She Who Overcomes Podcast

56: How To Write Your First Book

Have you ever wanted to write a book? I started writing my first book when I was in 8th grade. It was a murder mystery. I got to chapter seven and then gave up because it was taking too long. That book never saw the light of day.

The second book I tried writing was around 2005. I was working as a Property Manager and worked 40 hours a week. The job really only took 25 to 30 hours a week, leaving me with 10 hours to twiddle my thumbs and hope the phone rang so I can answer questions. That left a ton of time on my hands. So I started writing my second book. It was going to be called “The Road Less Traveled.” I barely wrote a chapter. I spent most of my time trying to see myself through the eyes of my friends growing up so I interviewed them to gain perspective.

I wasn’t exactly thrilled at what I found. And I certainly didn’t know myself well enough back then – I clearly needed to dive into personal development so I could get comfortable with my own thoughts so I COULD actually write. Because the truth is this: I was so afraid of what others would think of me, that I couldn’t follow through on the writing. Or even coming up with a concept to write about.

I self-published my first actual book in 2011.

How did I go from being afraid of what others would think in 2005 to writing my book, publishing it, and selling it in 2011? It took a ton of personal growth and development.

People come up to me all the time and tell me they want to write a book. I’ve lost track of how many people I’ve heard say that. Or they say something like, “People always tell me I should write a book because I have so much life wisdom.”

Writing a book is hard. And, no offense, but I typically don’t believe people when they say they want to write a book one day because the reality of writing it is harder than the romanticized idea of it. And the majority of people do not have the discipline to follow through.

Now, that statement probably just turned a bunch of you off and made you feel like you can’t succeed so why even try. But for those of you that got CHALLENGED by that statement, hang on. This episode is for YOU: the one that really really really does want to write a book and is finally ready to start.

There’s a difference between WANTING to write a book some day and already working on writing a book. Today’s episode is going to be a raw, no BS guide to what it takes to actually WRITE your first book. Not how to publish it. Now how to market it. Now how to design the cover and get people excited about it. No. How to write it. Because if you do all the other things but never actually write the content, you will fail. You will be living in a fantasy only. So I’m going to give you some tips to help you WRITE your first book, and some pitfalls to watch out for that will trick you into thinking you are writing, when you are actually…not.


1. Journal daily.

Writers, write. Every day. And journaling is how you start. If you want to write a book about the lessons you’ve learned in life, you’ve got to get real with yourself and write it all in your journal first. You will never write a book if you can’t process your own thoughts and feelings.

2. Start a blog.

This helps you put content out there that connects with your potential audience. It gives you a chance to practice being judged by readers (you’ve got to grow a thick skin if you’re going to write a book), but it also helps you learn what your readers want to know.

3. Read a TON of books!

All kinds. Non-fiction. Fiction. Books about topics you aren’t sure about, don’t agree with, or even people that see things differently than you do.

4. Do a 30-Day Blog Challenge on 1 topic and turn that content into your book.

This is how I wrote my first Bible Study, UNASHAMED. It is a great way to get readers involved in it too! Then you can have conversations with them in the comments of your blog and learn how they are identifying with the content.

Now…here’s what you need to know to be successful:


1. Social Media

Social media is necessary for marketing in this day and age. But it can be a trap! It will waste your time if you’re not careful and it can also cause you to become insecure, trapped in comparison as you watch other writers. You’ll have to develop a thick skin AND good time management habits if you want to write that book and get it done.

2. Daydreaming

Most writers I’ve worked with get so excited that they start day dreaming about what their book will look like and who they should get to help with graphics and publishing. They want to research all the information and this ends up stealing their time. Remember: writing the book is more important than all of the other details. Until the book is written, the rest doesn’t matter!

3. Not Scheduling Writing Days

This is where people miss it the most. They don’t schedule their writing days. Or they do, but then they don’t guard them. You’ve got to carve out the time to write! Even one hour of writing per day can get you further than good intentions of full days that never get accomplished.

Alright. There you have it! My top tips for getting started on writing your first book. I’ll see you next week with a brand new episode! Until then, be healthy, stay creative, and don’t lose hope!


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Let’s hang out on Instagram!

Hey guys, thanks again for listening! I’d love to hear the takeaways that you got on today’s episode! Stop by Instagram and let’s chat! You can find my podcast page at @shewhoovercomespodcast – and my personal/coaching page at @msmandybanderson – And, I’d be so grateful if you left a review before you go. You just might hear your name and your takeaway at the beginning of next week’s episode!

One Comment

  • Darla

    Down to earth, honest tips to start writing your book, Mandy. Although my first book is nearly ready to publish, I could not have done it without the help of RAYMATeam. As I go on to my next book, this podcast was a great reminder of what to do and not to do. Thank you!

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