Illustration of a dark haired woman in singlet holding a book on her chest

Tip 3: Set your intention

Bikram Choudhury (love him or loathe him) is the world’s most infamous yoga instructor who built a wildly successful business based on just 26 yoga postures. So what can Bikram yoga teach us about writing a book?

Why are you writing this book? What’s your purpose? What do you want to achieve?

Sure, every thought leader or business expert wants to build their credibility, position themselves as an ‘authority in their field’, and ultimately land more high-paid gigs, but as every project manager I’ve ever worked with would say – you need to get SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely.

Do you want a bestselling book on Amazon? To make a certain amount of money that will recover the costs of publishing your book? Are you aiming to secure a specific number of new clients? Or one or two new repeat customers? Or are you trying to enter into a new commercial market by a certain date?

These are all very different purposes and require different resources to make them happen. In a nutshell, it’s unrealistic to try and accomplish all of these at once.

Every Bikram class has just one purpose – to stay in the room. That’s it. Sounds simple, right? Yet, guess what happens once the door shuts, the humidity kicks in, you lose half your body weight in sweat and the room starts spinning out of control. The end goal becomes that much harder to achieve – especially if you’re not sure why you’re doing the class in the first place!

Something similar happens when you sit down to craft your book. With no set intention, clear audience (Hot Tip 4) or purpose, you’ll lose motivation to write, or write around in circles, and sweat your book out in stress.

Getting SMART about your book will also help you to work out design, publishing and marketing decisions and costs like:

  • what platform you use to publish (e.g. IngramSpark, CreateSpace, self publisher or major publisher)
  • what paper stock you use on and how many copies you print
  • how you distribute and price it (bookstore, print-on-demand or eBook)
  • how you market it and to who.

Just. Stay. In. The. Room.

That’s it. That’s your intention for a 90-minute Bikram class.

So what is your intention for writing your book?

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Kelly Irving

I’m an editor and writing coach with a love for deep-diving into brains and businesses. Through my one-to-one work and online program, I provide an action-by-action process that speeds up the time it takes to produce your best book, and turns overwhelm and self-doubt into momentum and excitement for writing.


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