I’m in the middle of writing a new book right now.
And there are 10 things I’ve learned that have helped make the experience a lot more awesome:
1. Your best ideas come when you’ve walked away from the writing for a minute. The title, the structure, and the core of the book surprised me in the parking lot of the building I was writing in as I drove home. Not at my desk.
3. You have to publish each book like it’s the first one you’ll ever publish, because it won’t be perfect, and you are going to learn a lot that you can apply to the next one.
4. Play to your strengths. I am at my best when I am talking my ideas out. I forgot this for months and was confused why my ideas were having a hard time coming quietly in a room as I sat at a computer. When I stood up and verbally walked people through the book, suddenly the ideas were ready to play.
5. Fear will never tell you that you should write a book. Quit asking it if you’re ready. The only answer fear ever gives is “no.” (This is true of all endeavors, not just book writing.)
6. No one will understand your book exactly like you understand it. If they did, it would be their book, not your book. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t find someone who gets it 100%.
7. Great words always hide behind lousy words. Be brave enough to write your way through the jungle of junk in order to rescue the great words.
8. Discipline is not the enemy of creativity. Discipline is the amplifier of creativity. Be disciplined.
9. Your first sentence on a blank piece of paper doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be first. If you get stuck, write, “This sentence will not make it to the final draft. I know that. It knows that. We’re both fine with that, but in order to break the death clutch of perfection, I had to write it down.” Continue that way until you’ve got the first page filled. It’s easier to write the second page than it is the first.
10. Have fun. Don’t take yourself so seriously. You’re not discovering penicillin. You’re writing a book. If you ever find yourself becoming pretentious about the magnitude of what you are doing, go write at the library. There are tens of thousands of books there that some other author once thought, “If I don’t share this book with the world, the world will be incomplete.” Writing a book is hard work, but don’t put the pressure of “changing the world” on every page you write. You’ll cripple yourself and not enjoy the process even a little bit.
Those are 10 things I learned in the last few months while writing.
I’ll be explaining those ideas and many more during the writer’s workshop held after the Quitter Conference on September 21-22 in Nashville, TN. (Not everyone wants to write a book, so we make it a bonus session once the conference is over.)
For the first time ever, I’ve been writing a book while planning the conference. I can’t wait to share what I’ve learned and hopefully help you if you’re writing a book too. The last conference sold out. Don’t miss your chance to go, sign up today!
What’s a writing tip that has helped you?