I’ve talked in the past about writing a Kindle book in one sitting but the reality is that sometimes you need a lot more time than just an evening. Even if your book is going to be quite short, it can often be a struggle to actually get it done and finally hit that “publish” button on Amazon.
I’ve written a few books for Kindle over the last few months and would like to share with you 5 tricks I use to make sure I finish what I start.
Find The Right Environment
A few years ago, I used to do all of my writing at home. I’d put on a pot of coffee, slap on a bit of Miles Davis and spend a few hours writing with no real distraction.
Now I have a four-year old.
Let’s just say I don’t get a lot of writing done at home anymore. Even when she is asleep however, my home environment is rife with potential distractions.
I could turn on the TV, fire up the Xbox, play with the dog, stare out the window – you get the idea.
What I do now is head off to my local coffee shop. It has a crap internet connection, no TVs or Xboxes, no view worth looking at – and generally no demanding 4-year olds.
In other words, it’s the perfect writing environment. Consider trying this if writing at home isn’t feasible for you.
Eat That Frog
A productivity guru by the name of Brian Tracy talks about an old saying that says “If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long!”
There is a lot of wisdom in the idea of tackling your biggest, hardest problem the first thing in the morning.
If there is a frog and a spanish omelette on a place, resist the temptation to eat the omelette first. In other words, don’t be tempted to do the easier task first. Get the frog down your neck first otherwise you’re going to be staring at that thing the whole time you’re enjoying your omelette and dreading having to eat it.
If you can create a habit of doing this, you’ll find that your productivity improves dramatically.
Save Your Editing For The End
Another nasty habit that took me a long time to break was the tendency to review every sentence as soon as it was written.
I would write a sentence, give it a read – and invariably edit it. Sometimes I’d tweak that one sentence 2 or 3 times before moving onto the next.
That’s a hell of a slow way to write a book.
Now my main goal is to just pour the words out on the page and dump the ideas out of my head.
I sometimes use a program called iA Writer which has a feature called Focus Mode. It forces me to focus on one sentence at a time by fading out each previous sentence as I write.
If you can make yourself avoid editing until the end of your book, you’ll be amazed not just with how more quickly you write but also with the sheer volume of ideas you’re likely to get down on the screen.
Set A Target Completion Date
If you don’t have an idea of how long your book is going to be or when you plan on finishing, you might find 2 things happening.
- You’ll end up with a book that has no focus
- You’ll never actually finish it
If you set a concrete date when you must finish your book, you’re much more likely to get it done.
One more thing that I do that makes it so that I simply cannot miss my target completion date is to tell everyone I know about when I plan on finishing.
This both makes the date more “real” and also forces me to actually deliver as I know friends and family are going to be asking when that date rolls around. If I don’t tell anyone, it’s much easier to give myself a few more days – or weeks.
It is ridiculously simple nowadays to get a book up for sale on the Amazon Kindle platform. The part that isn’t simple – and never really has been – is the act of actually writing and finishing the book.
By implementing these 5 strategies, you’ll find that it doesn’t have to be that hard. Once you’ve gone through the process of finishing and publishing a book, it gets easier.
It also helps when you see that first sale come in – but that’s a subject for another time!
What tricks do you use to help get your work done? Have I missed anything that you think is essential? Let us know in the comments.
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