You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who could convincingly argue that writing isn’t an art form. Even the most technical and esoteric nonfiction needs to be thoughtfully crafted into a viable work. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing textbooks about medieval economics or fantastical works of fiction about magical turtles from beyond the stars—the journey of writing a book is a very personal experience that no writer easily forgets.

The spark that sets you on your journey should resonate through your entire career. Ask yourself some of these basic questions if you every start to feel lost or discouraged:

What is your message? What is the service you provide or what question can you answer for your readers? This might sound too basic, but it’s important that you never lose sight of your original vision and the value you have to offer to your readers. Maintaining sight of this is crucial to setting yourself apart from the crowd.

Why do you want to share this message with others? Of course you want to write an incredible book and become a success, but what other motivations drive you in your career?

How do you want to share your work? This doesn’t just apply to marketing. You also need to determine how you’re going to present yourself and your platform to your readers. Your message is what drives the content of your work. Your values are what build relationships with readers.

Who do your readers think you are? Many new writers struggle with thoughts of unworthiness. They may have a fantastic platform, but suddenly begin to wonder what makes them so special that readers should look to them first for direction. The face your readers see needs to reflect the values that form the foundation of your brand.

Journaling is a great method for tracking your personal authorship journey. Many successful businesspeople and innovators extol the value of keeping a journal. Your journal can be a place to keep track of spur-of-the-moment ideas and putting words to the things that bother or worry you about the future. Regularly keeping tabs on your progress (and your setbacks) is a great way to put things into better focus so you can learn and grow.

Your book may not remain just a book. Your readers may appreciate your work so much that you see the opportunity to restructure a book into a full-fledged course. Other professionals may want to reach out to you for consultations. Not only can these things be tremendous income boosters, but they can also vastly expand your influence as a thought leader.

Your book writing journey will have several unexpected and even stressful twists and turns. It’s different for every writer. As long as you don’t lose sight of why you are here and the values upon which you have built your brand, you will not merely weather the storms—you will thrive through them. The important thing is to keep sight of the goals that set you down this path in the first place as you evolve over time.

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