How to Find Time to Write Your Book


TimeIt’s a popular activity—writing a book when you’re a business owner or entrepreneur. What the title of author provides you is an extraordinary opportunity to show your credibility and authority on the topic you want to be known for.

It’s right there in your book—your philosophy, knowledge, experience, and guiding words. Your book becomes another demonstration of your branding and a book helps you further develop your platform.

But for those of you not yet standing in the category of author, how do you get a book written? How do you find the time?

With regard to getting your book written, you have a few options:

  1. Hire a ghostwriter who interviews you, takes a transcript of the interview, and crafts it into chapters of your book.
  2. Write the book yourself, which means you either write documents about your topic, or you speak into a recorder of some sort and speak the content, which you later have transcribed into a file, or the recording device may create a digital file as part of its function. Edit the transcript, and you have chapters of your book.

Those are options for writing a book. Let’s say you don’t want to spend the money it takes to hire a ghostwriter. That, of course, leaves you with option 2: write the book yourself.

And this is where complaints about time, and the lack thereof, typically pop up.

So, let’s talk about the time monster and how to tame it. You may be surprised at how easily that’s done.

You have the same number of hours in a 24-hour day available to you as your colleagues, friends, and neighbors have. That would be 1,440 minutes, and yet we are often hesitant to add another task to our to-do list because we are already stretched with our current responsibilities, activities, and needed downtime where we do little to nothing in order to recover from all of those responsibilities and activities that are on our to-do lists.

How then do busy people write books? Are they uber-smart? Are they secretly getting them written by a ghostwriter? Do they live on only three hours of sleep per night in order to fit in their day all that they do?

Yes and no to each of these questions. Certainly super smart people write books, but guess what? They aren’t necessarily better than the book you or I would write. Are people hiring ghostwriters? Yes they are and for good reasons. They don’t feel as though they’re up to writing on their own, or they have little time they feel want to spend on writing, but they do have money they can spend on a ghostwriter. That’s a win: win situation, by the way.

And yes, there are people who seem to thrive on just a few hours of sleep each night and they do get tons of things accomplished. The average person, however, is not like this, and I don’t recommend that you try to stay awake past your typical bedtime to find out. If you like to sleep, this is not an option.

So here you are with a book idea that continues to tap you on the shoulder, asking to be written.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Show up on social media at least 15 minutes less each day so you create space in which to write.
  2. Schedule 15 minutes of writing time in your daily calendar as though it were an appointment.
  3. Show up and write during that scheduled time—by hand, on your laptop, or your tablet.

What you will find happening, over time, are a few things. You will come to love your 15 minutes of writing time. You’ll get a lot more written in 15 minutes than you ever thought possible. Fifteen minutes five days a week can produce a lot of words. A book’s worth, in fact.

And, you may find yourself doing this—expanding your 15 minutes to 20, a half hour, or even longer. The futzing around stuff you used to do? It’s been eliminated and has now opened your daily calendar for writing time.

The more you write, the more you will want to write. It’s rewarding to see your creativity showing up as files with thousands of words in them.

You may then extend your writing time to lunch time, and instead of dining with your colleagues or friends, you’re alone and eating a sandwich in between tapping the keyboard with words that excite you. Words that end up in your book.

Here are a few more ways to “find” time to write:

  1. Take a retreat. Just you or maybe you and another friend who wants to write vs. a friend who wants to have fun doing things on the retreat. You’ll have hours and even a day or two to just work on your book. Such bliss.
  2. Take a mini-retreat at a local café or the library. Again, more hours for creation and for some reason, having either food or published books nearby is enough encouragement to keep you in your seat writing.
  3. During your scheduled writing time, only write. Don’t look at email, or jump onto social media. Just write.
  4. Write to a prompt. Google the words “writing prompts” to come up with site after site of great single word or short phrase prompts. You will also see ones that have you write to a premise, which I don’t necessarily recommend since it may not match the topic of your book, but the shorter prompts can take you to places in your topic you’ve never considered. Prompts also have a way of loosening up your creativity, allowing you to write more freely. This is a good thing.
  5. Write with friend. You can hold each other accountable and reading what you wrote and hearing what your friend wrote can also be motivational.
  6. Celebrate! Every session is a celebration because you moved your book writing forward. But you can also set some significant goals, like a major word count, and once reached, celebrate big time. This offers you lots of encouragement and you’ll write faster and more often just for the reward. This actually happens with writers.

You now have some tools for writing more often than you are now. Lao-tzu said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

How are you now going to start your book-writing journey?

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