Want To Become a Published Author? Bust These Excuses

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My first book hit #2 on Kindle Store's Small Business category and received ten 5-star reviews in the first five days.

Not too shabby given that it took me just 4 weeks from idea to becoming a published author.

Like many, I've been trying to "write a book" for two years. I have a dozen Word docs and Scrivener files mocking at me from my hard drive.

Until I got off my bum and got it done. With a plan.

"Getting off your bum" seems to be the hardest bit for many people. We've so many excuses that are holding us back.

Excuse #1: I'm Not a Writer

"I don't know how to write. I don't write well. I write slowly. Damn, I fail English in school!"

I know, there are 101 reasons you're not a good writer.

First, let's get clear on what your book is for. It's NOT an English test. You don't have to get the stamp of approval from your high school English teacher. It's to get your message out into the world so keep that in mind.

If you aren't that good at grammar and stuff, good news: there are so many ways you can get help:

You can hire an editor or a proofreader for a reasonable budget. You can team up with peeps who are also writing a book to edit each other's work.

For my own book, I put together an Inner Circle/launch team of loyal following to cheer me along and keep me honest. I was pleasantly surprised when quite a few of them, some of whom are writers or editors, emailed me about typos and errors they spotted in the review copy.

Not to mention there are quite a few online tools - such as Grammarly - to help you spot spelling and grammatical errors. You'd probably learn a few things along the way.

These days you don't even have to sit down to type up your stuff if you have the tendency to freeze in front of a blinking cursor.

If you're better at speaking, you can talk your book out then have it transcribed. Or get one of those speech-to-text apps for that purpose.

You can even get a friend to interview you so you can let your content flow conversationally.

Unless you're writing something super academic, most readers prefer a conversational tone so there's no reason to hide behind some stiff (formal) writing style anyway. Writing the way you speak is perfectly OK for the most part.

And don't forget the mindset bit - there's always that annoying English teacher lurking around, ready to jump up and bite you.

There'd always be people who'd sit around and pick apart your stuff instead of doing what they gotta do to advance themselves. Screw them - you're the one creating something meaningful. When you create, you don't have time to hate.

2. I Don't Have Time

Life happens. It always does. Murphy's Law stands.

I'm assuming you're not a professional writer, and you're not paid a 6-figure advance so you can lock yourself up in a cabin to write your book.

If you wait till you've 4 weeks of uninterrupted time before you start your project, you may have to do it when you turn 85.

During the 4 weeks when I wrote my book, life didn't stop. Kids still needed to go to school and be fed. The entire family was down with stomach flu for three days. I was hit with severe fall allergies and spent a week with Benadryl hangover. I still had my private clients to write for, and ghost blogging gigs to work on.

Good news is - a book doesn't need to be long. In fact, many of my readers were so happy that my book packed such a punch that they could get a lot of value out of spending just one hour to finish reading it.

Your goal is to make it easy for your readers to consume your content, so you can get the message across and help them achieve the transformation your book is designed to accomplish.

Longer is not better. You have to get over the fear that a skimpy book makes you look bad. That's your insecurity talking.

Let's say you're shooting for 10,000 words (which takes an average adult about 40 minutes to read) - that's the equivalent of ten 1,000-word blog posts or a 60 to 90-minute presentation or webinar.

Not a whole lot, and you probably already have a good chunk of that sitting somewhere if you've been producing content for a while.

The rest is just discipline. For just 4 weeks in your life, carve out an hour or two during weekdays, and maybe a bit more over the weekends to work on your book.

Prioritize. Get off social media. Save a trip to the grocery store with Amazon Fresh.

If you leverage what you've already written, kick that perfectionism and crank up your focus for just 4 weeks, you'd be surprised by what you can accomplish and it'd be so worth it.