Now that I have Persevering ready for launch later this week, I have a few thoughts to share about the book writing and publishing process.
I’ve been getting tons of questions over the last few months on how to go about writing a book, so here are some of my answers.
Book writing may take years
While there will always be outliers, who are able to pump out books within months, most of us will take years to write one. I started writing Persevering in 2019. I didn’t know at the time that journaling would lead to a book one day, it just happened organically. After about 9 months of consistent writing, I looked back at my work and realized I had a lot of content on foreign trained dentists and what made them successful.
Mentors play a big role
I had started writing out the book in a serious way during the height of the pandemic. I disciplined myself to write out content every day for an hour or two. But I quickly lost steam and abandoned the project because I kept finding other, more fun things to do. Within a few weeks I decided to quit the project all together and focus completely on other avenues. Luckily, I mentioned this to mentors and colleagues at the Creative Collective and was immediately encouraged not to give up on the book. Dr. Sonia Chopra was the most vocal. She stressed on how important it is to help the foreign trained dentist community! Her words alone gave me enough impetus to stick with the book and finish it.
If you’re not J.K. Rowling, expecting your book profits to pay your rent might be far-fetched. Most books do not make much money. If earning money is your end goal with this pursuit, you may be disappointed quickly. However, book writing does lead to speaking engagements. Designing a speaker packet, and reaching out to associations, schools or prospective students who may be interested in hearing your talk, are important efforts you may consider making. Well-paying speaking engagements can provide an additional income stream and help set you up as an authority in your field. It is a powerful way to build your brand.
Finding a coach
One of the most important things I did this year, was hiring a coach to keep me accountable towards publishing my book. Dr. Cathy Hung is an OMFS who has herself written 2 books. I worked with her over a series of 4 sessions to understand the publishing process. She also helped me come up with my book title! If I didn’t have Dr. Hung keeping me accountable towards publishing my book, I may not have ended up being where I am today. Coaches help accelerate your progress. However, you need to be willing to put in the work!
Write what you know
A lot of people get stuck on the idea of WHAT they should write about. They give more importance to what a majority of people will read rather than writing about what means something to them.
My book writing process was therapeutic from the get-go. I share my experience with multiple dental school rejections and talk openly about all of my failures. The process was healing for me. I am a foreign trained dentist myself, having been through the process and now, living the dream I had nearly a decade ago.
Write about what you know and write what you would have liked to read at a specific time of your life.
What kind of books do you enjoy? What advice had you always wanted but never received? What book changed your life? Let those ideas swirl around in your head before you figure out a topic to stick with.
All the best!