The first and last steps are always the trickiest.
Climbing a mountain. Training for a marathon. Starting a new business. Writing a book.
While radically different, each one of these endevours have that in common: getting started can be difficult, and knowing when to you’re ready to launch, ie, the last step, can also be tough.
The First Step
Many successful entrepreneurs give this piece of advice: “Start before you are ready”.
This means that you can commit to running that marathon before you feel you are fully trained. You can launch that business before you feel completely comfortable that you are on top of it.
The same goes for writing a book.
Starting is as simple as writing the first sentence.
Just. One. Measly. Sentence.
If it is your first book, this is not the time to worry about structure, or grammar or anything else.
Just sit down (or stand-up and dictate it into your laptop if you prefer), and do that first sentence.
Then, just before you get up (or turn off the microphone), try do one more sentence.
Before you know it, you will be amazed to find out that you’ve written perhaps 100 words.
That’s it. You are now writing a book!
Now, all you need to do is establish that writing habit every day.
Every single day sit down and write 100 words. Again, you will be amazed to find out that your daily writing is closer to 300 or 500 a day than the 100 you started with.
It’s because of the natural momentum you get from sticking with a habit.
Important: Editing and re-reading can be done later – much later. What’s important right now is to get it out of your head, and into your word processing file (or writing notebook).
The Last Step
Every entrepreneur, author, programmer approaches the last step with trepidation and excitement.
Hitting the publish button, or opening up the business on the first day is often surrounded by all kinds of feelings, but mostly associated with the question, “What if it fails?”
First, congratulations on being able to read the future 🙂 The stock market could definitely use your help.
But seriously, the only way to experience the rewards of finishing are to take that last step, and hit the publish button.
The best way to move to know whether you have customers is to offer them a product. If you don’t offer it, they don’t know it exists, and you can “What if …?” to your heart’s content, and I can tell you with certainty that they can’t buy what doesn’t exist for them.
You must push forward, and unleash your baby on to the world. Remember, with the ebook publishing technology today it means that you can revise and re-publish in a matter of hours, so that last pesky typo that 3 proofreaders didn’t catch, can be fixed quickly.
Do it before you feel ready.
Important: this doesn’t mean that you put shoddy work forward. It means you get it done to the best of your ability within a reasonable time frame, and then you publish. You want to get it this one out so you can start work on your next one!
Remember, done is way better than perfect, and the best kind of learning happens through doing.
So get writing today.