3 Things that Helped Me Write a Book
How can anyone find time to write a book?
With the launch of my new book, Sleep, Cure Your Insomnia, Improve Your Health and Feel Better Now, I have been contacted by many people asking lots of different questions.
With the subject of my book being about ‘Sleep’, I am really surprised that one of the biggest questions that I am asked does not relate to sleep in the slightest!
Would you believe that the next biggest question that I am asked, aside from how people can improve their sleep, is how I found time to write a book?
I am seen by others as a busy mum who runs a website, writes posts and publishes podcasts, so, I guess it’s not surprising that they wonder how I have found the time to write a book on top of all my other work and home-life.
With this in mind, and wanting to share my own experience with you, I have listed the 3 main things that helped me get that book written!
Whether you want to write a book or start a new and challenging project, and are looking for tips on where to start and how to keep going, then read on.
1. Overcoming ‘Impostor Syndrome’
Like so many others, writing a book has always been something that I wanted to do, but I didn’t do anything about it, mainly because I felt that writing books was something that other people did - not me!
It took me a while to realise that, although I may not be a professor or someone who has a writing degree, I could still pass on information that I had within myself and do this in my own style.
I soon came to the thinking that if people didn’t like it, or if they criticised me for it, then I had still written a book and shared my knowledge, and would be proud of this achievement.
So, before I even opened up my laptop to type the first few words, I began to call myself a writer and an author. I decided that I would need to take this role as seriously as I would if I was employed in any other position. I had to own this title just as much as I would ‘Sales Assistant’, ‘Data Entry Clerk’ or ‘Administrative Officer’ etc.
By doing this, I was able to release my inner resource of self-belief and the more I believed that it was my role to write this book, then the easier it became to start thinking of it’s outline and content.
So many people will tell me that they would love to write a book, but when it comes to the content, they get lost in a maze of information, lose the direction that the book was suppose to be taking, and ultimately they spend time staring at a blank screen.
I can completely understand this. My mind seems to dash about from one idea to the next with such high speed that by the time I go to write, I have lost the plot and end up with nothing to say!
If this happens to you, then my main piece of advice is to learn to mind-map.
Mind-mapping is a technique that I learnt years ago and I use it in many aspects of my life, not just in my writing. By drawing out these flow diagrams and scribbling down my thoughts, I am able to move them from my mind onto paper, and this lets me see and organise my thoughts in a much clearer way. It means I don’t forget my ideas and allows me to link them in a more logical manner.
Mind-mapping also saves you time. Rather than staring blankly at a screen, by referring to your mind-map, you can be prompted as to the subject that you need to write about or research.
3. Time Management
Managing your writing time is the biggest issue when you are juggling 101 things in your life.
Unless you hire someone else to write the book for you, there is no getting around the time that it takes to write, edit and proof read a book. It just needs to be done.
How can you do this effectively?
My advice to you would be to schedule time in your diary each day. This can be 30 minutes or an hour or more. The main thing is that you schedule it and stick to it.
You must show up each day and work - just like you would any other job.
Fitting it in can be tough, but if you create a mind-map of what you want to write and do your research in advance, then your writing time will become much quicker.
Don’t waste your time staring at a blank screen. If you have only 30 minutes to spend on your book, then make sure you are being productive. Write something - write anything! Write down your thoughts, ideas, words, phrases and save them. Writing like this will help to trigger your creative side and you can use these words and phrases in your work as you build on it.
If the words are still not flowing, then use the time for research or other creative exercises, such as drawing your characters (if you are writing fiction). All these activities help, and will build a stronger book in the end.
For ideas on how to free up more time in your day so that you can start writing your book, then read the blog post ‘10 Ways to Find Extra Hours in Your Day’ , and download your free ‘Time Finder Checklist’.
So, these are my top three tips for getting started on your project.
Although there is more to writing a book than what I have mentioned above, these are the 3 main things that I found to be the most beneficial when starting out on my writing journey.
Being in the right mindset, mapping out your ideas and securing time in your diary to complete the project at hand are, in my opinion, the keys to succeeding your project.
Be consistent and show up each day - even if you only write 20 words, or work on a small area of your project. You are tackling a long-term goal, so it’s not going to be finished overnight! Each little bit of work you do each day all adds up to the completed article. Be proud of everything you contribute to the project, be it big or small.
We all have the same amount of hours in the day, so the key is to organise your time wisely. Reclaim misspent time (we all have some!) and create something amazing with this time instead. It takes self-discipline, and it’s hard at first, but once you can see your project coming together, it will become easier and you will be less distracted by things like TV and social media.
Finally, my biggest piece of advice would be - start today. What is it that you are waiting for? Get moving on that project, now!