Do you find writing a book an intimidating task? I did when I first started writing. Some days I still do!
Blank pages seem to mock you or fill you with anxiety. You start and finish a few pages and then you decide you are unhappy with what you have written so you revise for hours. Those hours turn into days, weeks, and months before you make headway because you are stuck in a loop.
That is, of course, unless you work out a plan that has you making progress on your book. Daily progress.
I’ll even predict that writing a book with the right process can help you manage your time more wisely and encourage productivity in many different areas of your life.
How, you ask?
Here are four techniques you can use when writing your book (or for work, chores, and other tasks).
Technique 1: Writing a Book with the Pomodoro Technique
Have you ever heard of the Pomodoro technique? I hadn’t until a few years ago and now I love it!
For this technique, you set a timer to promote short bursts of intense productivity. It’s effective because you operate in 25-minute increments. You can do anything for 25 minutes, right?
Set a timer for 25 minutes. During that time, focus on one single task. In this case, that task is book related. You might block out a chapter or simply write an outline for the next chapter(s).
During that 25 minutes, you don’t stop for anything other than house-fire types of emergencies. Work until the timer ends.
Then you take a five-minute break before moving on to the next task, or chapter, as the case may be. After four cycles of 25 minutes followed by a 5-minute break (2 hours of consistent work), you take a longer break.
This gives you time to clear your mind, charge your battery, and refocus on the work ahead of you for the day. This is a vital part of your efforts to stay focused on writing your book and stop splitting focus by multi-tasking and otherwise spinning your wheels.
Technique 2: Writing a Book by Prioritizing Your Tasks
You have a lot on your plate.
I get it. I can easily lose track of time running errands, doing chores, taking care of my furry friends, and doing client work.
Before I know it, I’ve ran out of time to write during the day. I’m sure the same thing happens to you.
The longer this continues, the more time you have to forget what’s going on with your book or abandon your book altogether. Steady progress is a much better way to go.
You can stop this cycle by prioritizing your writing time.
- Give up television time to write.
- Cut out unnecessary social media socializing. Some social time is necessary to maintain relevance with your audience, but you might set time limits for your favorite platforms on writing days.
- Get up early or stay up late to make time for writing.
- Set deadlines for getting specific writing done, then adhere to them. This can include deadlines for chapter outlines and chapter delivery. Editing deadlines. First draft. Second draft. Publishing. You get the picture.
Decide how important your book is to your professional future and consider prioritizing your writing over some work functions by delegating or bringing on another team member to help take care of tasks that take you away from writing.
Technique 3: Writing a Book in Sprints
This is a technique I use when I have a busy few weeks scheduled but still need to make writing progress.
I set short times in my schedule to write. It might be 15 minutes between meetings, 20 minutes in the waiting room while I’m getting my oil changed, or time waiting on someone at a doctor’s appointment. I write on my iPad, phone, or if I have it with me my computer.
The goal is to write as much as you can as fast as you can. I always have sections/prompts/or an idea ready to go so I don’t have to spend any time planning. This works best for sections of information you know well.
This can be a remarkably productive way to write. Give it a try!
Technique 4: Free Writing
Are you still having problems with blank page fear? Try free writing. Sometimes just seeing words on the page will spark your creativity.
With free writing, it really doesn’t matter what you write. Using this technique can help because you go around your obstacle (the block) instead of trying to go through or over.
This technique worked well for me when I was a new writer. I would write about my day, type up my grocery list, write about my plans for a dream vacation, and sometimes I’d even write what I didn’t want included in my book.
Eventually I was relaxed and into to moment and before I knew it, I was writing a book.
Which technique do you think will work best for you?
With a little time management and some concentrated effort, you will discover you can write a book.
Now, it’s your turn to take a look and see what else you can do!
Need help writing your book? We offer collaborative writing coaching! With collaborative coaching, I work with you as we move from concept to finished manuscript. Have the idea and expertise for the topic but don’t have time to do the actual writing? Check out our ghostwriting services.