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Your FIRST Three Steps to Writing Your Book

You’ve got that idea for a book. You’re excited, it feels great, and you can’t wait to get started.

And then you realize, you don’t really know how to write a book… Where do you start?

101816-writingFriend, I hear you! When I was writing my first book – before I was even writing it – I was so stuck it wasn’t even funny! Even with all my writing training (a degree in Creative Writing, attending workshops and conferences all over the world, years of writing articles) I didn’t know where to how to start.

Obviously, I did finally get started – and even finished. But I did everything backwards because I started in the exact wrong spot! I’ve made nearly every mistake in the book (ha! puns!) so I wanted to bring you three “how to write a book” tips to save you the lost time and extra stress I suffered.

1. Think about your big vision

For most of the authors I work with, the biggest vision is to change the world with their message. Not the WHOLE world – but an important part of it. And guess what? This is exactly where you should start!

What are your dreams for the book? Who do you want to touch? What type of fame or success do you want to see?

Really spend some time here, dreaming. Create this vision for your life after your book is published and held in your hands. This vision will keep you motivated when you feel like giving up.

What is the big vision for YOUR book? It's the key to writing it! Click To Tweet

BTW: There’s no wrong answer here!

  • Want to be on Oprah? DREAM IT!
  • Want to have 100,000 people read your book? DREAM IT!
  • Want to share a stage with your idol? DREAM IT!

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Are You Telling Enough Stories in Your Writing?

I read. A lot.

That’s hundreds of thousands of words each year that I consume. Want to know what keeps me scrolling down or flipping pages?


(And no, I don’t only read fiction! I mostly read non-fiction, actually.)

What I’ve discovered through my years of working with non-fiction authors is that very few actually understand the power of story – and know how to harness that power to keep readers turning pages, to make the messages sink in, to make their words have significance and impact.

Stories are how we interact with the world – not just the 1, 2, 3 of plot but the emotion that a well-crafted story can invoke. So then why, for heaven’s sake, aren’t more non-fiction writer’s getting on board with story?

Using stories in your non-fiction writing invokes reader's emotions. Click To Tweet

Earlier this year, I was working with a client on a fascinating project about inner wisdom – how to listen to it, how to let it guide you. Fascinating and much-needed topic that was being addressed in ways I’d never seen before.

And it was dry-as-dust boring.

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Video – What do you do when it’s not working?

Do you ever have one of those days where EVERYTHING falls apart? The computer crashes, your emails get lost, you break your favorite cup, the dog gets mud on your clean sheets…

It happens to the best of us! And that wide-spread “falling apart” can impact your writing. Here’s how you can calm down and let it flow – for your writing, tech, and maybe, just maybe, life!

And be sure to leave me a comment to let me know what YOU do when it just isn’t working!

When the Pain of NOT is Greater than the Pain of DO

092716-painI woke up to a migraine today. And a huge to-do list. And a summit to run.

Could I have called it all off, crawled back into bed, and called it a day. Try again tomorrow. In all honesty, yes. I could have. You can always not do it. In fact, a lot of times not doing it is easier than doing it.

But that’s not me.

Before I go any further, this is NOT a commentary on working when you’re sick, powering through, or a discourse on a man-cold vs a woman-cold.

It’s about recognizing that I have been given a gift, and it’s up to me to honor it to the absolute best of my ability. Even when I’d rather do something else.

Because that’s what an idea really is. It’s a gift from God, the Universe, your higher self – whatever you chose to label it.

This isn’t about the to do list (in all honesty, I’m pushing MOST things on that “to do” list to tomorrow when I don’t feel like I wish there was a guillotine in my closet. It’s not about powering through.

It’s recognizing that taking the easy way of not isn’t in my best interest.

Tony Robbins said (and I’m paraphrasing here) that when the pain of doing something overcomes the pain of not doing it… you do it.

When the pain of doing something overcomes the pain of not doing it… you do it. #amwriting Click To Tweet
  • 092716-laundryExercise.
  • The dishes.
  • Studying for an exam.
  • Putting gas in the car.
  • Folding the laundry.
  • Quitting your job.
  • Writing the book.

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What I’m Learning from the 2nd Annual Brew Your Book Telesummit – Part 2

092016-bybsummitAs more and more people are getting excited about the summit, I’m getting more excited too! (And it doesn’t help that I’m finding all types of goodies to send to the early signups too!)

We start next week but you don’t want to wait to register for this event. I’m sending out all types of yummy bonuses (like coloring sheets!) to make sure you’re really excited and can get the most out of the event.

The event is being held live, September 27 – 29. That’s three FULL days of training, stories, and advice from published authors to help you go beyond percolating on your idea and FINALLY write your book.

Dreaming of writing a #book? The time is NOW. Start with the experts on the Brew Your Book Summit… Click To Tweet

I wanted to share a “sneak peek” with you – and invite you to register!

Did you see last week’s “sneak peek”? Check it out here!

Leonie Dawson

2-6leoniedawsonbIf you’ve ever thought, “I can’t write because I’m sick” then THIS is the interview you need to hear. Leonie Dawson shares how when she was very ill while pregnant with her second child (hyperemesis gravidarum) and was only NOT throwing up for a few hours a day she STILL managed to write over 50,000 words. Leonie brings her powerful Aussie wisdom to the Brew Your Book stage with no holds barred and lots of love, wisdom, and a powerful message.


2-7jonathanchristianJonathan Christian

Jonathan never learned to type AND his brain can move faster than his hand – so handwriting isn’t viable either! But he never let that stop him as he continues to write and share his story. Since Jonathan is also a social media expert, his interview is peppered with great tips for Facebook – to help you get more engagement and readers!

Hear book writing secrets from @jdgem on the Brew Your Book Summit starting 9/27! #BrewYourBook Click To Tweet

2-8bibapedronBiba Pedron

The story of how Biba was able to write her first book, while still running a very successful international business, shows that writing a book is doable no matter how busy you think you are. And remember, English isn’t Biba’s first language (she’s French) so she was also writing in a foreign tongue. She shares exactly how she created a plan to write her books and have it edited and structured so English-speaking natives could absorb the great information.

2-8mellissarempferMellissa Rempfer

Do you feel like you can’t write a book because you’re not a “writer”? Then THIS is the interview you need to listen to! Mellissa had an identity that said “I can’t write” – and she let her “identity” get in her way. It was self-identifying sabotage. She realized that if she’s writing status updates on Facebook, yes, she IS a writer. Find out exactly how she was able to re-write her mental story so her words could get onto the page and transform the readers.


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What I’m Learning from the 2nd Annual Brew Your Book Telesummit – Part 1

091316-bybsummitpromoIn 2015 I realized a HUGE goal of mine: to host a telesummit. It is a ton of work to get all the speakers lined up, the interviews scheduled, copy written, and making sure all the technology wants to play nice.

But it is oh-so-worth it!

The words of wisdom from my 13 experts have REALLY inspired me to step up my game – both professionally in my writing and also with making sure the WORLD knows about this event.

Dreaming of writing a #book? Find out how on Brew Your Book Summit starting 9/27! #BrewYourBook Click To Tweet
The summit is September 27 – 29, 2016. That’s three FULL days of training, stories, tips, and advice from published authors to help you STOP percolating on your book and FINALLY write it!

I wanted to share a “sneak peek” with you and invite you to register!

Esther Hatfield Miller

1-2estherhatfieldmillerEsther is a contributing author in an anthology (yes, that is STILL being a published author!) She wowed me when she mentioned she was able to write her chapter in just three days! Esther shares some powerful details about her writing practice – including writing longhand first. She goes deep into some must-know tips about shedding shame so you can write without fear. Not to mention how to not self-edit along the way!


Loren Fogelman1-3lorenfogelman

Loren used a ghostwriter to help her craft her book. Remember, it’s still YOUR message, even if it’s not YOUR fingers on the keys! She shares how writing her book – and using a ghostwriter – has really changed things for her personally and professionally. Loren’s transformation from writer to published author is moving and shows just how many lives can be touched through a book!

Learn how @lorenfogelman wrote a book for her business on the #BrewYourBook Summit.… Click To Tweet

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5 Ways to Beat Perfectionism in Your Writing

The author (left) in 4th grade with her best friend.When I was in elementary school, I had a teacher explain something I’d done to my parents with “Oh, Kim is such a perfectionist!” And all the adults nodded like this was the most logical thing in the world.

When I asked mom later what exactly did that mean, she said that a perfectionist always strives to be the best, to have everything perfect in her work.

And I thought to myself, “Of COURSE I want my work to be perfect! Of COURSE I want it to be my best! Who doesn’t want to be her best?”

Somewhere in my eight-year-old brain, it was like a lightbulb went on: I could be my best.

And then I spent the next decade of my schooling career striving to be the best, most perfect.

What's the difference between striving for excellence vs perfection? Click To Tweet

But here’s the thing…

I’m NOT a perfectionist in the real definition of the world. (Look it up!) Because what my mom said, and what my kiddo self, heard were different: It’s not about being The Best (as in, the best in the class, the school, the world) it’s about being the best ME.

5 reasons to beat perfectionism in your writingThere’s a huge difference between taking professional pride and striving for excellence (or perfection!) than about being somebody who falls apart when things don’t go perfectly. I’m the first to admit that flexible isn’t really a word used to describe me – I’m actually not exactly go with the flow, laid back, or spontaneous.

I love plans, deadlines, clear directions, and measurable goals.

But a lot of times people DO say I am laid back, go with the flow, and easy going.


Because I really don’t panic about having everything PERFECT.

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3 Tips for Writing Your First Draft

Writing a book – especially the first draft – seems like such a huge, daunting, overwhelming task with the biggest question being “How do I come up with all the content?”

Here are three quick and easy ways to generate the first-draft of your book.

1. Transcribe a class you’ve already taught.

083016-WritingMost business owners have some form of content already. Maybe it’s an audio or a video training, Or even just a series of PowerPoint slides. You can use this as the framework for a book. And you’ll find that BAM! A large portion of your content is already created for you.

A word of warning: Do NOT just publish a transcript! We speak very differently than good writing. Don’t believe me? Read a transcription without listening to the audio. It’s nearly impossible to follow what the speaker is talking about – especially if that speakers isn’t very articulate or practiced – or when she’s answering a question.

2. Start small

When writing your book - start small! With bite sized chunks you can manage without getting… Click To TweetWhen I first got started writing books, the idea of creating an entire book was completely overwhelming. So I started with what I knew: short fiction. My short fiction tends to be VERY short, like under 5 pages per story, so I knew that just one story wouldn’t be enough for an entire book. I was able to collect the stories I already had written, write a few more, and publish my first book – Scary and Silly Campfire Stories.

This works with articles too! Many of my books have their roots in articles I’d written over months or years.

3. Look to your backlist

Chances are you already have “stuff” you’ve written: blog posts, checklists, newsletter articles, white papers, etc. Don’t feel you have to start completely from scratch when writing your book! If you lay out all your articles you’ll find common themes running through them. Look for the patterns and use this as the framework for your book. You’ll have to fill in the gaps and write additional content but you’re not starting from scratch!

Now pay very close attention to what I’m going to tell you next:

This is your FIRST draft!

Don’t think you can just compile this content, format it as a book, and call it good! You’re still going to need to edit everything, make sure you’re being 100% clear, look for transitions (“In last week’s newsletter I said…”), and completely polish your book.

But this is enough to get you started and moving forward toward publishing your first book.

And remember that going it alone isn’t good either! I’m here to help – and more than happy to chat with you! All it takes is applying for a complimentary Writing Adventure Discovery Session.

Your Thoughts:
Where are you going to start? How will you be using your book?

Video – The Magic of Writing Your First Draft

As somebody who has written and published 19 books – I know a thing or two about first drafts! And I can tell you, NONE of those books would have happened without writing a first draft – it’s where you’ve got to start!

And something magical happens when you’ve written (or started!) your 1st draft…



Don’t forget to leave me a comment – and to subscribe to my YouTube Channel!

Are You Stuck Writing the Beginning?

Momentum is a funny thing…

081616-RunningDownHillOnce you’re in motion – once the words are hitting the paper – there’s a feeling of running downhill, where each word falls out of your brain and onto the page easier, faster.

But getting those first few words onto the page so you can feel the benefits of momentum can be… tricky.

A friend of mine, Pamela Zimmer, was writing an article yesterday. She posted on Facebook, “So much to say… but can’t get those first few (perfect) words onto the page.”

And haven’t we all been there? When you can feel the story, the message, the words bubbling up but you can’t seem to get to the right pressure to have them actually bubble over. All too often, writers get frustrated in that moment and choose to walk away. They choose to not put words, any words, down onto the page.

So much to say but can't get those first few (perfect) words onto the page. What to do? Click To Tweet

Sound like anybody you know?

Are you so stuck with getting the beginning right that you forget about all the other things you want to express?

It’s something unique to non-fiction – and introduction. Really, in fiction (especially in short stories) the author doesn’t start at the beginning. She starts in the middle of the action. It’s not getting ready to shoot someone – the reader enters the story when the gun is in hand, finger on the trigger. In the MIDDLE of the moment.

So why do we abandon that when we’re writing non-fiction? Why the huge lead-ups, lengthy introductions? (BTW, this goes for books and articles!)

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