Hindsight is a marvelous gift. What I have learned about writing is that it presents you with insight and clarity far beyond any other tool I have encountered.
A scan of the Internet will tell you that the divorce rate for women over 50 is increasing. This means that there is a group of women (and men) who will be looking to reinvent themselves in some way.
What better way than to write a book that contains some element of your personal story and use that to relaunch yourself?
I turned to writing when I got divorced in my 50s after a short, disastrous marriage. I certainly found writing my story to be my best friend. More importantly, in writing my latest books, I have come learn who I am and what my inspirational message is. Even more I know that it is never too late to get that book written and your life heading in the direction that you want.
Writing a book is never just about the book. It is a process that connects you to your inner wisdom, helps you to discover your voice and inspirational message. A book helps you to grow as a person and gives you a great personal branding vehicle.
Steps to writing your book and finding yourself.
I guess the first thing is you need to acknowledge that you need to wake up and take action.
You might be feeling that the call to wake up and write has reached you too late. There is no such thing as too late. Right now is the perfect time.
Start journaling and notice what is going on around you. Consider how you feel, act, your habits, and beliefs. Ask are you living according to your values and take time out to start listening to your gut. When you start writing, you will become a witness to your deep soul felt need to wake up and shake things up.
Timelines and turning points
Stuffed away in the time capsule of your mind are millions of memories. They are locked away in folders with little tags on that say been there done that, no longer interesting. Timelines provide a visual roadmap, which give you the big picture in the form of a map. Turning points are the aha moments when you can see patterns of repeated behavior. When you see patterns, you make connections. When you connect the map of your life to your values, purpose, passion and vision, a clearing to the pathway of your book will emerge.
Find a blank wall and create an imaginary grid. Across the top create date ranges (0-11, 12-21, 22-31, etc.) and along the side put themes (you, relationships, love, finance, spirituality, career, etc.). Get post it notes and brainstorm. No judgment just put words and phrases where you think they need to go. Keep at this for a week. After a week, reflect and look for themes and turning points. These are the experiences you may want to share in your book.
Turning experiences into stories
As you begin to get to know you through your writing and will see your life in big picture format. You will, as I did start to feel excited (and scared) about opportunities and possibilities.
Ask yourself how can these experiences and what you know about yourself can be turned into stories? How can these stories transform your life and others?
Ask, if my life were a book, what would it be called? What would it be about? Who would it be aimed at? How would it help them? Then map out an outline and slot in your stories, then your solutions to the questions raised.
Turning stories into solutions
The more you map out your life as a book, the more clarity you will get around your passion and purpose. No-one can write if they do not feel inspired and in putting your pen to paper you are sending a message to your heart to open. When your heart is open to your desire to make a difference (your solution), you will start to know the direction your life and career / business will want to go in.
Take just one hour every day to write a part of your book. Write for 30 days. This is your first draft, and while it may not be thrilling, however, it is a fabulous start. As you create how-to's for each chapter, you will uncover hidden knowledge, skills and experiences. Ask how these can contribute to your new life, career or business. After a week off you can start to edit this book.
Create and test your plan
Ask how can I use this book to create a new life direction for me? Then it is good old fashioned planning. Work with a mentor (or coach) and business / career advisor and put together a well researched and thought out plan.
Invest time and effort to develop your plan (in writing). Think of your goals, vision, and mission. Set measurables, timeframes, and ask what resources you will need. Create actions for each task and make sure you have someone to hold you accountable to taking action.
By committing your ideas to writing, you create substance that can be analyzed, reviewed, edited and improved upon, honing the idea and helping it to grow.
Finally, it is never too late to write your book and transform your life
A business book around your personal story adds an extra dimension to your credibility as an expert. It allows you to demonstrate your expertise, skills, knowledge, experiences, passion, and purpose. A business book can support your coaching and workshops, help you to develop other products and services and be used as a highly effective marketing tool.
You can use your book as a lead generator, driving traffic to your website and if you turn it into an online course another source of revenue (and that can't be bad can it?).
If you want to walk into another role or create a new business, your book will demonstrate that you 'know your stuff.'
Go on what are you waiting for write your book and do what you have always wanted to do.