Why do I write?
Most of the time, when I answer this question, it comes out with rolling eyes and a groan. And my answer sounds something like, “Honestly, I have no idea…”
But other times, when the words flow and inspiration lifts me like wings, I know exactly why you and I write.
Because we must. It’s a part of who we are.
February of this year, I had one of those sweet moments while in a Nashville recording studio. Across from me sat my good friend, Michael Hyatt. I’d been invited to be the host for a brand new audio program for aspiring authors: Everything You Need to Know to Get Published. He is one of the leading voices on publishing (among other things, like blogging and leadership). To have the opportunity to ask the burning questions that keep us writers awake at night—well, frankly, it was a dream.
For two full days, I peppered Michael with question after question. Me, a yet-unpublished author. Michael, a wealth of writing and publishing experience. And YOU. Yes, I know you weren’t actually there. But your names and faces were front and center in my mind. I wanted to give voice to the many questions and conundrums you and I have contemplated together. We are, after all, in this together.
By the time the second day wrapped, we’d recorded 21 sessions (yes, TWENTY ONE), and had discussed nearly every facet of publishing:
- How to navigate this wacky new publishing world
- Setting writing goals and achieving them
- Establishing the right mindset for success
- Knowing my publishing options and how to make the right personal choice
- Crafting a killer book proposal
- Understanding what goes on inside a publishing house
- Securing a publishing contract
- Writing the actual book (!)
- Working with agents, editors, marketers, designers, and publicists
- Expanding and engaging my tribe
- Building a successful, long-term writing business
Somebody pinch me. It was like a two-day writers conference, myself the only attendee getting one-on-one mentoring from an expert.
Yeah, I know. Jackpot.
Now that I have a few months hindsight, here are my top three takeaways from those two days in Nashville.
Camaraderie. Publishing is almost always a marathon. Michael may be an accomplished author and speaker today, but it took years of work and a pile of rejections to finally feel the thrill of a contract and published work. Even now, he openly admits it’s often difficult and overwhelming. Being “published” doesn’t remove the work from the art. Writing will always be an effort. If it wasn’t, it probably wouldn’t be worth doing. Knowing I’m not alone in that was deeply encouraging.
A Plan. Publishing is best tackled in bites, not swallowed in a whole. There’s so much to think about when it comes to writing and publishing a book. The more I contemplate what’s required, the more overwhelmed I get. I’m a deer in headlights, paralyzed. In his easy and conversational style, Michael helped me to see the do-able steps in the process. Publishing became less of a dream and more of a plan, something I can actually see myself doing.
Inspiration. Writing is more than publishing. As much as being published is a goal worth striving after, the process itself is rich. What we learn about ourselves and our message while waiting for that agent or contract might be more important than holding the book in our hands. It shapes us, smooths us, refines us and makes us people worth delivering the message we care so deeply about. Although I’m moving toward publication with what I learned, I also rediscovered a love for what I do. Writing is a privilege. And I’m honored to do it.
One last note … My time in that studio stands as one of my career highlights to date. I learned more in two days than in years of reading books and attending writers conferences.
The good news is the experience isn’t mine alone. If you’d like to sit in the studio with us, you can get your own copy of Get Published. Michael is currently offering the entire 21-session program at $100 off, PLUS an additional $150 of FREE bonus content. You can get more information here.
Is publishing a dream of yours? What’s your biggest obstacle?
Disclosure: Because of my partnership, the above is an affiliate link. That means I receive a commission if you decide to purchase the program. As you know, I rarely do this. But I believe in this product, hands down. I hope it helps you make your writing dreams come true.