“I don’t have time to write my book!” is one of the most common blocks I hear about when I’m talking to experts who dream of becoming authors. And I get it! Unless you go the ghost-writer option, you’re looking at somewhere between 40 and 200 hours to get your book done. But there are ways to make it so much easier – and here are three of my favourites.
Back in 2008 when I published my first book, I simply grabbed my laptop and got pounding that keyboard. And it worked. In fact, it’s the method I see most experts still using today.
But it’s also the sloooow way, like setting out on a journey with only a vague destination and no route planned. And it’s the haaard way – because you don’t know where you are in your book and it’s tough to stay motivated.
Writing Dare to Dream Bigger and my first two novels taught me about time technique #1.
Ninja Tip #1: Spend A Full Day On Planning, To Cut Your Writing Time & Editing Costs In Half
Before I write a book now, here are some of the things I (force!) myself to do – rather than just grabbing my laptop:
- What is this book’s compelling promise? This can take some research.
- Who will be hungry to read it and why? Again – research can be vital.
- What’s the reader journey it needs to take them on? This is about getting your inner genius ‘pyjama-ready‘.
- What’s essential to that journey, and what might try to sneak in as word-count-boosting fluff?
- What are my chapter-by-chapter deliverables?
These strategies help me to cut my writing in half, because I don’t waste time on writing stuff that doesn’t really belong in the book. It makes it super-quick to see whether an idea I have when I’m writing will move the reader towards the delivery of my compelling promise, or whether it will distract them from it.
And it saves me money when editing because:
- The book has a structure and flow and I don’t need to pay my editor to find that for me. Note: this is often the case with books that are ‘just written as they come’. A full structural edit is very expensive. Without it, people won’t finish reading your book. They’ll be confused and will put it down, which is an opportunity wasted.
- I don’t have content in there that isn’t needed, so there are fewer words per edit. And most editors, proof-readers and type-setters charge per thousand words. Without this preparation it’s far too easy to end up with sections that are important to you, but aren’t adding value to the reader, but which cost you time and money to edit and print.
And if you’d like some how-to for this, I guide you through it on Module 3 of the From Expert To Author Mastermind.
Moving on to Ninja tip #2 – I have this secret theory that I’d love to test out some day: that we spend more time talking about not having enough time than it would have taken to get the thing done!
Ninja Tip #2: Ditch Your Secret Time Thieves
Let’s pause for a moment and consider what happens when we crank up that old inner critic story of “I don’t have enough time.” I invite you to close your eyes and feel the shifts in your body as you say that to yourself.
For most of us, your jaw clenches, your stomach tightens, your shoulders will slouch, you’ll get more wrinkles around your eyes and your cortisol / adrenalin stress response will kick in, which – by the way – diverts bloodflow from the creative part of your brain to the survival part, which is traditionally rubbish at writing a great book.
How can you handle this?
By ditching your secret time thieves.
These are the rabbit holes and time sucks that can squander ten minutes here, twenty minutes there, forty minutes on Facebook videos… It soon adds up to an hour or two a day.
And if you committed to clearing out those non-value-add time thieves, I’ll bet you could easily find an hour a day to work on your book.
And an hour a day of consistent effort, with your clear plan from Ninja Tip #1, could easily get your book done in under three months.
But it takes a commitment!
How about starting by grabbing a piece of paper and listing some of your secret time thieves? Next to each of them, put either ‘ditch’ or ‘delegate’ and tot up how much time you could ‘magically create’.
Let me know your answer via the comments.Don't have time to write your non-fiction book?Ninja tip #2: Ditch your secret time thieves. If you add them up, it can 'create' you an hour a day to write your book. But it takes commitment!Click To Tweet
If this one is a biggie for you, then make sure you’re on my Masterclasses newsletter list so you can join me the next time I run “How To ‘Magically’ Make The Time To Write Your Book“. One of my favourite bits of that session is my eight-word mantra to press instant ‘pause’ on your stress response and ‘magically’ open up the feeling of having more than enough time.
If you’re a Masterminder, a recording of the masterclass in your ‘bonuses’ section.
And moving on to my favourite one – this one can be life-changing.
Ninja Tip #3: Treat Your Time Like A Currency And Choose How To Spend It
Hint: it’s the most valuable currency you have.
In a world where ‘busyness‘ is a badge of honour, it’s far too easy to fall into the trap of never consciously thinking about how we ‘spend’ our time.
How about shifting your mindset and thinking about time as being an investment?
If you were to get, say, ten new clients next year from writing your book, how much would that be worth to you? How much might your time-per-hour cost? And how many hours would you therefore be prepared to invest, to get that return?
And you can flip this: “Would I pay myself £x to get lost in the Facebook rabbit hole for the next hour?”
Play with this for the next 24 hours and you might be amazed what falls off your ‘to do’ list!
Don't have time to write your non-fiction book?Ninja tip #3:Treat your time like a currency and consciously choose how to spend it. Click To Tweet
And finally, I’ve got a bonus tip for you. It’s one that makes it near-inevitable that your book will get done!
Bonus Ninja Tip: Get It In Your Diary
If it ain’t in your diary, it ain’t happening!
Don’t fall for the myth of having to wait for inspiration to find you. That’s the way of procrastination, driven by subconscious Imposter Syndrome. And even if it does find you, you’ll be too busy to play with it. Tell inspiration when you’re available and it will soon get into the routine that fits with your schedule!
And if you want ways to find out how to boost your inspiration, you can find some of my favourites here.
Seriously, blocking out non-negotiable writing times is a brilliant way to get your book done – and it works especially well if you’ve already done the planning from Ninja Tip #1, because you can simply pick a section to write, get it done, and then move back to running your business / career / life / social media account.Don't have time to write your non-fiction book? Bonus ninja tip: Get it in your diary - treat it like a meeting.Click To Tweet
I’d love to hear from you!
- Which of these tips has resonated with you?
- Are there any you find yourself resisting?
- And how might YOU make more time to get your book done?
Want to know more about how to figure out your compelling promise, how to magnetise your tribe of hungry readers and how to make sure your world-changing, business-growing book is a success?
Make sure you join us for the FREE From Expert To Author Kickstart.
It’ll help you to crank up your confidence, pull together your publishing plan, and get you fired up and motivated to write that book!
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