What’s the best way to write a book FAST? Should you schedule a chunk of time each day and “force” it out, or is it best to work only when the mood hits? These are common questions that many authors face at the prospect of writing a new book—especially when it comes to “rapid release” publishing. But what if I told you it’s possible to write an ebook in only three weeks?
Write a Book FAST With These 7 Tips
The truth is, starting is the easy part. The first few pages and ideas can seem to flow out of your mind faster than your hands can type. This is the most enjoyable stage because it stems from impulsive inspiration, meaning that you’re creating only when the mood hits. Unfortunately, if that mood doesn’t hit on a regular basis, writer’s block can set in.
Creativity is similar to muscularity in that it will begin to atrophy with a lack of regular stimulation. Just as even the finest athletes have those days when they must dig a bit deeper to find the will to carry on, all writers will have the same experience. I’ve found the following tactics effective in getting myself to keep writing on a consistent basis (and QUICKLY!), and I believe they can work for anyone.
Tip 1: Break It Down per Hour
If you already have a full-time job, that means you’ve probably only got two or three hours of writing time available per day during the weekdays; but if you truly want to write a book FAST, then you’ll take at least another six hours per day on the weekends. Over a short three-week period, that will give you 81 writing hours in total.
3 hours X 5 days X 3 weeks = 45 weekday hours
6 hours X 2 days X 3 weeks = 36 weekend hours
45 + 36 = 81 writing hours
Now break it down by hour. How many words can you write in one hour? 100 words per hour will result in an 8,100-word mini ebook at the end of three weeks. 300 words per hour will result in a 24,300-word ebook. 500 words per hour will result in a 40,500-word ebook at the end of three weeks. I don’t want you to get too hung up on the word count because quality is more important to your readers than quantity is. (My mini ebooks, which are equivalent to one chapter of a standard book, are typically from 5,000 to 8,000 words in length whereas my standard, full-length paperback books are generally 40,000+ words in length.)
This simple mathematical exercise has been added here only to demonstrate what you can accomplish in a three-week period. When you break it down like this for yourself, it suddenly appears more achievable, doesn’t it? And when your goal appears more achievable to you, you’ll be more apt to stick with it and see it through to the end.
Tip 2: Schedule Your Time Wisely
Once you’ve planned how many hours per day/week you will commit to writing your ebook, you should actually schedule those hours. Mark them in your calendar just as you would any other important appointment such as client meetings, dental/medical visits, or extra curricular activities.
By scheduling regular writing intervals in this way, you will move past that fleeting, impulsive inspiration toward a more lasting, thoughtful inspiration and finish your book in record speed. Sometimes, when settling down to write, you might have no idea what you’re going to say—and that’s okay. It might take half an hour to get that first awkward sentence out and “unlock the floodgates” of creativity; but most authors are pleasantly surprised with how much they have at the end of each session. It’s because the intention to create is the very thing that attracts the creation. That’s the power of deliberate, thoughtful inspiration.
“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
Tip 3: Just Write for Now; Don’t Edit
Here’s another great tip: resist the urge to edit yourself over and over again while you’re writing each day. In fact, don’t edit yourself at all. Your sole purpose, during these three weeks, is to get your ebook written and designed. Period. So, that’s all you should be doing. The editing process will happen after you’re done writing, so you don’t have to worry about it until then.
Creating a truly professional-quality book—including non-fiction how-to books of any kind—is a team effort. The writing portion is typically done within the solitude of one’s imagination and writing room. And then there is the “polishing” portion of the process, which is equally important to your success and requires an outside team of professionals for best results. So, do your part now, and let them do theirs later. You’ll end up with a better book in the end if you do.
Tip 4: Read Regularly
The writers who spend even as little as half an hour per day reading another person’s work often find that they are more creative during their own writing sessions. It doesn’t even have to be another book or anything related to your topic matter at all; it can be an online article, magazine, newspaper, or blog. Sometimes, the least likely source can inspire the greatest creativity. The most important point here is to keep yourself open and aware of the infinite pool of ideas all around you. Whatever it takes to get that first sentence out, do it. From there, thoughtful inspiration can—and will—take care of the rest. It always does.
Tip 5: Ask Yourself These Six Questions
If you’re still having difficulty getting started with a particular chapter after trying all the tips mentioned earlier, then here’s another great idea generator. Write these six questions down underneath that chapter title: Who? What? Why? When? Where? How? Now begin answering each of them for yourself in relation to the topic matter at hand. That should get your creative juices flowing if all else has failed on a particular day.
Tip 6: Reward Yourself Along the Way
It’s important to reward yourself throughout this process because writing a book is an accomplishment all in itself. It deserves your recognition!
What sort of reward will provide you with the greatest sense of motivation to continue forward with your goals? A ticket to a sporting event, concert, or movie at the end of one full week of writing? A particular food item after a certain number of words is written? A visit to the local market or leisure centre? Or, maybe your idea of a treat is a new pair of shoes once you’ve completed the whole book.
Whatever it is, treat yourself. Reward yourself along the way. This is a great way to keep yourself on track and motivated.
Tip 7: One Particularly Helpful Writing Tip
I’ll start by including one of my absolutely favourite quotes about writing by Gary Provost from his book titled 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing: Proven Professional Techniques for Writing with Style and Power (Mentor Series) (a book I highly recommend you read if you’re serious about writing):
This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety.
Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals—sounds that say listen to this, it is important.
It’s beautiful, isn’t it? It’s like music, as he says. This is the kind of writing that will keep an audience engaged. It not only sings to them; but, with the right combination of vivid adjectives and visceral verbs, it can create such authentic, powerful imagery inside their minds that it keeps them turning the pages for more. That’s really what you’re after whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction. Don’t you think? Try to make your book as “musical” as possible for best results. Motivate your readers to stay with you by relaying stories, examples, and/or descriptions throughout your book that will appeal to their emotions just as music does, and you’ll surely keep them engaged.
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