How to find time to write a book
I’ll be talking about these in more detail in my upcoming Book Masterclass, and in the meantime, I’d like to mention the fourth one in this week’s blog post and give you some tips if you’re struggling in this area.
One thing that many of my clients struggle with is finding time to write their book.
The thing is writing a book can seem a big task and unless you break it down into manageable chunks, it can feel daunting.
That’s why when I work with my clients we work on a plan from the day they start to write it until their proposed publishing date, and set mini milestones that will help them to reach that final stage.
Instead of worrying about how they are going to fit in time to write 50,000 words, it’s easier to take one chapter or section at a time.
When you are realistic with how much time each bit takes, you can see how your book fits together and all the steps involved in going from idea to publication.
Everyone has their own preference when it comes to their writing habits, and this is another thing that I take into account. In our Author’s Journey event in Edinburgh on 30 June, I was asked about my own writing habits. And I like to write a book in chunks of time. I’d prefer to book out a weekend or a few days to solely focus on my book and get many thousands of words written.
When I wrote Book Marketing Made Simple, I started it in Spain in September 2015 whilst I was running the annual writing retreat, and fitted in a little time between supporting my clients. Being in that beautiful and inspiring space was the thing that I needed to get started. But I didn’t pick it up again until Easter 2016 and then did a big spurt that weekend and wrote about 15,000 words.
The downside to writing in this way is that for around 7 months I lost the momentum – although admittedly I was editing and publishing another book during that period. I then did a further spurt when I was running the 10,000 Word Summer Book Challenge in August 2016, which ensured that the book was finished and published in 20 months.
There is no right or wrong way to do it though. Some of my clients are like me – which is one of the reasons why we run our writing retreat to give them this time and space – and others prefer to get into the habit of writing for an hour or so each day.
Struggling to find time to write your book?
If you’re struggling to find time to write your book, what can you do?
Here are a few tips:
- Work out when you write at your best. Do you write better on a regular basis or do you prefer to write in bigger chunks of time? Are you a morning person or a night owl?
- Work out how you write at your best. Some people are like me and write at their best when they are sat at their computer and get into flow. Others prefer to write by hand or like to dictate their words and then transcribe or type it up later.
- Have a clear plan for writing your book in terms of both the structure and a plan to make it happen. A good structure will make your writing time effective, and when you have deadlines for a chapter or section, this will give you the focus to write in a timely manner.
- Then plan writing time in your diary and make sure that it happens. Of course there will be times when other things have to take priority, but make sure that you then reschedule this time. If you don’t really feel like writing when it’s ‘writing time’, I suggest that you set a timer for an hour, go for it, and see what happens. Worst case scenario, you’ll have an hour of notes and at best you’ll get into flow and write a good chunk of your book!
- Ideally write your book in a relatively short period of time – somewhere between 6 months and a year is ideal. If you leave it too long, it will feel more difficult to finish.
- Don’t underestimate how much time it will take to edit your book. Once you’ve done your first draft, give it to some friends and colleagues for their thoughts and comments. Once you have the final draft, it will be ready for professional editing then publishing.
- Get support and accountability. This is one of the reasons that my clients engage me as their book mentor. As well as providing book mentoring, publishing and marketing support, I do my best to keep them accountable to their commitments so that they make their book happen.
Join me on for the next Book Masterclass on Thursday 13 July
If there is something that you feel is getting in your way of writing or publishing, then I’d advise you to address it. If you’re procrastinating, what is stopping you from writing your book? It may be that you’re facing one of the challenges that I’ll be covering in the next Book Masterclass.
Here’s the link to join me on Thursday 13 July at 1pm BST and I’ll tell you more about the 7 challenges faced by many business authors and how to get over them.