Life is topsy turvy right now.
Even though the world is slowly starting to open up, we don’t know how our summer is going to pan out, when we’ll next be able to see our far-flung friends and family, and – for some of us – what will happen to our livelihoods in the long-term.
Some business owners have seen the bottom fall out of their work bookings, with in-person events cancelled and face-to-face meetings an impossibility. Zoom can be a brilliant substitute, but not for every eventuality.
As a result, many people are talking about how hard it is to focus on anything at the moment.
We get it. Even though, as ghostwriters, we work mainly from home in any case, we’re experiencing varying levels of stress as well. The cave person squatting inside us all craves predictability, not the relentless torture of breaking news, constantly changing restrictions, and social isolation.
So how can we even talk about writing a book in this precarious time?
Well, for a start, writing books is what we do. So that’s a pretty good reason.
But we also know that, if you’re someone who sells your expertise for a living, you probably have a lot to say.
You may – or may not – have a bit more time on your hands than usual to think about it.
And you may find that writing a book about it will help you more than you think.
Of course, if you can’t face the idea that’s absolutely fine. We all need to get through these months as best we can. But if the idea of writing a book is starting to appeal to you, read on.
Why write a book in the time of Covid?
In the short term, there’s nothing more beneficial to the distressed mind than having something completely different to channel your energies into. Getting your ideas and experience onto paper will distract you from whatever else is going on.
Also, it will give you a sense of control. Being at the mercy of random events is unsettling, but the process of planning and writing a book can give you the order your life is lacking.
And finally, writing a book for your business is one surefire way of coming out of this on top. When business picks up and you’re out there in the world again, being a published author (or on the way to becoming one) gives you credibility and authority. You’ll be seen as someone who knows your stuff, and wants to share it.
How to write a business book in distracting times
Given that we write books all the time, we’re no novices at getting down to writing.
However, these are different times and therefore call for different measures than the standard ‘stop procrastinating’ advice you’ll often read. Here are our thoughts, tailored to the world we’re in right now.
Use your situation
Has the Covid crisis given you a fresh perspective on your work? For many people it has, and we’re seeing this in some of the books we’re working on with our clients.
Suppose your expertise is leadership. What have you learned about leading people when everyone’s working from home? What insights have you gained about what people need from a leader in these difficult times?
Or maybe you’re a trainer helping people to improve their communication skills. What aspects of your knowledge could you adapt for remote communications?
You’ll probably find that whatever it is you’re an expert in has a special resonance in times of social isolation and uncertainty.
Planning experts understand the need for planning even more. Personal development coaches can see the requirement for resilience and emotional intelligence to get us through the situation. And marketing experts have a clearer view of marketing in all sorts of environments.
You get the idea.
This can give you a fresh way into your topic, which can be inspiring and stimulating.
Start anywhere you like
It can be hard to concentrate on a step by step book plan at the moment, even though that’s what we might normally advocate. So give yourself permission to start wherever you fancy.
If you feel inspired by a particular thought, write a few paragraphs about it. Even if it doesn’t end up in your book, it could make a great blog post.
If you carry on writing about whatever interests you in the moment, by the time a couple of weeks have gone by you may have the bones of a book.
Look to the future
Your business book should have an objective – something you want to achieve with it. What is it for you?
Is it to build your profile so you can come out of this crisis on an upward trajectory?
Is it to help your readers with their lives and businesses?
Is it to share your insights with the world with the aim of making it a better place?
It may be all three, and more. Knowing what role you want your book to play when it’s written is not only important for your motivation, but also for ensuring you write the right book for your business.
We hope you’ve found this an inspiring post that will help you to make a start on your book, if it’s the right move for you.
Ginny Carter ghostwrites authority-building books, memoirs, and self-help guides for entrepreneurs, thought-leaders, speakers, and coaches.