Opinion varies as to what is the hardest part of writing a book is. Is it the process of coming up with an idea, choosing a title, creating a marketing plan, executing a marketing plan or actually writing the book?
The answer probably depends on you, the author, your experience and your skills. If you enjoy writing and are confident in this area, the writing part will probably feel as if it is the easiest. If you enjoy marketing, this may feel easy to you. If you enjoy organising and managing projects, the publication process may seem the simplest part of the process.
Once you know which you anticipate being the easiest part of the process, you will probably start to think about what is going to be the most difficult for you. If you don’t enjoy marketing, you may find this hardest, and if you struggle with writing you might feel wary of this part.
If you want to work out which part of the book-writing process you are going to find easiest or most difficult, simply assess your work preferences and skills. Ask yourself what sort of work you enjoy the most, and which tasks you dread the most? If you love administrative tasks but struggle to come up with new ideas, you may feel comfortable with managing the publication process but struggle with coming up with an idea for your book.
The temptation is either to gloss over this issue and hope you muddle through, or to obsess over it until you think of nothing else and possibly don’t do the other tasks either. In the end, you achieve nothing. As you can see, neither is a particularly helpful response. However, rather than allow the troublesome part of the process to hold you back, acknowledge it and put support in place to ensure you can cope with it. This may mean hiring help or simply taking more time to learn a process or discover solutions to a specific problem.
The positive thing about identifying obstacles in this way is that you can begin to devise strategies for dealing with them. You may think this is fine for the more technical aspects of writing the book, but when it comes to putting words on the page, there is only one person who can do that – you!
Surprisingly, this is not true. In fact, writing the book is still a task (and in fact, a relatively small part of the entire book publishing process) and there are many, many solutions you can use. From speaking your book, to recording it on video, to blogging it, to having someone interview you…the options are endless. Editors are there to help you get your content out there – and in the end, this is what a book is: a unified and coherent collection of content.
Many things can stand in the way of us producing our books; it will be different for all of us because we are all different, we all have different insecurities, talents, skills and preferences about the work we do. The trick is to recognise which part is a challenge for you so you can plug the gap. Ask yourself that question: which is the hardest part of writing a book – for you? That way, no part of producing a book needs to be harder than any other. It’s just a case of getting the right support in place to meet our own personal needs.
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