How To Write A Cookbook Revisited

How To Write A Cookbook Revisited

If you have been following me here on this blog for any time, you may know I can pretty easily rattle off the action steps to write a cookbook.

  • Identify your goals for publication
  • Define your cookbook concept
  • Evaluate routes to publication
  • Build your author platform
  • Check you commitment
  • Study your competition
  • Write a cookbook proposal
  • Shop for an agent or editor
  • Sign a contract OR
  • Decide to self-publish
  • Write your cookbook manuscript
  • Publish your book
  • Market your new book
  • If you want to read all about this action on my blog, click here.

Sounds simple right.

Actually, it is pretty cut and dry.

It’s easy to talk about action. Just do this. Then do that. Follow the steps. Write and publish your cookbook.

Then our brains seize up. Our brain wants to protect us and it sees change as scary.

We feel:

  • Scared of putting ourselves “out there. People won’t like me or my ideas.
  • Uncomfortable when we sit down to work. I don’t like putting my ideas on paper.
  • Uncertain of our ability. I’ve never done this before.
  • Overwhelmed. I have so much to do.
  • Confused. What concept should I write about? I have so many ideas.
  • Self-doubt. I’m not a “real” writer am I?.

Here’s the best news I have for you today: You can’t write a cookbook from there with a brain trying to control the show. If you feel this way, follow my Revised Steps To Write A Cookbook.

Step 1:
Expect to feel scared, uncomfortable, and uncertain.

Yes, you heard me right: expect these negative emotions.

Be aware then when they show up, you have a choice to either curl up in a ball and hit the snooze button, or to get up, get out, and take action on your dreams. These negative emotions I like to call “dream currency” emotions. They are the price we pay to grow and evolve into the person we want to be. Writing a book is new and evolves us as people. We grow into our work as writers and authors action by action.

Every time (and I mean every time) I start a new project my brain does this. It tells me that what I have in mind isn’t a good idea.

The secret is not to let your brain win. Don’t let fear, discomfort, or uncertainty stand between you and what you want to do. Instead, say to your brain, “I’m on to you and you’re not getting in the way of my dreams. Let’s get to work.” Then, as if by magic, the fear, discomfort, and lack of confidence start to lessen just a bit as we take action. We make progress. Then, the negative emotions lessen more and our brains quiet down. The best thing is that we know that we have our own back. We show up for ourselves no matter how scared, uncomfortable, or how uncertain we feel. That’s huge.

Step 2:
Stop thinking (and talking) about the overwhelm, confusion, or doubt. 

Trust me here. Dwelling on these negative emotions is indulgent. These are self-created dream killers.

Any new project can feel this way. There is a lot to do. But, when we think about (and talk about to anyone who will listen) how confused, overwhelmed, and unsure we are, our brain looks for evidence to prove this is true. Suddenly, everywhere we see reasons that we’re in fact overwhelmed, confused, or need to doubt ourselves. Then, life starts to get in the way. We don’t take action. Our projects stall. Our books don’t get written. Our dreams die.

The secret here is to not think or talk about the indulgent dream excuses. Instead, direct your brain. Think and talk about something else. Go have some fun and get your mind off of these dream excuses. Plan deliberate results-oriented action. Choose deliberate thoughts to think and practice:  

  • I can do this, in fact, it’s already done.
  • I have the time and ability to finish my project.
  • I am learning how to do this.
  • It is fun to learn how to do this.
  • Nothing is stopping me from going after this goal
  • I plan to show up for myself and work on my project.
  • What I have to offer is needed and wanted in the world.
  • It is my responsibility and honor to help others and offer value through my work.
  • I will get there. I am on my way.

Expecting fear, discomfort, and uncertainty is smart. Directing our brains with conversation and thoughts that direct our brain to a place that serves us is even smarter.

Rinse and repeat as needed.

Step 3:
Identify your goals for publication, etc. Plan your action. Put results-oriented tasks on your calendar. And, if you need help, don’t miss this series of blog posts where I outline the action steps. Worksheets included!

Cookbook author, editor, and Culinary Dietitian Maggie Green, RDN, LD coaches first-time cookbook authors during the pre-publication phase of writing a cookbook. 

Would you like to write a cookbook, but feel alone in the pre-publication phase of writing?

Are you stuck thinking about your cookbook idea or has you project fizzled?

Do you feel overwhelmed with publishing options and the recipes, photography, and publishing process?

I’ve been there. I know first-hand that there’s not a lot of support for first-time cookbook authors who don’t have an agent or a publisher yet.  That’s why I started my work as a cookbook writing coach.

Here are a few resources for you as you venture into the world of cookbook writing: 

An 11-point checklist that helps you answer the question, “Am I Ready to Write a Cookbook?”

Cookbook Writing Workbook

What Is A Cookbook Coach? 

10 Reasons to Hire A Cookbook Coach

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *