. Basically, the two-pack breaks down the process of starting a book into three parts: selecting an idea to write about, creating a simple outline around that idea do blocking off your schedule to create the actual time to write. It’s so easy, but all too often, we make it so hard that it never happens. I know you have a book in you and that your audience needs to hear what you have to say. Get out of your own way and start the book now!

  2. Push on through: Like a marathon runner, the middle miles of writing a book can be some of the most difficult. You’ve already done a lot of work and there is more ahead. This is why creating and sticking to a writing schedule is so critical. Enshrine your writing time into your calendar and don’t let yourself get distracted. Pay attention to how much progress you’ve made, rather than how much there is left to write. Surrounding yourself with supportive people is another important strategy for making it through the middle miles of writing a book. When your energy is flagging and your doubts are rising, connect with your accountability partner for encouragement and support. If you need to hire a writing coach to help cheer you on, that will be money well spent to help you finish the book.

  3. Finish the book: In this phase of book writing, your goal is in sight. You are so close to finishing the book, but something inside you is stopping you. It’s not perfect, you say. Well, I have news for you. It never will be perfect But it’s good enough. If you let your perfection loving self take charge, you will never get the book done, because there will always be something to fix. If you are there right now, let it go. STOP! If you don’t already have an editor or proofreader, get one right now and send it on it’s way. You’ve been laboring for months and its time to let that baby be born and be read by your waiting audience. If you can’t bring yourself to stop right now, then give yourself a hard deadline in the next 10 days or two weeks. Find a editor and schedule the date at which you will send your manuscript on for editing.

Writing a book is one of the most empowering journeys you can take. Get out of your own way. Quit worrying about what everyone else will think and if you’ll sell any copies or not. That doesn’t really matter. What matters is getting your message out to the wider world. Happy Writing!

Amy ButtellComment