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Your Interest Is More Important Than Market Demand

Generally speaking, as writers we’re responsible for choosing what to write about. Obviously if you’re a freelance writer this may not be the case but if your goal is to write a book you are immediately confronted with the question of what to write about.

There are plenty of authorpreneurs today that would recommend finding a market that is looking for information or a solution to a problem. Additionally, the next step would be to write to that market giving them what they want and/or need.

This is a logical perspective. One that I completely agree with.

Until you determine that your goal is to be a successful, self published author. In other words, to be successful author you need to be able to grow an audience. To do this you really need to understand who your targeting. So far this aligns with the values of the authroprenuers mentioned above. However, if we targeting a group of readers that have a particular interest and we’re successful then chances are we’re going to be writing quite a bit within that particular niche.

If this is the case, which I believe it to be, then it is imperative that we may make our own interests and passions the priority.

How can we write high value, helpful/entertaining content if we’re only moderately interested in the subject. Moreover, how can we write multiple books on a subject that doesn’t excite us?

In my opinion, we can’t. It will lead to inauthentic work that readers will see right through therefore any potential success will be short lived despite a high market demand.

Alternatively, I propose that we first identify topics, subjects, niches, categories, that we’re genuinely interested in and passionate about. After we compile a list of these items then we’re finally ready to take the authorpreneurs advice.

To clarify, any methods that I offer to help you identify whether or not there appears to be market deman for your book(s) are being offered with the assumption that only your true passions and interests are assessed.

If you agree then the next step is to identify your interests.

To do this think about your hobbies and day to day routines.

Are you a neat freak to the point where you love delcuttering?

Do you love cooking? Exercising? Learning languages? Reviewing products? Movies?

Give yourself time to think of questions such as the above. Reflect on what you enjoy doing and how you enjoy living. These are the topics you should be considering.

To reiterate, if the goal is to be a successful author which I assume it is, then you don’t neccessarily need to be an expert. Instead, you need the insight to ask the right questions and find the answers (if possible). This insight is most likely to be attained within a your genuine interests and passions, not within a random high demand niche that you aren’t particularly excited about or knowledgeable within.

Some might disagree, but I stand firm in this position.

Knowing where you stand, whether you agree or disagree will help you through the idea derivation process.

If you’re unsure, take some time to ponder this before you begin coming up with and pursuing your ideas.

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Punch The Blank Page In The Face With These 3 Strategies

Whether you refer to your list of book ideas, act on a sudden shot of inspiration, or finally decide to begin writing the book idea you’ve been sitting on for the last five years you, it doesn’t matter. You still might find yourself staring in front of a blank page without the slightest idea of how and/or where to start. Then as soon as you begin typing each letter you match it with an equal amount of deletes. At this point you are completely frustrated and annoyed.

I get it. I’ve been there. Don’t panic my fellow writer. Many have been there which means many have successfully escaped.

Check out the three strategies below to help you get yourself started. This is a pre-outline stage. Literally, you have nothing and you need something, anything. Breath calmly, rest easy, and enjoy the solutions below.

Strategy #1: Open Up The Flood Gates 

Grab a huge piece of paper or a the whiteboard of equal or greater size. Just start writing everything you think of when you think of your book. Do this for at least fifteen to twenty minutes. Do not put any restrictions on anything. Seriously, if it pops in your head during this time then write it down. It may or may not have anything to do with what you want your book to say, but for now that does not matter. Write down words, phrases, sentences, draw charts, pictures. The keys are to avoid withholding thought or ideas and to write for at least fifteen minutes, if not longer.

To be clear, if you write something down and feel as though it didn’t come out the right way, for the sake of this exercise just try writing it down again somewhere else on the sheet or board. Do not cross out or try to correct. If you find yourself requiring more than fifteen minutes then continue until you are completely empty, but force yourself to push through to the fifteen minute mark.

Once you have finished this process and you are completely and utterly unable to continue writing down ideas be sure to save this sheet or board somehow. I recommend you take a picture and/or if you have an iPhone you can use the GeniusScan app to scan and save it to your phone (see example below).

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This is only an example, don’t worry if yours looks completely different.

Strategy #2: Start Talking

Find a method to record your voice. I recommend the iPhone voice recorder app, but there are a variety of options out there so pick what makes most sense for you. All you’re going to do is start talking about your book. If this is difficult, pretend you’re answering the question “What is your book about?”. Force yourself to verbally respond in as much detail as you can.

Do not worry about repeating yourself, speaking incorrectly, confronting long pauses. None of these are going to hurt you later on. The key is you’re just going to start talking about what your book could be about. If you have specific ideas about possible chapter titles then include it.

Once you’ve done this save the recording and get ready to move on.

Strategy #3: Generate Keywords

If you have any friends in the internet marketing world then chances are you’ve heard the acronym SEO. Moreover, I’m sure you have heard of Search Engine Optimization. I bring this up because I want to make clear that generating keywords in this instance has absolutely nothing to do with SEO. For the purposes of trying to get yourself to a clear starting point with an organized road map guiding you along the way to happy finished book land. Use Google’s Keyword Planner  (free) or Long Tail Pro (paid software) to generate possible keywords within the subject of your book idea. Start identifying words and terms that you feel as though you could elaborate on and begin creating a list of at least 20 words or terms. Once finished with the list you have two options.

Either record yourself as you elaborate on each keyword and term verbally or write down a few sentences for each item on your list.

After you have completed one of the strategies above you now need to organize this information into a neater visual. Review the results of your chosen strategy then try to come with a list of at least ten potential chapter titles. For each chapter, you want to list each possible chapter subtitle that would fit. If you have more than ten chapter subtitles, you may want to consider breaking it into two separate chapters.

As you write each chapter title and subtitle, do not worry about sequential order just yet. Focus more on what you’re going to discuss within each chapter. When you complete this, you are officially ready and able to begin writing each chapter.

Pick one chapter that you’re very excited about and/or you feel confident about beginning. That will building the momentum and you can slowly chip away, chapter by chapter.

I recommend writing your chapters within Evernote because you can create a Notebook and title it what ever your book potentially may be titled. Within each Notebook, you can create a Note for each chapter.

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An Evernote notebook containing multiple notes for one of my previous books

Regardless of your writing tool, you now have officially eliminated the blank page that has had continued to taunt you.

Happy writing!