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The Right Kick to Start Your Book

Mike Shaw and his Book

New author, Mike Shaw, recently finished his book How to Make Rheinberg Filters, for the Hobbyist and Professional, but before the completed product, Shaw experienced something all writer’s encounter: writer’s block. Although the idea was lingering in his head, he needed something to kick-start the process and compel him to write, but what? The Quick Start to Kick-Start Your Book, of course! Through an invitation to Lisa Tener’s webinar, Shaw discovered this helpful guidebook and followed its steps through to fruition. Shaw was kind enough to answer a few questions about Quick Start that will help other authors overcome their struggles.

Rachel: Thanks for the interview, Mike.

Mike: I appreciate the opportunity.

R: Before you wrote How To Make Rheinberg Filters, what other topics were you considering to write about?

M: I wanted to and still want to write a book about loving your job, no matter what that job may be.

R: So, why did this book get written over other ideas?

Quick Start Book

M: Lisa Tener’s Quick Start made me realize how important it was to have a niche market, a particular group for whom I was writing.

R: Who is your audience, then?

M: For the original book idea my audience would be anyone who is discontent in their life and at work. So, I guess that’s everybody, right? Not too targeted, I guess. So, I decided to write a book for a very precise group: microscope users, professionals and hobbyists.

R: What were your struggling with before you discovered Quick Start?

M: The problem I mentioned before. I didn’t have a focus, didn’t have a target audience. Halfway through the book, I was wondering if it wasn’t simply me venting at best, whining at worst.

R: And what was the most surprising part of the writing process?

M: The switch in book ideas. Suddenly I was open to anything, and a new idea popped into my head.

R: How was the Quick Start helpful in getting started once you chose the right idea?

M: Quick Start made it okay to put the book project first in my life. By helping me define all the benefits a completed book would bring to me, Quick Start allowed me the freedom to get on with it.

R: What difficult steps did Quick Start make easier?

M: By getting organized in terms of table of contents, and setting up a schedule. It actually became easy.

R: Lastly, do you think Quick Start can help everyone write their book?

M: Yes. There is, however, is one thing people tend to forget. Someone actually has to sit down and write, and that someone is you. It’s fine to get organized, and motivated, and have a wonderful space for writing, and do all the research about your market. Those things help. Quick Start leads the horse to water. Most would-be writers can’t find the watering hole, and many haven’t even realized that they need water. Ultimately, though, you’ve got to be the one at the keyboard for two or three hours a day consistently to get it done. Nobody can do that for you. If you accept that fact, then Quick Start will definitely help you write your book.

Without a doubt, Quick Start assisted Shaw onto the right path in various terms of the writing process, but most importantly he was able to discover the right book to write. Originally planning a different book, the Quick Start helped Shaw narrow his focus and deliver the result that felt right on a motivated schedule. Visit Shaw’s website for further information about his book.

If you’re an aspiring author and facing the same troubles Shaw encountered, the Quick Start to Kick-Start Your Book can help you too and is available at the Write Your Book store.

Writer Rachel Horwitz interned at Write Your Book for me last spring. Rachel has been an invaluable help and is available as a freelance writer. You can find her blog here or e-mail her at

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

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