How I Wrote My Book About Advice on Relationships
Are you considering writing your own self-help book? This is how I did it and I include some useful ideas for you.
This is a review of how I wrote a self-help book on relationships. The methods I discuss can be applied to any inspirational book.
If you are considering writing your own self-help book, this may help you with a better understanding of the process.
I’ll explain what is involved with designing and writing the content, and taking your book from first thought to final product.
Organization is one of the most difficult things to get right. You need to present your thoughts in a meaningful, orderly, and logical way.
While proofreading, at one point I actually decided to swap the order of two chapters. I did that because I realized it made more sense to discuss one topic before the other.
I almost missed that, but I caught it because I was keeping the reader in mind while proof reading. That's an important thing to keep in mind while writing. Always consider how your words will be "heard" by the reader.
To help you get started, I broke this down into five basic steps, or rules, on how to write a self-help book.
I needed to master each of these steps in order to have a clear path to follow as I wrote. This should help you too.
Five Basic Steps
1. Understand Your Motivation?
The first step is to know your motivation. Then to target your audience and provide answers they may be searching for.
My motivation was to share relationship advice with readers who want to understand men's commitment issues.
2. Know Your Plan
You need to have a well thought out plan of what you want to achieve with your book. You need to keep your potential readers in mind and have a clear idea of how you want to inspire them.
My plan was to enlighten those who are psychologically stuck in a compulsive repetitive mode and help transform their way of thinking. This change would be welcome to anyone who enjoys building a long-term relationship and desires to finally make that real commitment to a life-long relationship.
3. Know What Knowledge You Want to Convey
Many times I questioned myself, asking why I kept making the same mistakes repeatedly, never committing to marriage even though I always enjoyed being in a relationship. I wanted to be in a permanent relationship that can grow and create a family, but I never let that happen.
Later in life I was wondering "What Was I Thinking?" That's how I came up with the title for my book. Using my own experiences I attempt to share the lessons I've learned with those who want to share their life with someone and enjoy years of building memories that they can look back on in old age with the feeling of satisfaction.
I think that men will want to read how I explain our misguided ways in order to understand their dilemma. In addition, women will want to know how to understand men so they can appreciate what's going on in the minds of their non-committing boyfriends.
So I kept all that in mind while I was writing. I wrote each chapter with a focus on giving tips for a healthy relationship and advice that should help one understand various issues men have.
I wrote the book from my own point of view, having made all the mistakes that I now understand in my own life and felt I should share to help others.
4. Express Your Opinion
People thrive on opinions. They search for other people's opinions all the time. If you develop some authority on your subject matter, then your opinion will count for sure.
I may not be an authority on relationships, but I know how I failed to appreciate a good woman and I’m recognizing similar patterns with other men. So expressing my opinion is still something I think has value. Well, that's my opinion anyway.
So, don't hesitate to sprinkle your writing with your own opinion.
5. Share Your Life's Lessons
The most powerful thing you can do with your book is to talk about your own experiences. They are useful to your reader for two reasons:
- Your reader may relate to your experiences.
- Your experiences set an example to make your point clearly understood.
Here's How I Did It
Below is a summary of each chapter in my book.
You can skip this section. I won't take it personally. However, it may help give you an idea of how I placed a logical order to the entire book. You’ll want to do the same.
Logical order is so very important so that your reader can follow along with even the most complex of discussions.
I have discovered that some people like to skip around. When I discussed my book with some people who read it, I found that they totally missed some important points.
We can’t help everyone, but at least we can give an easy-to-follow experience to those readers who are motivated to learn something.
So with that said, here’s what I did...
- Chapter One: Knowing It - A Short Story
I start out in the first chapter with a short story of an experience I had meeting a wonderful woman. In the years we were together I found myself really knowing that she was the one. However, I failed to allow myself to respond to that feeling because I thought I was finding too many problems with her. Further into the book I discuss how the problems were only in my head.
- Chapter Two: Vision
My second chapter deals with a concept I discovered later in life, the concept of visualizing one's future, and thereby being able to plot a constructive path towards a vision of our future.
- Chapter Three: Being Available
A therapist made me aware of the correct way to be emotionally available. After fully understanding this I had dedicated a full chapter to the concept of knowing when we're right and knowing when we're wrong.
- Chapter Four: Verification
I learned that I needed to verify the genuineness of a relationship after wasting years not doing so. In chapter four I talk about when to stay and when one needs to leave.
I bet you know someone who stays in an abusive relationship and refuses to listen to his or her friends. I know two people like that. It's frustrating when you try to help them and they just dig themselves deeper and deeper into more trouble. Do you know anyone like that?
- Chapter Five: The Spectrum of Reality
I tend to have a creative way of looking at things and enjoyed writing chapter five about what I call "The Spectrum of Reality." It's my way of guiding my reader to recognize where they are failing to see the reality of a relationship.
- Chapter Six: Life's Rude Awakening
Chapter six deals with a concept I came up with. I actually had trouble with this concept because a couple of prominent psychologists who helped proofread my book had told me I was wrong. Once you hear what I said you might also think "Glenn doesn't know what he's talking about!"
Here it is... I've discovered that the best relationship is with someone you don't have a personal interest in as a lifetime partner.
Well, thanks to the constructive criticism I rewrote chapter six and got the approval of the two psychologists who again reviewed my final manuscript. There really is a meaningful explanation for why a relationship can be so great if you have no interest in the other person. I go into detail in chapter six.
- Chapter Seven: Communicating Thoughts and Feelings
The book wouldn't be complete if I didn't include a chapter on communicating and feelings. In that chapter I introduce my method of keeping a journal of thoughts and feelings to communicate with no other than our self.
I found it helpful to write thoughts and feelings in a journal to review later, sometimes years later.
It was almost like the "me from the past" communicating his feelings to the "me of the future." Hey, if your friends don't guide you, maybe your "prior self" will. It's like the reverse of your "future self" coming back to tell you everything you did wrong.
I found it very enlightening and just had to include it in my book.
- Chapter Eight: Dealing with Disappointments
Chapter eight is my review of disappointments. We'll always have disappointments in life from time to time and we need to deal with them in a constructive way, but we also need to appreciate who we are and not let people abuse us.
People should treat us with respect and we shouldn't accept anything less!!! How many people do you know who allow others to treat them poorly? I discuss how to deal with that in chapter eight.
- Chapter Nine: Relationship Realism
Chapter nine is about reality again, but on a different level, a concept of mine I call "relationship realism." Once I said to a friend, "Don't miss out on a blessing because it isn't packaged the way that you expect." I amazed myself when I said it. Sometimes we guide other people better than we guide ourselves. I wish I had considered that when it mattered to me!
- Chapter Ten: Micro Reality, Ultimate Goal
Pursuing our goals is an important topic if one is to be successful with any endeavor in life. I always found an easy way to avoid procrastination by following easy-to-handle micro-steps. I call my concept "Micro Reality." It's my own version of successfully reaching our goals one step at a time. Sometimes we just need to make those steps a little smaller in order to climb them. It works!
- Chapter Eleven: Deal Breakers
My focus throughout the book is on recognizing how our attitude causes some of us to fail to commit, and I make a strong effort at getting through to the reader.
I still have to admit that there are two sides to the story. There are some real situations where we might actually be right. I had my share of relationships, both good and bad. I was stupid to not recognize or appreciate the good ones, and I make that clear in the book. I also decided to include deal breakers because I felt it important to show that there are true reasons to consider the other view.
- Chapter Twelve: Creative Thoughts of Inspiration
With my creative side I often come up with interesting concepts that people have said are quite meaningful. Some concepts I include are referred to as Easy Rejection Syndrome, Heavenly Love, Power Planning, and The Stream Of Life. You may get their drift from those subtitles.
- Chapter Thirteen: A Bachelor's Poems
When I feel emotional about someone, I sometimes become poetic. I had saved most of the poems I wrote about relationships over the years. I included a few of them in the last chapter since they related to the subject of the book.
What Have You Learned?
Remember that when you write your inspirational self-help book, you can help the reader relate to your discussion by referring to your own experiences. This will help make your point more clearly understood.
Don't forget about keeping a logical order to your explanations. Your life experiences that you use as examples may very well have no order to them, but you have to make the effort to place your examples in some orderly form to coincide with each lesson you are trying to teach your reader.
Put your best effort into creating a logical progression that builds on itself from the beginning to the end. If you do that, you'll have a book that is beneficial to your many readers.
See for yourself how I did it…
By Glenn Stok, the author of this article.
An inspirational book for those who never commit to marriage but who want to break the pattern.
Available in paperback and on Kindle.
© 2012 Glenn Stok