Sheila A. Anderson

By Sheila A. Anderson

How I Wrote a Book in 6 Months

How I Wrote a Book in 6 Months 150 150 Sheila Anderson

It’s been a labor of love for sure! After a year and a half of thinking and talking about writing a book, I finally did it. However, I didn’t go about it alone or without a few hiccups. If any of you have ever thought about writing a book, I am going to share with you a few tips I have learned along the way.

How It Began

In May I attended The C-Suite Network Conference in Dallas, TX. As with any conference, the people you meet are the true fruit you take away. I was happy to connect with old friends such as Kathleen Caldwell and to meet a new one, Julie Ann Sullivan. During this event, The C-Suite Network held a book signing event with select authors that are part of the C-Suite Book Club. Kathleen, Julie Ann, and I were visiting with author and international business speaker, Phil M. Jones. He shared with us his one book that gets him the most traction. It is a quick-read and was less than 100 pages. The three of us looked at each other and said “we can do that. That doesn’t seem so insurmountable.” And The Publishing Divas were born.

Our Commitment

The Publishing Divas made a commitment to each other that we would each write a book and have it done by December. That gave us six months! First came structure. We held a Zoom call every other week. The first couple of calls we created a timeline with deadlines. Deadlines included when to have our book outlines completed, the writing phase, the edit phase, and the launch phase. There were times when we would each be behind our target timeline. Although it may have seemed disappointing, the point we each had to remember was we were still moving forward, even if it felt like one of us was stuck or behind. We were a lot further ahead than those just sitting around talking about writing a book. The commitment and accountability of the Zoom calls, which turned to weekly towards the last third of our phase, was the number one reason why we all feel our book writing was successful.

Phil M. Jones stayed in close contact with us to ensure we had everything we needed to be successful. His encouragement and sincere interest in our efforts continued to inspire us towards the finish line.

Shiny Objects

I won’t lie to you. There were many “shiny object” distraction moments for each of us. It is amazing how many things you can find to do versus sitting down to write. Honestly, writing does not come easy for me. In fact, in many ways, it is struggle and feels overwhelming. I tend to freeze up looking at a blank page.

One of the reasons I wanted to write a book, was not only to build my personal brand, but it was to help improve my writing skills. I knew it would be grueling, but as with most things in life, you have to go through it to get better at it. Personally, I had to set the timer on my cell phone for 30 minutes. I would look at my book outline and pick one of the items on there that moved me at the time. It didn’t have to flow in order. I would write in topic chunks.

After the setting the timer, I would make myself write whatever came into my mind for 30 minutes without stopping … without stopping to make sure the sentence structure was right, without stopping to make any grammar edits, without stopping to change word choices. I just typed what came into my head and knew I would edit later. This was freeing to me. Although the first couple of times, 30 minutes seemed like FOREVER. I remember typing away the first few times and thinking to myself it certainly has to be close to 30 minutes, and I looked over at my cell phone and I was only 7 minutes into the writing time! But it got easier. And it will for you as well. You can use this approach to not only write a book, but a blog or a LinkedIn article. Writing in 30 minute chunks is not overwhelming (well, the first couple of times for me it was, but it does get easier, I promise!).

Sharing Resources

We also shared with each other resources from how to get your ISBN number to graphic designers to publishers and everything in between. The more we shared with each other, the more valuable insight we all gleaned. We each brought a different personality and strength to the group. We were truly in it together. That is what made this process so successful. We wanted to see each other succeed, and we helped each other with any challenges. We have formed a bond that is unshakable and have created a lifelong friendship.

Book Launch

Six months from the moment we started the process we had our book launch in New York City in conjunction with The C-Suite Network Advisors Thought Summit. We stood proudly by our books as we visited with the Advisors and some family and friends who came to share in this celebration. The C-Suite Network staff and community have been most gracious in the entire process. Without their support and insight, I would still be staring a blank page. The support continues with many asking how may I help you promote your book. It truly is a community where we want each other to succeed by offering the gifts, strengths, and wisdom that have been bestowed onto us and sow them into the lives of others.

I hope you have found my book writing journey an inspiration in some way to you. One’s mindset really sets you up to succeed. I want nothing more than to see you all achieving optimum results in whatever your heart desires. You are worth it!

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