Lessons from a Book Coach
“To ignite creativity, you have to separate your brains and turn on the creative brain. And the creative brain when it writes doesn’t have any bounds—meaning no limits.
It doesn’t have any judgments of whether it’s good or bad. It just does the thing. And that’s what you need to do if you want to get your book done sooner rather than later.” —Azul Terronez
I had a university friend once who needed to borrow my computer. He sat down at it early in the morning, and by the time I got back home that evening, he had no more words in his document than he had when he started hours before. He had spent the entire day writing, editing, deleting, and rewriting, only to have zero progress by the end of the day.
On this week’s episode of “Authors Who Lead,” I share how you can avoid this kind of disappointment and frustration and actually sit down and write your book in thirty days.
Tip #1: Don’t Edit While Writing
In school, we were taught editing rather than writing. Our assignments were graded not on our imagination and uniqueness but instead on grammar, spelling, and how well we followed their rules. In his TEDx talk, Sir Ken Robinson speaks about how schools kill our creativity in this way. If we are to finish our book in thirty days, we need to keep the editor’s brain away. The editor’s brain will get its chance to be useful once we finish our first dirty draft.
Tip #2: Utilize Writing Sprints
Word sprints help us get our ideas down quickly without dragging out the process. Figure out how many words you can write in a minute, and then calculate how many hours it will take you to finish your manuscript goal. Then, whether you write seven days a week or three, you will know how many words you need to accomplish each week.
Tip #3: Find Your Message Before You Start
You should always know what your message is before you start your writing sprint. This is where knowing your “elevator speech” is important; learn how to describe your message in one or two sentences. Once it’s clear in your head, it will be easier to keep writing even on difficult days.
Tip #4: Have an Ideal Reader in Mind
You need to have a clear message, but you also need to have a clear picture of who you’re writing for. Your ideal reader should be someone you could sit down and have a conversation with about your message. They are someone with interests and needs that are directly related to your message. If you try to write your book for everyone and anyone, your book may feel impersonal and unrelatable and you’ll miss out on sharing your message where it will have the most impact.
Tip #5: Set a Weekly or Daily Word Count Goal, Rather Than a Time Goal
“Write every day” is a common recommendation for new authors. But in reality, life tends to get in the way of that goal. Maybe you’re writing your book while working full time and raising young children, so your only time to write may be some evenings and a few hours on the weekends. Or maybe you try to write every day, but something cancels your scheduled hour to write. In these cases, you might end up feeling guilty that you haven’t set aside “enough” time dedicated to your book, and writing may end up feeling like another chore. This is why it’s a good idea to set a weekly or daily word count goal, rather than a time goal.
In this podcast, I also share:
- Researching and revising are not writing. Only adding words to the page is writing.
- Think on the page, not in your head.
- Books are more than words; they are messages.
- How to niche down your ideal reader.
- How our Apprentice Program can help you stay motivated and accountable on your book writing journey.
I’m so grateful that you listened to this podcast. I appreciate anybody who leaves a review, it really helps inspire us to keep contributing and giving content here.
What was your biggest takeaway from this episode? Are you working on writing a book? In the comments, share your biggest challenge in writing your book.
That’s all for this week. If you have a message inside you that needs to be written, know that you can write and publish the book that’s been on your heart. Don’t delay—get out of your head, put words on the page today, and make a movement with your message!