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.