woman in beige long sleeve shirt and black pants sitting on bed using a Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

3 Big Ws for Authors with #WIPs

3 questions
Confession: I am a cyber-hoarder and an obsessive note-taker. My hard drive is chock full of duplicate photos, e-books I’ve never read and probably 14 or 15 drafts of any mega-project, past or present. Most of this time this habit is pretty benign. Once in awhile it turns up something wonderful: I just found notes from conversations with some of my encouragers.

No matter how much we love a project, writing a book is not easy. The fact that the industry is undergoing an unprecedented period of growth and change is exciting and daunting in almost equal measure. There are lots of peaks and valleys along the way. I’m grateful for author friends, industry experts and readers who help me keep moving whenever I’m tempted to stop. They’ve asked questions that have helped me get un-stuck. Come to think of it, with just a little bit of imagination, these questions can be useful to un-stick lots of projects.

[Tweet “Author with a #WIP? Some questions to “un-stick” you.”]

So, for my author friends with #WIPs, (works in progress) here are some questions that may help unstick you, too.

Let’s face it: not every book is for every reader. We all have someone in mind while we are writing, someone with whom we are sharing an idea or a story. Someone who’s going to devour every word.

  • So, who is your ideal reader? (How does he spend his time? What would it be like to spend a day with her?)
  • Where will you find your ideal readers? How will you connect with them? How do you want people to feel when they read our book?
  • Is there something that you’d like readers to stop or star doing as a result of reading your book?

[Tweet “What would it be like to spend a day with your ideal reader?”]

One of the beautiful things about writing a book is that an idea turns into something tangible. It moves from the inside of our heads into the world where we have to think about things like printing, shelving and marketing.

  • What is the competition for your book?
  • What genre is it?
  • How is your book different from what’s already out there?
  • Why is your book worth buying?

[Tweet “Why are you writing this book? #wip”]

Finally, why are you writing this book? As our sisters in the direct sales industry often remind us, staying in touch with our “why” keeps motivation alive.

  • How did you get the idea for your book?
  • Did you have an “aha” experience?
  • What unique experience, expertise or point of view do you bring to this project?
  • Writing is a relationship with someone you haven’t met yet, someone who’s waiting to meet what you have to offer.

Readers, is there something you wish authors would do when trying to connect you with their latest release? Authors, do you have other questions to have helped you move forward? Please share them in the comments.

Let’s connect on social media.


  • Pamela

    Wow, I now have an official title “Cyber-Hoarder”. I love that Andrea! Well, I do and I don’t LOL. I have actually become better at deleting files that no longer serve. I’ve found de-cluttering my hard drive frees up creative space for the projects that I do want to move forward with. Loved all your inspired questions! Thank you. <3

  • Debra Oakland

    Andrea, thank you for this post. My book is done and ready to publish. I have found so much valuable information over the last several weeks that I need to assimilate that I may change my book release date to the first part of 2016. The publishing and self-publishing industry is undergoing rapid change. My best advice is do your homework, trust the process and stay heart connected.

    • Andrea

      I’m always surprised at how difficult it is to decide when to stop. However you decide to address the new information, I’m looking forward to the result!

  • Terri Dean

    Thanks, Andrea. You have a real gift for distilling lots of “information” into useful packets that the rest of us can make use of. Cyber-hoarding seems to pay off.