How to Write a Book without Using Formulas, Templates or Cheat Sheets

Do you want to know how to write a book that’s liberated from all the “5 step/6 step/7 step/1-2-3-How-to”’ paint-by-the-number formulas?

“But it’ll never sell if I don’t follow the rules!” cries your Critical Voice (Can you hear the fear?... Don’t you know that you’re destined for failure unless you follow the rules?)

The rules! Today someone sent me the following piece of wisdom. It came at exactly the right moment. I printed it out and placed it in a frame over my computer:

“The whole secret of existence is to have no fear nor to let fear have you. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no thing or no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.” --Buddha

News Bulletin: Rules are Paper Tigers

Let’s say you want to write a book about hiking. You love to hike—it’s a passion. And since “passion” is linked to this activity, you’ve just embraced my first and most important writing dictum: “Write with a passion and choose subject matter that you’re passionate about.”

Since we are all magnets—what we think about we attract--it’s a natural law that you will project to the reader exactly what you’re feeling.

You’ll also project the degree to which you are attached to those feelings.

Your readers will flock to you because they want some of what you have.

Write! Just write!

In your book, include some of your favorite hiking stories… and if one of them is really scary (yes, it WAS a mountain lion, or quicksand or a rattlesnake!)… lead with that story.

You’d love to share the joy of tramping through the woods on a crisp autumn day… or in the winter, making tracks in newly fallen snow… in the summer, collecting fossils and other treasures, or hiding out in caves… or on a clear spring night, lying on your back and gazing up at the sky...

Forget the formulas and all the how to write a book “shoulds” and “musts” that deliver same-sounding robotically constructed books.

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Carol Adler is the Official Guide for Publishing Expert at