A book lies in the heart of every person out there. The difference between the books that get written and those that remain in the heart is simple – to get the book out you have to write.
I was sharing this idea recently with a group of business women. We were talking about the challenges that hinder the challenge to get the words written. In other words, we were all sharing the excuses that we allow to stand in our way of getting it done.
I wrote a million words last year, and yet I still find myself caught up in excuses instead of getting the words down. If I want to write, then I have to write. It really is that simple.
5 Simple Book Writing Tips
1. Make a plan – know the reason behind the word release. Think of the writing plan as something similar (and yet quite the same) as a business plan. It should include a vision (for where you want to do), a mission (for why you want to do it), and a budget (not just of your finances but of your time as well). Having a definitive reason for the words will help produce a focus for your word creation.
2. Make a space – a clean and clear place where the words can roam free. Words need space to flow. A clean space and a clean schedule frees the mind and that act of freeing makes a way for the words. I have a designated office space that I regularly organized and clear. I also have a “go office” that allows me to easily pack up and go when it’s called for – and as a home school mom it is often called for. I also have a designated schedule – with writing time blocked out in the mornings and in the evenings (and rewrite/edit time squeezed in throughout the day). I have the space – literally and mentally – that provides me with the freedom to write.
3. Set priorities – make writing important if you want writing to be important. I have a friend, Katherine Grubb, who wanted to write her novel. She had five children and she was home schooling and she could have said “when I have time then I will write.” But she knew that she would not likely have that real time until after she had graduated her kids – which was a long way away. So she made writing a priority, for just 10 minutes every day, and with those few minutes of prioritized focus she got her novel written.
I have to make writing a priority if it is ever going to get done. In my life, mornings work best. There was a time when “nap time” was the best time to write (but it seems these days that more and more “nap time” is more for me than for the kids). You have to find the right time to schedule your writing time and then you have to make it work.
Combine activities – like doing the laundry and writing (in the laundry room where you can’t hear anyone over the washer and dryer).
Segment activities – clean a little, then write a little, then clean a little, then write a little. Digital timers work GREAT for segmenting time.
Double down on the activities – when you make breakfast, go ahead and prep lunch and dinner at the same time (and put them in a crockpot or in the preset oven if possible). You will only have one clean up AND you will have the normal prep time to do some writing.
There are ways to make writing a priority and to find the time to make it a priority – sometimes you just have to get a little creative.
4. Utilize the little times – little bits added together can make a big difference. The first time that I did National Novel Writing Month (which happens every November) I discovered that if I wrote for just a few minutes every night (challenged by my online friends doing word sprints and word wars) then by the end of the day I would have more than my necessary word count.
Just like Katherine was able to write her novel in 10 minutes, I was able to get my words done in 15, 20, and 30 minute bouts of time. I find bits of time waiting to pick up the kids after an activity, waiting between classes at church, and sometimes waiting in the car while someone runs in for an errand. I have started relishing these moments of wait because I have turned them into nuggets of writing gold.
5. Keep going. The only way to write your book is to write your book. Write words until you have all the words out on paper. Write words until you have told your story. Write words until you have no more words to write. Don’t worry about perfecting the craft of the words – writing is the art of painting the story with words. The crafting comes after the art if complete. Finish the story so that it will be done, but more importantly finish the story because it deserves to be told.
Writing a book requires writing. It is that simple and that challenging at the same time. Taking advantage of parts of these tips or putting to practice all of these simple ideas will help you to get your book completed.