The Book You Were Born to Write by Kelly Notaras (Extract)

There are a lot of obvious reasons why I’m happy to devote many hours of labor to writing this book. I want to share what I’ve learned over two decades in books, first and foremost… But there’s another, less obvious reason I’m writing a book about how to write a book. And I need you to lean in a bit here— it’s a secret, so I have to whisper it:

I’m writing this book because I believe in you…

The chapters that follow offer a simple, step-by-step path from setting your intentions to holding a finished book in your hands. My goal is to demystify the publishing process. Giving you the tools, insider information, and inspiration you need to start strong, keep going, and get across the finish line as quickly as possible.

One thing that makes my work as an editor—and thus the information in this book—unique is the amount of time and energy I ask my clients to invest before the writing begins. For this reason Part I will focus on setting clear intentions for your project and developing a premise and an internal structure strong enough to support the book. Part II starts the moment you’re ready to pick up your pen and go. I will share all the tips and tricks I’ve learned in my two decades of helping writers sit down and write. Finally, Part III will take you from “writer of a manuscript” to “published author.” We’ll talk about building your book—and we’ll go over both traditional publishing and self-publishing options. My hope is that by the time you finish Part III, you’ll know precisely what steps will be required in order to get your book out of your hands and into the world!

I’m not going to say the process of writing a book is easy or simple. It’s a big goal that requires organization, dedication, time-management skills, and perseverance. There are no guarantees that you’ll make back your investment if you self-publish. But if you have the echo of a book dream in your deepest heart, a book is also the journey of a lifetime. On the other side are riches unimaginable: knowing what greatness you’re capable of; offering your gifts in service of others; changing lives in an exponential way. Every day writers of transformational nonfiction receive e-mails, letters, and messages on social media thanking them for the life-changing wisdom they’ve brought into the world.

While writing a book represents a significant investment of time and energy, and—I’m not going to lie here—can feel never-ending at times, in the end it’s always worth it. Yes, I know you’re busy. You also might be kinda-sorta scared. I get that it’s hard to write an entire book. I understand you have other priorities: a full-time job, a kid or two, perhaps a spouse or grandchild who needs extra attention. Meanwhile you’re trying to eat right and exercise, maybe squeeze in some yoga or meditation. I know how difficult it is to get into the routine of any of the above, and it may seem impossible to imagine adding writing to a day that’s already too full. I get all of this. But.

You have to do it anyway. You just have to.

If you feel the call, there’s a reason. You have to follow. This is not up to you to decide, it’s up to Life. You have agreed to carry some important mantle. I know this because here you are, reading this book. The good news is that writing a book is all the hard things, but it’s a whole lot of fun too. Writing makes you feel like a rock star a lot of the time. It’s a huge boost to energy, self- esteem, and creativity. (As opposed to thinking about writing, which is a total resource drain.) Writing a book is a dream for so many people. And if you’ve read this far, I can only imagine you’re one of the rare few who’s ready to live that dream. So go on. Get in there. Do what you need to do. I believe in you, I’m going to show you the way, and your readers are waiting.

Copyright Hay House 2018

This extract was featured in the Spring 2019 Cygnus Review. The Book You Were Born To Write is available for purchase from Cygnus Books.