What does it take to write a book?
Over 80% of the adult population say they want to write a book. But less than 0.5% ever achieve their goal. Where do you fit into those statistics? Are you part of the 80%? Or are you part of the 0.5%?
The problem with the 80% is they think writing a book is about writing. They are not wrong. A big part of the job is writing.
Steven Pressfield in the opening pages of The War of Art identified the number one difficulty about writing. He says, “It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write”.
As I thought about Steven’s observation I asked myself, "What keeps me from sitting down to write?"
I have not always been successful. I have had enough ideas for topics to write so many books they would fill a bookcase!
But my successes include Gilligan Meets Google and a 250-page doctoral dissertation.
Cramped? Here I am writing in our motorhome.
There are at least three critical steps I had to take to get past the hard part and actually sit down and write.
Scheduling a time to write gives your writing urgency.
We all have to-do lists. And maybe you manage your to-do list better than I do.
But for me, it seems the list is as big at the end of the day as it was at the beginning. I find that I gave some time to this task, then I gave some time to that task but I never got a single task finished.
However, if I move a to-do list task over to my calendar I have a certain amount of time that I am going to dedicate to that task. Now for me moving tasks forward on a to-do list isn’t that hard. But moving them forward on my calendar is difficult.
Why? Because my calendar tracks the most precious resource I have –– my time –– the minutes of my life.
When that to-do comes over to my calendar I have made a commitment to give it a part of my life. I am not willing to give that task all my life, just part of it.
So now I have created a deadline for myself. I don’t know about you but deadlines are one of my top motivators.
Writers know that if they are going to be successful they have to set aside time to write. That time goes on their calendar. And, short of a family emergency, it is non-negotiable.
During my life there have had a variety of places where I have written these have included:
Writers are creative types. Sometimes we must get creative before we can begin creating our book.
I am not talking about your schedule, that was in Step 1. I am talking about the dreaded book plan –– an outline of the chapters and major sections within each chapter.
I hear your argument. I agree. But I may change your mind?
The outline I start out with is very rarely the one I end up with. But having an outline keeps me from facing the dreaded blank screen syndrome. If during my writing it becomes apparent the outline is not working –– I stop –– reorganize the outline –– then begin writing.
Another advantage of an outline is that you don’t have to write your book from beginning to end. When you have a great idea for a section, the outline allows you to skip to that section and write content that will be within the context of your book.
Do you want to be part the 0.5% of the population that becomes a published author? Set aside the time. Find a place. Develop a plan. And start writing.
Here is an offer I have for you. You can schedule a 30 minute, one-on-one Author Strategy Session. with us.
We promise that we will not try to sell you anything during our session together. But if you are interested in my Publish Your Message program, you can schedule a time to talk with Elaine and she will give you all the details.
It’s time to write your book! Quit procrastinating! Take the first step and schedule your Author Strategy Session! Take the first step and schedule a call.