I see this question many places — on Quora, in articles about writing, when I’m asked directly.
“What is the hardest part about writing a book?”
I understand why people want to know, but the truth is that just like everything else in life, what is most difficult for me may be easy for you and vice versa.
Here’s what I can tell you from my own experience. I have ghostwritten a few books and recently published my own.
For me, the hardest part of writing a book is knowing when I’m finished.
I started with my trusty outline, I wrote everything, I reread several times, it FELT complete.
The moment I sent it to the editor, I had ideas for things I could have expanded on or written differently.
I managed to keep it together until I got it back from the editor, at which time I ended up adding an entire case study and about half a chapter.
I sent that part BACK to the editor.
And I made myself stop writing.
The moment it hit the virtual shelves for sale, I recounted my mistakes.
I could have added more, made it better, given better examples, used a more formal vocabulary.
For me, it was never anxiety over whether or not I was qualified to write a book, or if people would think it was silly, or if it was poorly written (some of the top fears expressed to me when people talk about writing).
I have confidence in my writing and I was building off of content I’d previously written and gotten solid feedback on as a blogger.
My anxiety came from feeling like it wasn’t complete.
A feeling of “Nooo! I forgot to tell them this amazing advice on how to get the higher-end clients!”
And I don’t mean to say that I think that information could only come from me.
But my goal was to write a really helpful, practical book to help people find clients, market themselves, and build a freelancing business with no initial investment, and I just truly wanted to provide as much a framework as humanly possible.
Even now, I sometimes think about what more information I could have added to it.
But I have mostly moved on. I’m thinking about my next book, focusing on my clients, and continuing to build, grow, and refine my own business.
And all of these experiences will help me on the next book!
What was the hardest part of writing a book, a paper, a blog, anything, for you?
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