I just completed the manuscript to my second book, “Power Presence for Women” a couple weeks ago. This time, the process and experience was quite different than the first one I wrote and published in 2013. Writing a book and taking an idea from conception to a finished, written product is a rewarding and creative process. It is also frustrating, tedious, and difficult.

Quite a few of my clients have repeatedly asked me how I did it—so I’ll share with you a few things I’ve learned from the process.

Doing it trumps talking or thinking about it
I talked about writing a book since I was 18 years old. I must have 15-20 unfinished manuscripts on different topics stored in a box somewhere. I’d write down an idea, write 15-20 pages, and then abandon the idea for a new one. I have never had a shortage of great ideas to think and talk about. When I made the decision to finally write my first book in 2010, I had to pick an idea and follow through with that one only.  Picking ONE idea, developing it and communicating it into a concept, and following through writing about it is what makes the idea become tangible, useful, and an actual book.

Like everything else, you only get good at it by doing it—and finishing it
When I wrote my first book published in 2013, it was definitely an ordeal. I had been toying around with different topics for 5-6 years and written and re-written the manuscript over and over again. In the end, I just wanted to finish it, which I did. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but what I learned from the process was what it takes to write a book. The experience of just doing it and finishing it made it much easier this time around, as I learned from the mistakes I made the first time. The first time you embark on writing a book, just aim to start it and actually follow through and finish so you can go through the whole process and ultimately learn from it.

Making a habit of regular writing makes it easier
Since 2013, I have written a weekly blog post and contributed regular articles to Forbes and Huffington’s Thrive Global. I estimate I have written about 300 articles since writing my first book. What has that done? It has helped me find and develop my voice and style, get better at communicating ideas, and feel more comfortable and confident doing it. Embarking on my second book was much easier because of all the practice over the years in between. Even if you don’t write articles, try writing in a journal at least once a week. The more regularly you write, the easier it will be to write a book.

Knowing your “why” will fuel the “how”
Why do I want to write a book in the first place? I kept the answer to that question in the back of mind every time I became frustrated or discouraged. I am clear about what type of book I am writing, who my main audience is, and what I hope to contribute to them. I have meaningful and valuable knowledge and experience to share with them that will help them. My aim is to be of service by sharing this information. It is not so that others can perceive me as brilliant or to achieve fame or fortune. When I kept this why in mind, I was able to stay focused and maintain this tone in my voice throughout the manuscript.

Nothing happens without deliberate, consistent, and disciplined action
Writing a book is just like anything else you want to accomplish. You want to increase your fitness level? You must start and maintain a consistent exercise regimen. You have to carve out regular time each week and discipline yourself to do it. If you set out to run a marathon, you have to create a training schedule and stick to it. When you don’t feel like exercising or running, you have to do it anyway. If you want to write a book, you have to carve out regular time to write and discipline yourself to finish it. If you don’t feel like writing, you need to write anyway. It really is as simple as that.

If you have an idea, a story, or information that you think will be helpful or serve others and want to incorporate it into a book – I would encourage you to do it. If nothing else, you will learn how to take an idea or a story, develop it into a focused concept, communicate it clearly and succinctly, and turn it into something others can benefit from. What you learn from the process is just as if not more valuable to your own development than the product itself.