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Is Writing A Book On Your Bucket List? Read This First!

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The day that I signed my first book deal with my dream publishing house was hands down one of the most exciting days of my life. I’d been planning and envisioning my first book — Mastering Your Mean Girl — for years, so I was absolutely stoked that all my work (and all my manifesting mojo!) had paid off and my vision was coming to fruition.

Writing and publishing books has been one of my most potent desires for a long time. And I know I’m not alone on that front: ‘writing a book’ is one of the most common goals that I hear from the women who attend my events and take my online programs.

But let’s face it, dreaming about holding your finished book in your hands is the easy part. When it comes to actually sitting your tush down and typing sentence after sentence, page after page, it can be challenging, especially when your inner Mean Girl is running the show. Even when your desire is strong, it’s easy to get overwhelmed at how far you’ve got to go, or to find yourself bogged down in procrastination and self-doubt (all of which are perfectly natural parts of the creative process, by the way, and all of which I experienced at some point along my journey).

So with that in mind, today I wanted to share with you 7 behind-the-scenes tips to help you kick-start your writing process and bring your book vision to life. If you’ve dreamed of seeing your work nestled on the shelf at your favorite boutique bookstore, or of sharing your message with thousands of readers around the world, this is for you…

1. When Writing A Book, Start Small

Before I started writing Mastering Your Mean Girl, I had already written and self-published multiple eBooks on my website. These eBooks were much shorter than Mastering Your Mean Girl. I also wrote weekly articles on my site and others which all allowed me to really find my voice and hone my craft before I began a full-length manuscript.

2. Make A Plan

When it comes to writing, it always helps to have a clear and detailed (flexible) plan in front of you – even if you’re just penning a blog post or a short essay. But having a plan becomes even more important the longer your piece of writing is – and for a full-length book, it’s pretty much essential. I spent a lot of time in prep-mode, nutting out all the details of what I wanted to say – first in my head, then in my journal, and eventually in a document on my computer. Whenever I found myself stuck during the writing process, I simply returned to this roadmap to get myself back on track.

3. Get Support

Having my husband to bounce ideas off, to chat things over with, and to read through certain passages was a lifesaver. I also have members of my team who are like my creative guardian angels, and who are always there to give constructive feedback and inspire me when things get tough.

4. If Possible, Go On Retreat!

If you’re struggling to make headway in your writing, consider escaping and going on a self-made ‘creative bender’. For Mastering Your Mean Girl I left my home and snuck away for 6 weeks to the beautiful hinterland. Making the effort to physically change my location and routine meant that I was able to immerse fully in my writing. I blocked out the time in my schedule in advance, I popped up an email autoresponder warning people that I wasn’t spending much time in my inbox, I got off social media almost entirely… and I simply devoted to my writing. #CreativeBliss

5. Amp Up Your Self-Care

If you want to be ‘switched on’ creatively, it’s important to nourish and nurture yourself as much as possible. For me, spending time in nature is one of the best ways to get new ideas and stoke my inner creative fire. Meditation, yoga, sleep, nourishing food, and clean water are all amazing for cultivating inner space and keeping your inspiration levels high.

6. Release Expectations

It’s important to write for the love of creating, not because you’re seeking validation through a book deal or want to get rich quick. (Trust me, there are far easier ways! If you’re caught up in expectations and are rigidly anticipating a specific outcome, you’re likely to cripple your creativity and end up disappointed. A far more constructive (not to mention enjoyable) way to approach your writing is to simply devote to the process. Seek joy in the beauty of self-expression and find fulfillment in the raw release of creativity.

7. Do The Best Seller Masterclass

If you’re super serious about writing a book check out Gabby Bernstein’s Best Seller Masterclass, it’s awesome! This is a must-do masterclass BEFORE You start writing your book.

So tell me, beautiful – is writing a book one of your goals? I’d love to hear how you’re keeping yourself inspired and on track. Share your best creative tips with us in the comments below.

Remember, your tip could be the one thing that sparks someone to take serious action and achieve their big, beautiful book dream – so open up and share from the heart!

P.S. Grab my books Mastering Your Mean Girl, Open Wide or PurposeFULL and let me know what you think once you’re done. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

Comments (21)

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    • February 18, 2016

      Hello Melissa; thanks for this article! Perfect timing for me…
      After reading your advice I will be specially carefull with my Mean Girl while writing my first book for my blog.
      I started 2016 with an idea on mind and I am sure this is my year, so I’ll go for it! As you suggested I will start with a small piece instead of focusing in the big print book. Let’s see how it goes.
      Thanks for the (continuous) inspiration :)

    • Kim Fall
      February 18, 2016

      Hi Melissa, I am part the way through reading your book. I am loving every single word on every single page. The email I received this morning regarding writing “your own book” could no have been timed any better. YES, I am contemplating doing this, NO I do not even know were to start. My Dad passed away last April. He was 65 years old and was hit by a motorcycle deliberately outside his home. He fought courageously in the ICU of The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne but sadly passed away 10 days later. This has turned my world upside down, as in amongst attempting to grieve “normally” myself and my family have had to endure the justice system and Court process which is not yet over. Counselling, friends, family and certainly a lot of writing has allowed me to function as normally as I possibly can on a day to day basis.
      So…….I wanted to thank you for these tips, I wanted you to know how much I am enjoying your book, I would LOVE to meet you one day and I want you to know that just from this timely email this morning you have given me to little push that I perhaps still needed to make my writing dream (as little as it might be), a reality. X

      • Melissa
        February 18, 2016

        I am so glad honey. All you have to do is start. Put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and start, that’s often that headrest part.

        Keep me posted with how you go.

        I will be in Melbourne running some Goddess Groups if you would like to attend, that way we can meet ;) You can get your tickets here.

        I hope to see you there darling.

        xx

    • February 18, 2016

      Melissa, how perfect it is that i stumbled upon this post today! I am in the process of writing… and it excites me so much but there has definitely been resistance! Thanks for the beautiful tips…and congratulations on your book, I soaked up every single word and was so grateful for it all!! Lots of love :)

    • February 18, 2016

      I sure am! Today I will be writing the introduction of my book – very exciting!

      I didn’t get a chance to tell you about it in Melbourne, because we were so busy packing up everything after the event, but I am writing a book to help inspire beautiful women with chronic illness to live full, thriving lives.

      The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step… so here I go!

      Have a fabulous day, lovely ones xx

      • Melissa
        February 18, 2016

        Sounds amazing honey. I can’t wait to read it ;)

    • Shirley Woods
      February 18, 2016

      Thanks Melissa,

      I have started my book, and I need to go away and shorten my 40 hour work week. I am working on taking these steps in the next few months. Thanks for you tips and I look forward to the others!!

      Shirley

    • February 23, 2016

      […] ∞ Is writing a book on your bucket list? Read this. […]

    • March 3, 2016

      Love this article Melissa.
      Makes me want to open up my book at start writing but its 10:30pm and i have work tomorrow! eekkkk!

      So i had been writing in my diary since i was 12 – now 31.
      From the moment i put pen to paper i have had a dream to write a book…
      One day i started. Then stopped after 7 chapters. Then started. Stopped. Started…Im sure you can see a patten.

      Im stuck. I keep questioning myself, fear takes over. I feel like i should be away from the world to really write this. But how when you work full time?
      Will it inspire people about life? will it raise awareness on Epilepsy. Is it bad talking about past relationships and being detailed? Is it bad being raw and too detailed? will family think differently of me? is adding humour ok?

      You know when you need some form of help that will just direct you a little? Help you gain that confidence and push aside the fear of it all because deep down you just want to finish writing this book – Well, My heart would explode to gain more tips from YOU!

      Looking forward to March 13th! I cant wait!
      Have a great night.
      xo

      • Melissa
        March 4, 2016

        Hey Laura,

        Sounds like your Mean Girl is really loud. Have you read my book Mastering Your Mean Girl? I think that’s the best place for you to start then once you have read that, return back to your writing. Sound good angel?

        P.S. I can’t wait to hug you on the 13th ;)

        • March 4, 2016

          Thanks for the reply!!
          Yep, Have the book Melissa! Been reading it at night, during my lunch breaks… Highlighting, taking notes. popping tags on particular pages lol. I just hope one day I can get this book finished.

          Laura Luca.
          xo

        • Melissa
          March 5, 2016

          Be mindful of your words honey, the universe is listening ;)

    • May 19, 2016

      Thanks so much for this, Melissa. I love the idea of starting small… writing a few e-books, etc. That way we can build our muscle, plus work on our craft without putting so much pressure on this big ‘ole book. Love it.

    • September 21, 2016

      Hey Mel! Such brilliant timing :) it’s been on my bucket list formally for maybe 2 years now but was always a distant dream before that too. Last week I started! Definitely feeling the overwhelmed vibes so loving the idea of bouncing back to the framework for grounding. I agree with starting out with some small projects first like your instance with ebooks but find I always have so much to say so then just don’t start!? Ahhhh!! Might need to dig deeper with some ideas. Much love xxxx

      • Melissa
        September 21, 2016

        Just start writing sista! That’s the best thing you can do. Open a blank document and START today. You can do it ;)

        • September 21, 2016

          It’s done, I started!! PLUS also joined your academy business boot camp woo WHOO. Thanks so much for all you share XXX

        • Melissa
          September 22, 2016

          Well done sista! SOOO proud of you. Now keep showing up every single day ;)

    • Marisa
      September 21, 2016

      Yes love to write a book.. but like when I write blogs I have moments of ‘what the hell am I writing’ and ‘do people really want to hear what I am saying’ so yeh live to write but I guess I get stuck all the time..

      • Melissa
        September 22, 2016

        Just write from your heart and write what you would want to read, that’s what I do ;)

    • August 26, 2018

      There is some sage wisdom in this blog post. I have so many partially-written books going back 15 years. There are myriad reasons for not finishing them. Yet, it all seems to come back to overwhelm. I get so immersed that I end up burning myself out after a handful of chapters. Balancing work, family, self-care, and daily joys can be a challenge as well. So, I’ve been taking a more intuitive approach to writing as of late and have been turning social media posts into blogs and e-books. This is such an easy thing for me because I’m a writer and editor by trade, specializing in magazine articles. So, reading that little chunk about starting with snippets (e-books, blogs, etc.) is brilliant! Friends of mine who finally wrote their books said that many of their books were born from material they had already written for the most part, and it was a process of amalgamating the information and weaving it into the story they envisioned. Now, that sounds like something I can do and , more importantly, enjoy! Thank you, Melissa, for the remind that the process is the whole point. xo

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