How do you find the purpose of your book without losing sight of your original idea?
We have lofty goals and big dreams. It’s what we call being human. When it comes to writing a book you always have to keep your reader in mind. (If you don’t know what I mean check out this post: How to Get Inside Your Reader’s Head) With that said, how do you keep your mission intact and not lose all your readers on the ground?
Step one: Figure out the big picture.
You’ll want to know if you’ve lost your readers or not. You always want to know why you’re writing the book. Gaining exposure and having additional revenue are great but you really want to be motivated by intrinsic things like helping people, bringing light to a cause, or trying to do business in a better or bigger way.
Step two: Why do you readers CARE?
If you don’t know why your readers care you’re not really stepping into their shoes and providing value. A business book is on its own a business. You need to find out what your customers want- not need, when you’re running a business. Same goes for writing a book. Don’t appeal to their needs or write what you think they want to hear but appeal to the results they want. You’ll need to build a group of people with your book (something that Seth Godin calls a tribe). These are people who practice what you preach and are willing to listen. This is how you’re going to make your book’s mission one that has meaning and depth.
Step Three: Is your idea one that fits with your readers and the big picture?
Your idea is where you start but it’s not always where we finish. Books are journeys. I have learned more about myself with every book I write (or ghostwrite) than I do before I started the process. Same thing works with business, every time you start a new business you put everything on the table: your strengths, weaknesses, drama, pitfalls, insecurities, and failures. The book will do all the same things. It’ll make you wonder and doubt everything you know and everything you believe. If you do “lose” the original idea, it’s ok. The thing you’ll want to keep in check is if you kept the SPIRIT of that idea intact.