How to Write a Book Easier (8 Writing Tips from a Published Author)Nov 02, 2023
I’ve published 2 books, and just finished the rough draft for #3.
These books have generated multiple six figures in client revenue for my coaching business.
If they weren’t so powerful, I wouldn’t write them, because writing a book isn’t easy.
But, there are tricks that bestselling authors use—like Stephen King—to get more words on paper, with less effort.
I’ve read books by all the writing gurus and watched countless Youtube videos. I’ve tried all the methods. I’ve boiled it down to 8 tips that you can use to have highly productive writing sessions.
These tips are written for book writing, but will work if you are writing newsletters, social media posts, or anything else.
Read until the end because I’ve saved the most powerful (and often overlooked tip) for very last.
Tip #1: Writing Blocks
Brendon Burchard used to teach a seminar called High Performance Academy. One key thing he taught there is to take regular breaks throughout your work day.
The reason why you crash, he says, is because you never look up from the computer. You keep pushing through until it’s too late. Your batteries are drained.
However, if you set a timer for 50 minutes, work until it beeps, and then take a 5-10 minute break, you can work for much longer overall.
These breaks are like plugging your phone in on the charger for 10 minutes per hour. It stays well charged throughout the day as a result.
If you never recharge your body and try to push through, your energy will deplete to almost unrecoverable levels.
I’ve found 50 minutes to be a little long for my ADHD brain. I tried it but found myself fidgety and unfocused with 10-15 minutes left on the timer. So, I write for 35 minutes, with a 5 minute break afterwards.
There’s no perfect method. Try different times and see what feels right.
Here’s what taking a break is:
- Walking around
- Going outside for some fresh air
- Taking deep breaths with your eyes closed
- Standing up and stretching
- Doing a few yoga poses, pushups, or jumping jacks
Here’s what taking a break is not:
- Looking at your phone
- Opening up different tabs on your computer
- Working on different stuff
Starve yourself of dopamine, so when you return to your screen you will be excited. Be “bored” during your breaks. Don’t involve screens in any way.
Tip #2: Embrace non-linear creation
When I was a kid, my favorite movie was Jurassic Park. Because of that movie, I’ve always thought being a paleontologist would be a cool job. Who wouldn’t want to dig up dinosaur bones all day?
Here’s something unique about being a paleontologist: you have no control over what you dig up. Every day you gently brush back that dirt, and watch to see what appears. You might work all day and only end up with a single bone. The next day, you might uncover something big, like the skull of a T-Rex!
When you sit down to write, you never know what’s going to come out, either. Some days I only make a small amount of progress inside a single chapter. Other days, a new framework will come to me out of nowhere. I will excitedly rearrange chapters, seeing the book in a whole new light.
As someone who has been diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, and has trouble staying focused, writing in a non-linear fashion serves me well. One way I embrace it is by jumping around to different chapters based upon what I feel like writing.
I open my laptop, do a quick scan of my table of contents, see Chapter 8, think Oh, I feel like writing about that today, and start hammering away.
Then when I grow tired of that topic, I can click over to Chapter 13 and spend twenty minutes there, and so on.
Embrace non-linear creation. Let it come out of you in an unpredictable way.
When you create in a non-linear way, it will be more fun, and you will be able to write for longer, keep creativity flowing, and get more done.
Tip #3: Write Consistently
I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to who say:
“I’m writing a book! Well, I had been. I haven’t looked at it in a while…”
Let’s make something clear: if you stop writing your book, you won’t ever go back and finish it.
When I take even 1-2 weeks off from writing a book, I feel frustrated at the thought of picking it back up. I don’t want to “kickstart” my brain to thinking about that topic again. I don’t even remember where I left off.
Stephen King writes everyday, and recommends that you do the same. Eckhart Tolle, the world's top spiritual author, says that you can’t really stop writing once you start, because the book is flowing out of you and stopping interrupts the flow.
I don’t write on the weekends, but I do write every weekday and sometimes on Saturday.
I make sure my clients develop a writing routine as well.
If you have the ability to, write first thing in the morning. Before you check your email or do any other work. This ensures you always get your writing done.
If you’re a night owl who crushes work in the PM, schedule a time after dinner where everyone in the family knows is your “writing time”. Guard it with everything you have.
If you can't commit to writing for one hour per day, five days per week, you're going to have a hard time getting your book done. The more you can commit to, the easier it’s going to flow out of you, and the sooner you’re going to finish.
You get your book quicker, with less effort.
Tip #4: Never Edit While You Write
You wouldn’t start painting the outside of a house that was still being built. It’s too early to start making it pretty.
Writing is the same way. We want to birth the baby (your message) that is inside of you. Get the baby out first. Then, cut the cord, clean her up, and put clothes on.
Let loose. Let it flow out of you. Don’t worry if you start rambling or talking about something different. Go off on tangents. Tell random stories and use examples that just pop in your head.
Some of the best material in your book will come when you’re writing in an uninterrupted, stream of consciousness style.
If you stop writing and try to clean it up, you’ll take yourself out of creative mode and into clean up mode. You’ll stop the flow.
Tip #5: Get a Mechanical Keyboard
When writing on my Macbook pro, I started to notice that my hands ached just the slightest bit. I also felt like my mind was working faster than my fingers could type, and I made a decent amount of typing errors.
I decided to Google “best keyboards for typing”. To my surprise, all the highest ranked keyboards were the big, clunky looking kind, called “mechanical keyboards”.
I ordered a highly rated, wireless keyboard that was listed as “good for budget”. It was $45. When it arrived, I fired it up right away. Although it was very loud (I wouldn’t take it with me to a coffee shop), it was a lot easier to type on than my Macbook Pro.
Then it hit me: the keyboard is where the work happens for a writer. It’s what connects you—the writer—with the words on the screen.
Trying to type an entire book on a laptop keyboard is like trying to go mountain biking with a road bike. You can do it, but it’s difficult. The mountain bike will get you up the hill with a lot less effort.
Invest in a keyboard that keeps your hands comfortable and allow you to type with ease. You will be able to write at a higher word per minute rate and write for longer periods of time.
Tip #6: Dictate Your Book
Dictate means to speak your book. You sit with the outline and record yourself talking freely. Then you get it transcribed, clean it up, and that becomes your book.
This is something that I tried but didn’t like.
However, Brian Tracy uses this approach to write multiple books per year. He’s written over 60 books and he raves about dictation. He has a lot of bestsellers. You can Google this and find other major authors that dictate everything.
So, I either wasn’t doing it right, or it’s not for me.
I love writing the traditional way. But for some of you, the path of dictating your book is going to be a lifesaver. It’s going to be the reason you get the book done.
We’re all wired differently. If you hate typing but would love walking through a park and speaking your book into your phone, try it out.
If you go this route, there will be a higher amount of editing. That’s the price to pay for making it easier on the front end by speaking the book.
Tip #7: Get Accountability/Set Deadlines
Accountability works, because we are social creatures who don’t want to let others down. We don’t want to give our word on something and not come through.
If you struggle to stay consistent or finish projects, find someone who can hold you accountable.
If you know someone else who is writing a book, they could be a great accountability partner. You could set a mutual deadline for when your books will be done. You could set daily word count goals and check in regularly to keep each other on track.
I did this when I was trying to stick to a morning meditation habit. A friend and I would text each other when our meditation was completed each morning. We did this for 3 months, and then the habit had stuck and we didn’t need accountability anymore.
I definitely would have skipped the meditation on more than one occasion if my friend hadn’t been waiting on my text each morning.
Tip #8 - Get Into Flow State
If you can pull this off, it will be the most powerful way to increase your creative output.
Have you ever been creating something at your computer and the background behind your screen blurs a little bit? You tune out the outside world and sink deep into the project you’re working on. Creative output flows out of you with very little effort.
This can also occur when playing music, painting, talking to a friend, playing a sport, or anything else. It’s called “flow state”, and it is the optimal state for creativity and high quality output.
Getting into flow state isn’t all that different from a concept you might already know:
Mindfulness is a practice of focusing on the present moment.
What does that actually mean? Getting out of your head.
We have around 60,000 thoughts every day, and the majority of them are both negative and repetitive. Ouch.
This causes a lot of problems. It also gets in the way of having creative, present, flowing work sessions. We have to learn how to bring presence to our writing.
Flow state is mindfulness—applied to a task.
If you find yourself getting in your head too much, you’re interrupting flow. Take a break from writing and come back to the present. Listen to the sounds in the room around you. Take a few conscious breaths.
Learning this skill will take your creative output to another level. You are an artist if you are a writer. This is how the best artists create.
Where to Go From Here
Use these tips to make your book easier.
If you are someone who wants to write a book to get clients for your business, your next steps are to figure out what will go in the book itself.
Here are the key questions to answer:
1) Who is the book for?
2) What tangible outcome does the book deliver?
3) How will be be unique from everything else out there?
4) What objections will you need to address?
5) What stories will you need to include?
6) How will you turn readers into clients?
There is a specific framework to follow when it comes to writing a client-getting book.
This is what I help my clients do 1:1—write books that generate clients for their businesses.
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