To write a nonfiction book, it’s crucial to set achievable goals and create workable plans to achieve them. Unless you’re into experimentation or just want to meander along for the ride, you need a road map; you need to know where you’re going. You must be clear about your objective, what you want to achieve. So, the first step is to clarify your goals.
Understanding your goals can be elusive and that they too can change. The first goals that pop into writers’ minds are not what they truly want. Or they mature and develop and their goals and values change.
The best way to determine your actual goals is to ask yourself non-judgmentally why you want to write a book. Be honest. Dig deep to find the actual reasons why you want to write your book, because they can influence the choices you make and the direction you chart. Do you have a point to make, a story to tell, or a feat to accomplish? Admit if you want fame, fortune, and recognition, but understand that they may be difficult to attain.
Before you begin to write, after you are clear on why you want to write, create a step-by-step plan. Think about the best way to get information and understand your topic, how you can find out what you should read and whom you should interview. Assess the competition, learn how you differ, and identify your niche.
Set financially realistic goals, which means don’t expect to make a fortune from your book. In fact, don’t write a book to make money, because you will probably be deeply disappointed. As Louis Patler points out, even books that sell well may make questionable financial sense.
By Rick Frishman
Reprinted from “Rick Frishman’s Author 101 Newsletter”
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