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From Zero to Book: How to Take a Dream and Make It a Reality

Did you ever have a big dream? A dream that was so big, it kind of intimidated you?

A dream that was audacious enough that it made you nervous?

That’s how I felt last fall.

I have wanted to write a book since 2009. As a matter of fact, Big Brand System was going to be a book, not a website.

But around the time I had the original idea to write a book, I found Copyblogger, discovered how to build an online business, and the Big Brand System book became the Big Brand System website, courses, products, coaching, and more.

The book idea was moved to a back shelf in my mind. But it never really went away.

The best big dreams have that effect on us, don’t they? They “haunt” us … in a good way.

Here’s what you can learn from my process of turning this big dream into a reality.

Break it down, build it up

I’ve realized that once you have an end goal in mind, success is all about the breakdown.

Our business goals are often so big and will take so long to bring to fruition, that we can feel overwhelmed just thinking about meeting them. But when you break down your goal into manageable chunks and focus on one chunk at a time, it becomes doable.


In order to get my book into print by this month, I knew it would need to be written by mid-May. After writing a book, it goes to an editor, gets revised, goes to a proofreader, gets revised, then gets formatted for ebooks (epub and mobi) and print.

Writing the book is only step one!

And my book includes illustrations (like this owl, by D.J. Billings) which had to be produced as well.

Weekly goals, monthly results

When you take your big, audacious goal and break it into manageable parts that can be tackled each week, you can get big results without feeling like you’re over stressed and overworked.

Here’s an example from real life:


My husband and I took our bikes out this past weekend to enjoy the beautiful fall weather. We enjoyed an 8-mile ride through parks and woods here in Nashville. And there were hills … quite a few hills.

As much as I love riding my bike, I hadn’t done much of it this past summer. So I was feeling a little rusty as I coasted up the first few feet of the hills we had to climb.

But I found a trick that helped.

To take my mind off the overwhelming feeling I got when I looked up the hill and saw how far away the top was, I began focusing on things that were on the ground just 10-15 feet in front of me.

And I told myself, “All I have to do is get to that leaf.” Or, “All I need to do is keep pedaling until I reach that twig.”

Once I made it to the leaf or twig, my eyes would scan ahead to find another leaf or twig to aim for, another 10-15 feet up ahead.

By doing this, I scaled all the hills we came across.

Pick a point just up ahead

When you have a big, audacious goal, break it down into small chunks that you can handle.

It’s the best way to avoid overwhelm and work your way— step-by-step or leaf-by-leaf — to where you want to be.

mcm-cover-no-floor-shadow-700pxOrder my new book today

Master Content Marketing is now available.

It’s designed to help anyone who wants to market their business using helpful online information to reach an audience.

It’s specifically written for people who don’t feel 100% sure about their writing abilities. That’s where I was just six short years ago!

Master Content Marketing will help you build your skills so you feel more confident about the online content you create.

Order now to watch the free webinar

Everyone who orders Master Content Marketing and registers for the free bonus materials (details in the book) will get access to my free webinar, Scary Good Content Marketing Tips Direct from Master Content Marketing.

Get Master Content Marketing
I hope you love the book I wrote for you! I enjoyed the process so much, I’m already working on more books. Stay tuned!

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson is an online educator, author, keynote speaker, and the founder of BIG Brand System. Read reviews of the tools used to run this site and business.

Pamela Wilson

I want to help you take the next step. Pick your free workshop topic and let’s do this!

16 thoughts on “From Zero to Book: How to Take a Dream and Make It a Reality”

  1. Congratulations, Pamela. I’m experiencing first hand the value of breaking my goal of creating an on-line course into weekly and daily action items.

    My years as a construction manager has taught me the value of developing a realistic plan. Working on tasks that don’t contribute to your goal just wastes time and causes frustration when you don’t make any progress.

    I look forward to reading your book. Your content has always been helpful to me. So I can imagine the nuggets of wisdom you have included in Master Content Marketing.

    Best of luck.

  2. Hello Pamela

    Congratulations on your new book. And it is a great dream from Zero to Book.

    I also have a dream of writing a book. But due to some scale of preferences, i had to put it at the back same way you did. With your story from Zero to Book, am inspired to get started.

    Also, your book (e-version) it is awesome. So easy and simple to read and apply.

    Once again, congratulations and thanks for the book.

    • Thanks so much! I appreciate your careful reading and feedback while I wrote Master Content Marketing.

    • Prerna, thank you! Please let me know what you think when you start reading. I would absolutely LOVE for you to share a photo of you with it once you have it in your hands … that would make my day!

  3. Congratulations on your book! I agree that the writing process can definitely become addictive. When you break it down into chunks and tackle one at a time, it is very satisfying to see the whole book gradually emerge. I find writing a book to be a bit like completing a jigsaw and quite meditative once you get into the flow of it. I look forward to seeing your book in print!

    • Ooooh, meditative. What a great word! I must confess that there were times it was anything but meditative. There were days when it was a hard slog uphill and I had to force myself to do the work.

      But there were definitely meditative moments. And there were enough of them that I’m already working on Book 2. 🙂

  4. I thought I would let you know that you have just earned yourself another fan in LA who is looking forward to reading your books. I believe that the only way to commit to your dream is by taking action towards your dream every day.

    • That’s so great to hear, David. Thank you.

      If you can spare a few minutes, please leave a review wherever you bought it: that would be so helpful!

  5. Thank you for writing this book, Pamela, I’ve read it twice, and it comes at a perfect time as I plan a project I’m working on. Love the format, how everything is broken down into easily digestible chunks of information, and I’m a sucker for checklists! Very well done, I’ll be back for more.

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