Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed physiotherapist and author Danny Greeves about his new book, Six Steps To Self Confidence. He talks about his career, his motivation, and how he aims to help people.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I’ve always had an interest in the human body and the nervous system; I qualified as a physiotherapist in 2009 and have worked in a range of different areas, but I loved learning about how the brain works. Although my career was going well I’d long struggled with low self-confidence, particularly around body image and negative self-talk. My personal life and career both became centre stage in 2015 when I broke down in front of a class of 20 or so students when talking through some of the challenges I’d faced. After this I made a firm decision to get some help and get my issues sorted.
What happened next was an incredible few years of transforming my confidence and self-image and finding a love of helping others express themselves and feel confident. Over the last 6 years my mission has been to give people the tools that consistently and predictably boost self-confidence.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
I have read a lot of books over the last 5 years in particular, and I often imagined seeing my own book up on the shelves and being published amongst some of the inspiring teachers that have helped me. But I didn’t really believe I could actually write one. It was a nice dream to have but not one I thought I would act on. Then at the beginning of 2020 I was on another course and the instructor shared a phrase with us – ‘It’s not the book you read that will change your life, but the one you write’. At that moment something shifted and I decided I really wanted to write my first book.
When did you take a step to start writing?
I was certain that I would only write about something that I was inspired to share and that would give people value. I started some brainstorming about different topics and ideas I would like to write about. After a week or so of refining ideas and coming up with a concept for a book, I finally settled on the topic and the structure. As soon as I had these two pieces, I started devouring audiobooks, books, YouTube channels and websites to find out more about how to structure it. There is so much helpful content out there that I was ready to start. I began writing at the beginning of the first lockdown in February 2020.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
I set myself the ambitious goal of having a complete draft in 30 days, which was approximately 50,000 words. This involved working on it every morning and some evenings, and I worked on it every Saturday too. After coming up with the concept and starting writing a couple of weeks later, it was late February 2020. I published the completed book on July 21st. The whole process took 4 months from origin to publication.
Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write Six Steps To Self Confidence?
After giving it some serious consideration I saw an image of what the book would look like in my mind. As soon as I had that image clear I wanted to write the book as soon as I could. I wanted to write Six Steps to Self-confidence for two main reasons.
Firstly, it was an opportunity to reflect and distil all that I had learnt over the previous decade and to challenge myself to write it in a concise and practical way. I really wanted the book to be heavily practical so it could be used time and time again.
Secondly, so many people struggle with low confidence, and it often rumbles on for years and years. Eventually people give up trying to improve it. After my research and my own experience, having found a method that could consistently and predictably help increase confidence, I wanted to share it with as many people as possible and a book is the best vehicle to do this.
What were your biggest challenges with writing Six Steps To Self Confidence?
The main challenge for me was after the draft was completed. I didn’t realise how much work there was to do after the draft had been written. I knew editing would take time, but carefully proofreading a whole book over and over again is time consuming and quite a challenge. If I would have been aware of this in advance, I would have been better prepared for the time and energy it would take. After putting so much energy into getting it to the draft stage, I became obsessed with the editing to make sure there weren’t any errors – large or small.
I would also say the launch was more challenging than I expected. Organising the advanced review team, getting some stock ready to deliver, and sharing the book release with as many people as possible was a challenge. It was really fun once it all came together, but it was a big learning experience.
What was your research process for Six Steps To Self Confidence?
The research was extensive. I had personal experience that the steps being promoted were effective, and part of the reason I was aware of them was because of the research and study I had conducted over the previous years. But I wanted to make sure all the research was as robust and current as possible. After distilling the key points of the book into six steps.
I began conducting research across multiple journal sites to find the highest quality studies I could find. The research actually continued right up until the end as I would periodically check-in to see what had been published. At times it was enjoyable as I would learn new pieces of information, and then at others it was time consuming and frustrating.
How did you plan the structure of Six Steps To Self Confidence?
I knew very early that the bulk of the content would be focused on each of the six steps, so that element was easy to plan. The challenge for me was in what way do I set the context and provide enough background information to make the book engaging and interesting.
I decided the most authentic way for me to explain how important the six steps were to me was to start with my own personal story, and I think that sets the scene nicely! For the conclusion of the book, I wanted to give the reader a personalised blueprint of how they can take these ideas forward and implement them into their lives. In terms of the structure, I set my intention towards setting the context, providing the content, and then providing an action plan.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did Six Steps To Self Confidence need?
The editing was the most energy consuming component of the book, which I did not anticipate! I received support from two professional proofreaders and editors. They were invaluable in terms of helping the book be as concise as possible. It helped that both the editors were very similar in profile to my target audience. The benefits of this were that they provided some commentary on certain ideas and helped to emphasise the most meaningful points. The editing was intense in effort but relatively brief in time, and within 4 weeks of the initial draft all the editing was complete. I’m very grateful to both of them.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?
The first piece of advice would definitely relate to the early stages of the process, getting a plan together. After I put some time in to create a strong and detailed plan, I was certain I would be able to write it and I was inspired to complete the whole project. Looking at my plan, there was no way I would give up until it was written, and that is the power of a good plan. The chunking process is really helpful for this.
Begin by getting your key ideas down, and then break each of those into more detailed subsections, and then do the same process again for each of the subsections. By this point, you will have such a detailed idea of the content and the structure, your mind starts bubbling with inspiration to get writing – and there’ll be no stopping you.
As a bonus piece of advice, I would definitely recommend setting out some treats and rewards for reaching certain stages/milestones of the book project. This way the whole process becomes more enjoyable and you can celebrate the little wins along the way. Writing a book is definitely a mixture of both pain and pleasure.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
I will certainly be writing more books. I have two in mind at the moment I’m sure that may evolve over time. I have discovered that there are some real, tangible steps anyone can take to strategically and methodically increase confidence. At the moment they are secretly tucked away in my training programmes, but I think they would make a very inspiring follow up book.
And, finally, are you proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
The launch day was very special. Not only did it feel like a great achievement, it was also a demonstration of huge support from all my family, friends, clients and colleagues. All of them pitched in to help share the word, and even though the advanced review team got complimentary copies, they supported me with buying a copy on launch day. Overall it was one of the best decisions I’ve made, and after publishing it has opened many more doors for me personally and professionally. If you are inspired to write a book, I can wholeheartedly encourage you to do it.
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