Ever thought of writing your own book? It can be both an exciting and a daunting prospect. Following my own book writing journey, I wanted to share with you ten insights and practices which carried me through to realising this dearly held dream of mine. They encourage you to call on your intuition and spiritual guidance so that you can do the same and get your book out of your head and onto paper.
How to start writing a book: #1 Choosing the title
Deciding on a title for your book can take you down a rabbit hole of over-thinking. I was set on the title of my book right from word go. I always had a clear vision of it being more of a statement than a description. ‘You’re here for a reason’ is something my partner said to me a short while before I began writing it and, intuitively, it just clicked.
Listening to that guidance rather than mulling over a number of different titles has certainly saved me time and headspace. And it’s something which I can get behind because I truly believe that we are all here for a reason. Of course, the true test will be how much it also resonates with my readers!
How to start writing a book: #2 Choosing the front cover
Just as with the title, I had a clear sense of what I wanted the front cover to convey. It came to me on that first day I started the process back in March of last year. I wanted it to convey warmth, hope, possibility and to symbolise the experience of an awakening (an expansive, connective feeling inside). The first design I received back from the publisher left me feeling very flat. My heart sank and I could barely look at it. I knew deep inside it wasn’t right.
My Higher Self gave me all the necessary signs and uncomfortable feelings with which to be in no doubt. I (and the designer) needed to go through this process to have even stronger conviction towards the cover design which was going to be in full alignment. When I saw the new design, I just knew. Another reminder to stay connected to your intuition. And to have the courage to say no when something just doesn’t feel right – however uncomfortable that might make you feel.
How to start writing a book: #3 Choosing whether to self-publish
After months of toying with the idea of submitting a proposal to a publishing house or a literary agent, I took the decision to self-publish first and approach them at a later date once I had an established readership. It was too important to me that the contents and presentation of the book would end up being what I (and the Universe) had intended.
Plus I needed to get my book out there on our timescale rather than waiting another couple of years for a publisher’s schedule. For full disclosure, there may be a little ego-based fear of rejection tangled up in there too. But I did actually enjoy the product development aspect of this journey. Perhaps because this is what I did in my pre-coaching career – and those were the parts to my roles which I did actually get some satisfaction from.
How to start writing a book: #4 Choosing the publisher
As I shared in a previous post, my choice of publisher was also very guided. My Dad had seen an advert in a local magazine and I felt drawn to speaking to the owner of the company. Something just felt right and I had the sense that my book would be in safe hands. When, during my first meeting with Bannister Publications, I saw several photos of my Mum in one of the books he had published, I just knew this was the place to bring my book dream to life.
My publisher has guided me so thoughtfully, so professionally and with good humour every step of the way. I have never felt alone on this journey with him in my corner. And similarly with the designer who patiently and intuitively brought my vision to life. I am deeply grateful for both of them being part of this process. I believe that my Mum had hand-picked them to be in my corner.
How to start writing a book: #5 Rituals to keep you in the flow
In many ways, I saw my book writing experience as a form of spiritual practice. It was an opportunity to connect with the creative flow of the Universe and let it work through me. There were several little rituals I used to remind me of this and keep me connected. Every morning whilst doing my Daily Spiritual Practice, I would give thanks for the opportunity to write my book and consciously connect with the Source and with my Higher Self.
When I got to my writing desk, I would open the space by lighting a candle, spraying the beautiful Ibiza Essence Manifest spray, holding my clear quartz crystal (to bring clarity) and invite consciousness in on that writing session. I always had my little wooden robin by my laptop – which symbolised the connection to my Mum, who so dearly championed my work and who has been there guiding me every day.
How to start writing a book: #6 Enjoying the journey
The writing process can be intense and there is a constant although necessary focus on the end game. So much so that it can take you out of the present moment if you let it. Whenever I felt a little too caught up in my head or in reaching my target completion date, I tried to remind myself to enjoy the journey.
Enjoyment has a higher vibration than many other thoughts or feelings. I truly believe that when you do allow yourself to enjoy the journey, and stay in the moment, it will be felt by your reader. This is true of all number of different pieces of content you might create or consume.
How to start writing a book: #7 Creating the space
Something which I write about in my book You’re Here for a Reason is the importance of creating space – physically, mentally and energetically. And it’s something which, if I hadn’t have taken my own advice, would have meant that my book remained just an idea in my heart. A few years ago, I began designating certain times each week as my creative days or my non-coaching days. This was a game-changer.
It meant that I could protect quality time each week for me to realise my writing goal and effectively plan the launch of my book. It helped me create a container in which to open the right energetic space. The alternative would have been grabbing a couple of hours here and a couple of hours there in between client sessions and not getting into the right headspace.
How to start writing a book: #8 Being energy conscious
Energy is such a powerful thing to be conscious of – especially when you’re on a writing journey. For me, this was true not only in terms of creating the right energetic space around my desk, but also writing in a location which had the right energy. I mostly wrote in my office at home, but also I wrote a lot in my summerhouse and also in some coffee shops. Occasionally I would sit down to a writing session and just not feel right, so I would find somewhere else which I resonated with more.
It was also very apparent to me what a different energy was behind the different sections of the book. The first two were very much easier to write as it felt like they came more from the heart and the soul. The second two felt a little heavier as they were more grounded – more the ‘business end’ of things. Both are important on this journey. I had to battle through my feelings and accept the difference in energy. But it also made me realise how much more at ease I am with writing from the heart.
How to start writing a book: #9 Dealing with perfectionism
When it comes to writing a book, I think that perfectionism is both a help and a hindrance. Attention to detail and the ability to spot if something is a millimetre off can help you produce a better product (at least on the surface!) Luckily, I had a very understanding designer working on type-setting my book who accommodated my need to get it right. But where perfectionism can hold you back is when you are in a constant loop of trying to make improvements or looking for things which aren’t 100 percent.
This could have led me to a place of inertia where l felt like I couldn’t let it go to print for fear of there being even just one tiny error. I realised there was a lesson in this for me (as a recovering perfectionist). Whilst I have done my level best to pick up any imperfections, I also have to accept there may be things which simply slipped the net. And to be OK with that. I have to trust.
How to start writing a book: #10 Letting go of expectations
I have already spoken about my intention to let go of expectations once my book was officially released on the 23rd September. I truly don’t have a sales forecast or a spreadsheet with how many I plan to sell each month. This has felt a little counter intuitive at times for someone whose previous working life involved doing just that.
Perhaps because I have had no expectations, it has truly blown me away to receive such wonderful messages of support from friends and old colleagues and family members. People who I never imagined picking up a book like mine, or being so interested in what I have to say have ordered their copy. I truly hope that their faith in me can be repaid by them taking even just one little snippet which could help them transform in some way.
I want to leave you with a quote which you may have already seen on my website, but I feel it is too powerful and relevant not to give another mention to. This is for all of you who might be considering bringing something into the world which enables you to live out your purpose – whether that’s a book, a piece of art or music, a new business, a blog or a movement for change…
Don’t die with your music still in you.
The book 'You're Here for a Reason' is available to order now from Bannister Publications. Find out more about the book or order your copy below.
Here's to your book writing journey...
Hello, I'm Rebecca
Career Coach for people on a spiritual path
I support mid-career professionals who are ready to make a career change, launch into a more purpose-led career or business or simply enjoy a more fulfilling or balanced working life.
I believe that we all have a purpose here on earth and that life is too short to be stressed, unfulfilled and playing small.