What It Really Takes to Write a Book [+Free Documentary]

What It Really Takes to Write a Book [+Free Documentary]

Most people who want to write a book never do it. There’s the procrastination, not knowing where to begin, what to write about, being scared of the publishing world, etc. Once you find the guts to give it a go though, you realize that there’s so much discipline and organization required, that you already feel disappointed because there’s no chance you can complete this.

In my guide How to Write and Self-Publish Your First eBook in Less Than 30 Days, I talk about choosing a topic, preparing some things in advance, following some tips to be a better writer, editing and proofreading right, publishing and even promoting the final work. But I never discussed the hard part of this.

My books are all non-fiction and I believe we should all write on subjects we care about and which we’re interested in. If you yourself don’t have passion for what you’re writing about, there’s little chance you can grab the reader and get him to stay till the last page.

I write constantly, but long-form content isn’t really my thing. I do 15-25K long books with ease for my projects and for clients. But the real deal is in the big word count.

So, what does it really take to write an actual book and do this right from start to finish?

Earlier this week I posted about starting a business while working full-time. There I share with you a free audiobook of Overlap, which is Sean McCabe’s upcoming book.

He’s giving it away for free because he wants the message to spread and he wants to help as many people as possible get unstuck.

Now, what is the book about?

Overlap helps you go from overwhelmed and feeling stuck to getting clarity and creating financial freedom.

If you want to start a business (without quitting your job and hoping for the best), it’s for you.

It’s a practical, down to earth guide on making a living doing what you love while using the day job to support your bills. It’s a transition, not a leap!

By the way, the audiobook is still available. You can grab it here.

But now I wanna talk about the actual process of writing. I’m using Sean as an example, simply because he’s worked on this book for nearly four years. And had hundreds of in-person conversations with people who feel stuck in order to address the right issues. As he states most other books on this topic are covering the wrong problems, and thus can’t provide the right solutions.

How to Write a Book: Free Documentary

He just released a documentary on the writing process, and everything he went through to get this project completed. He shares it with all of us to see the struggles of the writer, the discipline is takes, and to help those wanting to write one finally take the decision to do it.

He’s talking practicalities, the real life stuff, and all that with the purpose of helping your potential readers.

Here are some highlights he shares on what it really takes to write a book:

1. Don’t have doubts in yourself that you can’t finish the book soon.

Doubts can kill productivity, and that’s science-backed. Once you let them in though, you fall into a mental trap there’s no escape from.

You can feel like your words aren’t worth sharing. That you don’t have what it takes to start this, not to mention finishing it. That no one will read it. It won’t sell. You wouldn’t know what to do once the content is ready, but not organized or edited. And so much more.

Or, you can eliminate all that and instead make a plan, be determined, and simply sit down every day and write. You can imagine how this book will be completed, will reach the right people and will help them somehow. If you do believe it, you’ll get the work done and that will become a possibility.

Sean wrote 3 books in one month, actually. And, of course, there was some questioning in the beginning. But he pushed through the doubts and made it.

He says that writing a book in a month isn’t rushing it, it’s getting it done.

2. Make a plan, work with numbers.

Preparation is key in writing. Although from there on it’s the productivity and creative flow that make it all come to reality.

So, Sean had 30 days, 10 days for each of the 3 books he set out to write. He calculated that would be around 8000 words per day. Which makes up for roughly 80,000 words per book.

Sit down and write some numbers if you never thought about it. Do that before you begin writing.

3. The hardest thing is getting started.

You might overthink, wait and prepare for months. But nothing will ever happen until you sit down and start making an outline.

4. Lifestyle changes.

Then comes the time to make sacrifices. If you want to write a real, long enough and practical book that might become the next bestseller and reach many people, you need to change how you live for a while.

That means going to bed early and waking up before dawn to use the solitude and focus that can only be found in the early morning.

Sean McCabe was also running, but doing it for the discipline.

Find what gives you energy, keeps you fresh and focused. And eliminate some bad habits for some time.

That’s just a small part of all it takes to write a good book. But if there’s a writer within you waiting to be unleashed, you’ll never be happy unless you give this a try and complete a book.

Check out the documentary to learn more stuff like that from someone who went through it all, survived, stayed mentally strong, and will soon share his creations with the world.

Also, grab the free audiobook of Overlap to learn all about starting a business, finding and monetizing your passion, and changing the rest of your life as a result.

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How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money - Interview with R.J. Weiss from TheWaystoWealth.com

This is an interview-style post with R.J. Weiss from The Ways to Wealth.

Hey R.J. What’s your background and what do you do?

I blog about all things personal finance at The Ways to Wealth.

Before I went full-time into blogging, I spent ten years in the financial services industry. Specifically, helping families buy the right type of life insurance.

During my time with a full-time job, I’ve always had different side hustles going on. From freelance writing, Amazon FBA, conversion rate optimization, to website design — there were many projects I pursued outside of work.

How did you start your career in finance?

I got started in finance straight out of college working for my the family insurance business. As I love the financial planning side of things, I choose to specialize in life insurance planning. This led me down the path to obtaining the CFP® Certification.

What made you start blogging?

The Ways to Wealth, which I started in 2016, has been my 5th blog.

The others mostly fizzled out most due to a lack of interest. But, in 2009 I started a personal finance blog called GenYWealth.com (no longer around) that had some success.

The idea GenYwealth.com was to write about what I was learning about studying to take the CFP®. The blog was, by all means, a success. I was able to gain valuable knowledge, pass the CFP® exam, earn some extra money and build up a good community.

I then took this knowledge and started a business blog, which allowed the insurance agency I was working for to generate leads.

I started The Ways to Wealth because my passion is personal finance–from investing to travel hacking, I love the challenge of optimizing my finances.

How was The Ways to Wealth born?

I didn’t have much of a plan for starting The Ways to Wealth when I purchased the domain name.

I was actually thinking it would be a niche site, which was inspired by Pat Flynn’s niche site duel. Then, I came across the income reports of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and wisely changed direction to a more traditional blog.

This change came about 6-months after starting to blog.  I did a timeline of the site in one of my income reports.

What worked best when trying to grow the site?

I had a decent knowledge of SEO. So at first, I started growing the site with email outreach. One of the first posts I had about best investing books of all time, had about 15 links to it.

This was nice to start with but was quite slow to build up, as it can take a while to earn Google’s trust.

The big turning point came when I started to understand Pinterest. I spent a few frustrating weeks on the platform, then it finally started paying dividends.

I went from about 100 sessions a day to 1,000, which was huge for me at the time.

How did you get to 3 million monthly viewers on Pinterest?

the ways to wealth pinterest 3 million monthly views

I lay out my Pinterest strategy here. But at the core the idea is to:

1) Write high-quality content that Pinners want to click through, read, and share.

2) Pin to my own and high-quality group boards, with a keyword-rich description.

3) Continue to Pin my best pins across my own boards/group boards, ruthlessly eliminating Pins that don’t perform well.

One thing to keep in mind is impressions don’t mean much on Pinterest. What counts are clicks to your website. So, you want to design not for impressions but clicks.

What aspects of the online business are you outsourcing or automating and how?

The first thing I outsourced was Pinterest design. I’ll design about 30-40 pins a month, so this was big time saver for me.

Of course, it took some work to get going. At first, I hired 5 or so people on Fiverr. I found one decent designer but the work quality deteriorated over time.

I then went to Upwork and posted a job for a  graphic designer. I found a great team down in Argentina, who I’m very happy with.

I’m currently experimenting with working with a ghostwriter. A few of my latest posts have been transcribed from my recording, with the ghostwriter making sense of it all.

I can compile about 3 posts in 90 minutes, then take another 90 or so minutes to prepare them. Saving me around 3-4 hours per post this way.

What’s your main income stream and why do you think it works for you?

My main source of income for the blog is affiliate revenue. It works because the partners I do have are high-quality businesses, who deliver value and solve real problems. This makes it easy to naturally link to such a partner.

When did you start making more than $10K/month and what was the turning point?

My first month over $10K was in January of 2018. In December of 2017, income was around $3,000 and in July of 2017 around $500. So, it was definitely a jump.

What happened then in January?

First, personal finance is at its peak interest in January.

Second, I had multiple Pins go viral.

Third, in November I started driving traffic via Facebook to the site. So, in January I could take campaigns I’d been fine-tuning for a few weeks and scale them.

How do you balance work and family life?

I have a routine I stick to Monday through Friday.

When inside of my designated working hours, I work. When outside of these hours, I’m not.

This is a lot easier said than done. But the thing important for me is not to take work everywhere I go. This means I don’t have any apps on my phone that are work-related (email, analytics, etc..)

What are you 3 best finance tips for newbies?

  • Focus on your savings rate. How much you save is the most important decision you’ll make.
  • Small incremental improvements add up over time. My favorite example is increasing your savings rate 1% every quarter, means you’ll be saving 20% of your income in just 5 years.
  • Study happiness. Become a student on how to increase your level of happiness. The natural result is you’ll want less overtime, making the game of personal finance a lot easier to win.

What books, blogs or podcasts help you stay motivated along the way of growing an online business?

I read a fair amount to keep fresh ideas in my head.

My favorite podcast is The Tim Ferriss Show.

Two blogs I enjoy reading are:

Farnam Street
Barking up the Wrong Tree

And as far as books. I try to read one a week. A few books I would recommend to online entrepreneurs would be:

Deep Work by Cal Newport
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Pin this post if you enjoyed the interview.

Check out my interview with R.J. from TheWaystoWealth to see how he entered the finance niche, started making money blogging, began bringing traffic from Pinterest and monetizing it with affiliate marketing, and is now making $10,000/month from his online business. #blogger #interview #blogtraffic #incomeideas #income