“I want to write a book but I don’t have time.”
I get it. Trust me, I get it. Oh, how I get it!
However, I also know that a book will either be your priority or it will never be a book. If you never write that book, maybe that’s ok. Maybe you had more important things to do. Maybe your mother was dying. Maybe your kid was going through a bout of depression. Maybe you were flat broke and trying to find a new job after losing the last one. Things happen that are more important than writing a book.
Also, a lot of things happen that aren’t as important as writing a book. Last week alone, you spent four hours arguing with people on Twitter. You binged five episodes of The Terminal List. You spent three hours prepping and cooking a meal. None of these are bad things, but are they more important than your book?
I don’t want you to get to the end of your life and think, “I wish I would have written that book. I had something to share, something that could have helped someone. Maybe a lot of people. Now, it will die with me.”
A PRIORITY DEMANDS A PLAN
If it’s your priority, there will be a plan. If there’s no plan, it’s not your priority.
If you ever want to write your book, make a plan right now. You don’t have to plan to write it right now, but you have to make the plan right now.
As part of your plan, first plan when you will write it. I mean, are you going to start today, this week, this month, this year?
Next, plan when to work on your book. “When,” as in the morning, the evening, right after you exercise and shower, on weekends, or before lunch.
If you do this two things, you will succeed at becoming a published author. Let’s talk more about the second part, the daily practice of writing and when to fit it in. While the details of the daily practice are ultimately up to you, I recommend something like this:
- Wake up an hour early, Monday through Friday. These are your writing days. If you can’t do five days a week, do Mon-Wed. Your mind is fresher toward the beginning of the week.
- Dedicate that extra hour to working on your book—writing and working on other things related to your book—whether it’s research, contacting people to interview, cover design, editing, or this workbook.
- Do not let anything interrupt or get in the way of that hour.
At first, this practice will be hard to stick to, but making the effort now will mean more results and less stress after it has become a habit.
When you develop a habit, the brain starts working less and less. The brain can almost completely shut down…. And this is a real advantage because it means you have all of this mental activity you can devote to something else. – Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit
Even if you only do a tiny bit of writing each writing day, write something.
If you’re anything like me, you become a productivity machine and get tons of stuff done—when you’re trying to avoid doing something else. Writing might be the thing you try to avoid, so you’ll fill your time with other book-related tasks, anything but actually writing words that will go in your book.
In order to avoid this trap, commit to writing something, anything, every writing day. It can be the book description for the back of the book, the introduction, the chapter headings, a story you think you want in the book but you’re not sure where, but something.
Five hours per week, twenty hours per month…. It may not sound like much, but it adds up and you’ll be surprised at the results.
To help you get started, download the Published Author Nonfiction Book Template.
If you look at the template and say, “This is great, but I don’t even know what my book is about, yet!” or “This is overwhelming, I don’t even know where to start!” then leave it for later. The template becomes useful once you have at least a rough idea of what your book will be about, and if you’re not there yet, no worries, because we’re going to help you figure it out!
WEEKLY BOOK COACHING
Got book writing and publishing questions?
I’m a WSJ and USA Today bestselling author and I launched the Published Author Masterclass Community to help entrepreneurs like you become authors and leverage a book to grow your business.
If you’re ready to learn:
- What book you should write
- How to write and publish it in as little as 90 days
- And how to leverage your book to grow your business
What you’ll get:
- Your own copy of the Published Author Workbook
- Weekly live group coaching calls and Q&A
- Membership in our private online community of 300+ entrepreneur/authors