When I read Sharlyn Lauby’s post, “6 Things I Learned Writing a Book,” I was shocked.
I wasn’t shocked that she wrote a book. I wasn’t shocked at the lessons she learned. I was shocked that the book she wrote was her first book.
If you’ve read her HR Bartender blog you’ll know why. Sharlyn writes well and she has deep knowledge of the topics she tackles. I just assumed that she’d written a book before.
She hadn’t. She describes what she learned from the process in her excellent post. She discovered what most first time authors discover. Writing a book is different. No matter what other writing you’ve done, writing a book is different.
Why writing a book is different
A book is bigger than any article or blog post. You have to get your head around a lot of stuff. By the end of the process, you should be one of the world’s experts on your topic.
Writing a book demands discipline
Because the project is so big, you can’t do it from beginning to end in one go. When you write a book you need to develop a plan for how you’ll write the book and then stay disciplined as you make it work.
Writing a book intrudes on your life
No matter how disciplined you are, writing a book will intrude on the rest of your life. Make sure the people who matter most to you understand what you’re doing and why.
Writing a book will change your life
Most people know that writing a book will change your life. What they often don’t get until they go through the process is that writing a book will change your life while you’re still writing.
A word from Sharlyn Lauby
I reached out to Sharlyn and asked her if she could come up with one piece of advice for a would-be author. Here it is.
“The one suggestion I would make for would-be authors is to find opportunities for others to edit your work. Not just one editor that you really like. Different editors focus on different things. But one thing is constant, they are all trying to make your work better. As a writer, you will benefit from that. Even if you self-publish, you might want to hire a freelance editor to review your work. In this case, your toughest critic and also be your biggest fan.”
Thanks, Sharlyn, for that thought and a great post.