Azul Terronez has not only written a book in 30 days, but he has coached best selling authors on how they can do the same.
In this episode, Azul talks about how you need to unlearn everything you thought you knew about writing a book. He talks about your knowledge, how you may be trying to write too many books in one, and how to make your book a conversation that people want to keep on having.
Self-publishing or finding a publisher? Azul weighs in on that and the steps you should take to see author success from start to finish.
Azul also delivered a TEDx Talk that has received more than 1.2 million views on YouTube. In this episode, he talks about crafting the right message to get the gig and give a near perfect talk.
Some resources mentioned in this episode:
- Will It Fly by Pat Flynn
- Azul’s TEDx Talk – What makes a good teacher great
- Amy Landino on The Become a Media Maven Podcast
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Steps to Writing a Book
Understand that writing a book isn’t the hardest part. I think people are like – wow, writing a book is seems daunting because the last paper they wrote was like five pages for college. But the truth is it’s the idea of a book that’s probably more daunting.
So the first thing is to get rid of people’s like beliefs about writing and the biggest barrier to it is most people that go to try to write a book start with what they know, which means they usually use the methods they learned in school. First, you get an outline and then you organize yourself and then you write, but that’s actually the most restrictive way to write a book.
We’re Not Trained to be Writers
So, the first thing I have to do is to help people unlearn a bunch of things. And the reason I have to do is we’re not trained to be writers. I think most of us think we are, but most of us are trained to be editors.
My evidence for this is when you went to go turn in a paper, you often didn’t do it until the night before and you often did it with the least amount of resistance. Meaning – I just want to get a paper that gets me the grade. You weren’t worried about the message, the content.
You were really worried about its value as far as my teachers, professor, etc.
First of all, we always have this resistance. So we spend our time editing as we write, we write, we edit, we write, we edit. That’s how I write emails. I write, I edit, I write because that’s how we’re trained as opposed to – let me craft this wonderful message and then go back and use my left brain. The brain that’s like more logical and analytical took make it better.
We often don’t start with the creative part which is: What’s the big message? What’s the important part? Who am I trying to write to?
So my first job to get us to write quickly is to help unblock all those thinking and narratives in her head that kind of play out. So that’s the first thing – to take and remove all the past experiences, beliefs about book writing.
Picking One Topic for Your Book
That’s really one of the ways, the other thing I tell people, it’s – Look, writing a book isn’t difficult if you take away another thing, which is, you probably are trying to write too many books into one. People just often clog the funnel creativity because what they’re doing. It’s like – oh, I could write a book about this. Oh, but then there’s this.
It’s really hard for people to write a clear message if they’re not clear themselves. And so they constantly are rewriting in their head before they even start. So there’s a couple of things like that we do to make it easy… and writing a book is all about word count.
So if you write about 1,600 words a day, that’s what you’ll do to be able to finish a novel in a month. And a lot of people do it and it’s possible, like our friend Pat Flynn is writing using that method to write his book now.
But it wasn’t always that easy for Pat. It took months and months and months to even figure out how he could write a book before he even started. So those are some of the things I tell people before they even get started thinking about a book.
Getting Inspired to Write your Book
I love the 1,600 words a day to get the book done in 30 days. And you mentioned Pat, that’s actually how we know each other. We are both in his mastermind and you helped him write Will It Fly? First of all, how do we know it’s a clear message? And then once we get it clear, what do we do with it?
When Pat and I first started working together, he said, “Let’s meet in Barnes and Noble. I want to get inspired.”
We sat down and we started talking about his first idea. It was I want to write the online encyclopedia for everything online. And my eyes kind of opened wide because I’m like, that is a daunting book. You know, podcasting, blogging, he had so much. He’s like, don’t worry – I’m going to break it down into small parts. So it’ll be a series of books like my version of this kind of book for dummies.
And I was like – well, let’s walk around. And when we returned, I said, “Pat, does anyone read encyclopedias?” It’s like, oh, actually I don’t think so. So that was the biggest barrier.
What Kind of Book to Write
Even though you have a lot of knowledge, people don’t need all of your knowledge. The first thing you have to realize is that writing a book, in my belief, is not transactional, which means – hey, I have stuff in my head that I know and I want to open your head and dump what’s in my head into yours. That’s a transactional book. Those are how to books. Those are books that are like, How to Sell Your House in 30 Days or something like that. That’s a great book, but those transactional books are probably easier to write because they’re more how to.
But when he was thinking about Will It Fly, he was trying to grow himself into a new space, which was, look, I don’t sell anything that isn’t somebody else’s product as an affiliate marketer at the time. So this book was his sort of like coming into himself, like he wanted to build and sell courses after this launch of this book.
So we had to find the thing that would help him transition into that space and it took him a long time to let go of all these different ideas. He thought he could write because he had the expertise to find the book.
Transform as an Author so the Reader Feels a Transformation
He should write the one that was going to be transformational for him as the author. He needed to transform and let go of the limiting belief that he didn’t have anything. No one would buy from him and because he’d been telling his audience, you know, I don’t sell you anything. Everything’s free. He had to overcome that.
So Will It Fly? was him finding who is the audience I want to serve the most? And he realized 70% of his audience never actually made more than $500 online and he wanted to serve them.
So Will It Fly? was about that idea and that was the book that helped launch him into offering courses. You know, the same Power Up Podcasting course that we probably took to get this podcast going.
That was his impetus. That was the growth, so finding the right idea and my belief is around finding the book that’s going to transform the author because if the author doesn’t have a transformation, how do you expect the reader to? They’re just going to get information and it’ll be forgettable. They won’t remember it and you’ll get tired of talking about it because it’s something you know, it’s not something you deeply are believing and this is really your sweet spot.
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