Pat Iyer

By Pat Iyer

Is a Book Trapped Inside You?

Is a Book Trapped Inside You? 150 150 Patricia Iyer

According to surveys, up to 80 percent of Americans think they have a book in them. For the vast majority, those books will remain inside. Consequently, if you can sit down and write a book, you’ve joined those few who will realize their dreams.

Writing and publishing a book doesn’t always yield material wealth, but it can enhance your reputation as a leader and influencer and publicize your company. Most importantly, a book that contains valuable information can help people. If that’s your principal goal, you will have a source of inspiration that will see you through to the finish line.

The Book May Already Exist

It doesn’t exist in finished form, but the raw material probably does. You may have a collection of podcasts, blog posts, articles, newsletters, how-to pamphlets, and other types of source material.

Stop for a minute and reflect on that good news. It tells you that, without knowing it, you’ve been writing your book all along. All you need to do now is gather its elements into cohesive and entertaining form.

Focus is Everything

I recently read that focus is more important than intelligence. Ideally, a writer will have both, but I agree that intelligence without focus leads to scattered thinking. It does not lead to the completion of a book.

Begin with the question: “What do my clients/customers need to know that I am uniquely positioned to provide for them through a book?” Take your time with this question. It’s analogous to the foundation of a building. It must be substantial. In terms of getting the writing done, it must inspire you.

You can even ask your clients what they’d like to learn. They’ll appreciate your reaching out in this way and will likely give you useful answers.

Once you’ve built your foundation, write a rough outline. Then sift through your source material: the podcasts, newsletters, blog posts, collecting those that relate most to the subject you want to address.

Organize this material. You will probably find gaps, which will point you to areas you need to research. You may want to interview other industry leaders, which provides the additional benefit of networking.

You may be saying at this point, “But I don’t know how to write a book.” No one knows how until they do it—and help is available.

If you are a self-starter and self-paced person, look for a book or course that teaches the fundamentals of book writing. If you need more direct guidance and someone to hold you accountable, find a more hands-on course, i.e., one that meets in real-time or hires a writing coach.

And if you falter or fall into discouragement, remember that, ultimately, this book isn’t about your ego or self-gratification. It’s about those clients who can benefit from your years of experience and understanding of their needs. Think about their appreciation, and your inspiration will return.

 Pat Iyer is a ghostwriter, book coach, and editor who helps businesspeople share their knowledge in a book. As a C Suite Network Advisor, she works with experts to make writing a book possible. Contact her through her website at