The #1 reason most books never get written? Because it can be so darn hard to make the time to write! Even if you are a driven, ambitious, determined person (I am) you probably work best with a deadline (I do), and the problem with deciding you are going to write a book is that there is rarely anyone else setting a proper deadline for you. Without a deadline, even the best of us discover the habit of procrastination.
[If you’d like to take a moment to
procrastinate learn more about procrastination, check out Tim Urban’s Ted Talk. It’s fab!]
But let’s assume that you actually want to beat the instant gratification monkey (you did watch the Ted Talk, right?) and write your book. How can you make the time to get it done?
To put it simply, you have to find the strategy that works for you. I’m going to tell you what I did, but that doesn’t mean it is the right strategy for you. Sorry, you’ll have to do your own homework 😉
So, how did I make the time to write a book?
While I know that some people have the discipline to write for thirty minutes every morning, or spend Thursday afternoons typing out a chapter, I do not. I can barely get myself to exercise regularly. I suffer from both snooze-button-syndrome and shiny-object-syndrome. Getting out of bed is a struggle, and once I do get up, if I were to try to write either at home or in my office I’d be gripped by a sudden need to clean my office/look at Facebook/call my long-lost-Aunt. For me, to focus, I must get away.
The problem is that I can’t just escape to a hotel. Cheap hotels are scary. Nice hotels are expensive. And all hotels are beige.
Luckily, we live in the era of AirBNB, VRBO, and a sharing society. I knew it would take some money on my part, but I also counted that as a business expense and an investment in my long term plan of making money as a public speaker, which could only happen if I published the book in the first place. So I looked around, and got to stay in lovely local places like this bohemian hideaway, this waterside gem, and this treehouse!
By getting away I was able to write my entire book, all 75,000 words, in eight days! Not all at once—I took four 2-night escapes over the period of a year because, well, I did have a life to live and a company to run and, frankly, my brain was always mush after two days of dedicated writing. But by spending money on a getaway (I hate wasting money) and by removing myself from my distractions (I turned off my wifi and phone while away) I got it done!
Happy may start at home, but in my case, I need to write in a home-away-from-home. As I said, you’ll have to find your own method. Maybe you are the kind of person who can carve out 30 minutes a day, or devote Thursday afternoons to your novel. I needed a room of my own, and it needed to be away from my real life. The result was a published book. I wish you the same!
(Stay tuned… next post will be about how I found my publisher, Booktrope)