When it comes to writing a book, the biggest problem many business owners cite is figuring out how they can actually write and publish a book while operating a business at the same time. (Because I have a ridiculous number of book projects on my plate, I think about this topic a lot too.)
Let's face it, life is complicated. We have family, work, and other obligations all competing for our time. Squeezing writing time into an already busy schedule can be challenging. But it's not impossible. Here are a few tips to help make your book a reality.
1. Think about your writing style. When does your brain work best? I've met people who do their most creative and wonderful work in the middle of the night. A newsletter editor I worked with for years, for example, wrote almost all of his articles at 3 in the morning. On the other hand, if I try and write anything after about 7 pm, the results are marginal. My prime creative time is usually before noon. Once you have determined your most productive times, see if you can rearrange your schedule to accommodate your writing. For example, to get my book projects done, I'm reexamining my schedule to make sure I don't schedule any teleconferences or client calls for the morning several days/week, so I can open up more large blocks of writing time.
2. Make time for research and organization. Most non-fiction books require a fair amount of research. Some people seem to feel like they aren't being productive if they aren't writing their "official" manuscript. Good books are also well-researched books. Sometimes research may simply involve surfing the Internet. Trips to the library or interviews may also be required to get the information you need. I love going to the library, so it may not seem like "work" to me, but it is. At some point, you also have to compile your notes and information and put it in some type of order. Again, the process may seem like busywork, but it's an integral part of the project, so don't discount it. If you really detest the research and organization aspect, you also can enlist help. I have had virtual assistants help me with Internet research because I have a terrible habit of getting distracted if I spend too much time researching online. My curious nature and love of reading tends to get in the way of getting things done.
3. Just do it. Okay, this suggestion may sound harsh, but once you have cleared your schedule and made time to create your book, the rubber has to hit the road. To get a book done, sometimes you have to write when you really don't feel like it. Some people suggest keeping a journal to jump-start your writing. That idea never worked for me, but I have found that when I really don't feel like writing, the quickest way to get something done is to start typing ideas. If you don't touch type, then writing on paper, using a mini-tape recorder, or a speech recognition program are other great ways to get going.
4. Don't be deterred from the task. During your writing time, make a commitment to actually writing (or researching) your book. That means you don't answer the phone, check your email, call your friends, talk to your kids, balance your checkbook, visit the kitchen, feed the dog, or goof off online.
Most of these tips involve a little introspection. Think about how you write and when you write. Then do more of it. Some people can write in 10-minute bursts; others need huge blocks of time. Know thy writing habits and embrace your creativity. No one ever said writing a book is easy. However, once you make a real commitment to completing your book project, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find that, before you know it, your book becomes a reality.
Want to Jump-Start Your Writing?
Like I said, if I'm having trouble writing, I just start typing ideas. In my case, I often type those ideas into our IdeaWeaver writing and creativity program. Unlike a word processor, you can type in ideas as you think of them in any order and worry about the structure later. It sounds simple, but this freedom can give you a powerful creative boost. Here at Logical Expressions, we use IdeaWeaver to write and compile all our books and for many of our other writing projects as well. After you have your ideas the way you want, you export the project for final editing and layout in your word processor or desktop publishing program. Read more and download a 30-day trial copy at IdeaWeaverSoftware.com