Today, it seems like the number of people writing a book or wanting to write a book is higher than ever before. And with publishing being more accessible than ever (with digital publishing, etc.), it's no wonder why this is the case.
Because of this, if you're an entrepreneur, the temptation for you to write a book is probably at an all-time high. Yet, Tim Ferriss (bestselling author, investor, and Grade A badass), says that before writing a book, you should ask yourself one very important question. According to him, if the answer isn't "yes", you may want to reconsider whether or not you should spend your precious time and energy writing a book.
Tim's Question: Are you truly willing to make the book your number one priority for at least a year?
Here's Tim Ferriss going into greater detail about what he means here:
If you have a business, this means your business is second. If you have a family, this means your family is second...Because, if you put out a mediocre book, or "good-enough" book, it's more of a liability than a help...than no book at all. -- Tim Ferriss
In short, if you're going to write a book, you're going to have to make it your absolute, non-negotiable top priority for a lengthy period.
While this may seem both like simple advice and a bit extreme, let's not forget Ferriss is the author of five New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books. Perhaps the fact so many other authors, in all likelihood, aren't prioritizing their books as high as Ferriss is the reason there are so many shitty books on the market today.
The amount of research, outlining, writing, rewriting and hair pulling that goes into crafting a great book requires more than the "nonchalant attention" you'd devote to a side hustle or passion project.
Five-time bestselling author, Jeff Goins, says "The hardest part about writing a book isn't getting published. It's the actual writing. You have to invest everything you are into creating an important piece of work."
If you're considering whether or not to write a book, be sure you absolutely have to write it. Be sure you absolutely have to share it with the world, to get it out of your system. Because, if you're writing the book solely to create more leads for your business, solely to pacify your ego, chances are you probably won't have the steam, the drive, it takes to finish a quality book.
If your answer is "yes" to Ferriss' question, and you're about to start writing your book, consider the following options when it comes to streamlining the process:
1. Use a service like Upwork or Freelancer to lighten your workload.
Services like Upwork and Freelancer allow you to hire professional freelancers at affordable rates. You're also able to see a freelancer's work history and reviews before you hire them, which makes it less of a stab in the dark than other hiring methods. Consider hiring a ghostwriter, researcher, social media promoter or something else to help take a bit of the work off your shoulders.
2. Set a recurring Google Calendar invite to yourself for writing.
This is the hack I use for writing my column for Inc., LinkedIn updates and other content.
By setting up a recurring Google Calendar invite to yourself, you'll never have to worry about having to rearrange and coordinate time for writing, day in day out. You could even take it a step further by adding in a location to the invite, such as your local coffee shop.
By limiting the number of decisions you need to make by being proactive when it comes to automation, you'll have one less barrier between you and the chair you need to put your ass into to write.
Remember, there are many alternatives to writing a book.
Just because you don't feel ready to write a book doesn't mean you can't have thousands, even millions of people hearing your ideas. If you aren't ready, take your book idea and publish it on Medium, LinkedIn or on a blog.
This way, you'll be able to measure which type of content resonates best with your target audience, build your confidence as a writer, and also provide proof for future literary agents or publishers that your writing is getting the traction they're looking for.
Of course, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions when it comes to deciding whether or not to write a book. But, just be sure you're ready to tackle the task in front of you. Creating a successful book will add value to the lives of the readers and help establish your legacy for years to come. A bad book could have the opposite effect. Be strategic and choose wisely.