5 Writing Tips for Finishing Your Book on Time


The process of writing  is uniquely personal. Therefore, there are many idiosyncratic habits that many authors cling to.

That’s not what this article is about. These are breakthrough tips that will challenge what you have believed about the writing process.

I learned these tips on the way to writing my first traditionally published book, which was written in less than a month. In fact, they were a direct result of that intensive period of writing.

#1 – Writing is Easy – Editing is Hard

Writing a book is much more than writing, and that happens to be the first tip.

Once you have the basic outline for your book it’s time to start writing. It turns out the outline I created a full year before writing my book is nearly exactly what I followed when I finally got down to the writing, which happened to be a month before my publisher’s deadline.

Accept the fact that your first draft of your book will be crap and have to be rewritten. So, just get it done. As Seth Godin says, fail fast.

I wrote each chapter of my book in less than a day to meet that deadline. But that’s just the beginning.

What you will discover is writing is remembering. You’ll pull together all kinds of ideas; some will be brilliant and others will be edited out. By editing I’m talking about rewriting.

Having tried a number of methods, I learned that rewriting, again, and again, and again, is still much less time consuming than trying to clean up that original. If it starts as crap it will remain so until it is completely rewritten.

Editing is rewriting. It’s the hardest part of writing. Tweet this

#2 – Write Without a View

When I started writing my book my office had a beautiful view of a lake. That’s exactly why nothing happened, and how I ended up with such a tight deadline.

These days my office is a windowless room where I have no idea if its day or night, and that’s exactly what you need to if you are a writer.

In addition to avoiding distractions, when your energies are confined to a smaller space the focus on your writing intensifies.

Get rid of the view and watch your writing flow. Tweet this

#3 – Whether Flowing or Stuck, Keep Writing to Completion

Some days it was a challenge to write 2,500 words. Other days over 10,000 words flowed. The challenge is to keep your butt in the seat and accept what you create.

My goal every day was to write a chapter; and I did. I refused to leave that office until I had a complete piece, regardless of its quality. Finished is finished and it feels darn good.

That said, it is interesting that a longer piece of content is far more difficult to edit than one that is shorter. Why? We fall in love our ideas and dread the thought of tossing them out.

Whether you are writing the first draft or the fifth, keep going to completion. Tweet this

#4 – Question What Your Writing is About

It is much easier to write to a question than a subject heading. That’s how you draw out your best ideas and achieve clarity for your audience.

When you are writing, and especially when you are rewriting, ask questions.

  • What is this about?
  • What is the theme?
  • Where is this going?
  • What does this want to be when it grows up?!!

If you are at all like me, you may need to have a meltdown to make a breakthrough. Believe me, I had plenty. Thankfully meditation kept me sane. After that you will be at peace and create some of your best work.

Resistance to completing any project means its important to you.  Tweet this

#5 – Ask for Feedback Only When You Are Finished

The expression that everyone has a book inside of them is probably true. However, your book will not come out if you invite others to the party. You have to do this alone (unless you have a co-author) to bring out your unique perspective.

When I was done with my rewriting I invited friends I respect to offer their feedback. It was all valuable. Even the feedback I did not agree with forced me to challenge my own thinking.

You will become even more confident about your writing when it is challenged. Although, getting that feedback too early means your work is no longer your work, and that will create needless doubt.

Stephen King says, “Write with the door closed; rewrite with it open.”  Tweet this

This is more than great advice, it’s essential for getting YOUR book finished, not the book someone else wants you to write.

Are  you planning to or already writing a book? Leave a comment and share.

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley 2013)  

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+.

Photo Credit

The Icarus Deception – Work is Art

The process of doing what you were meant to do can be frightening, and that is why its accomplishment is so rewarding.

For one thing, you just may fail. In fact, honing your skills into a viable practice requires that you fail, because the perspective gained from failures and challenges leads to creating your best work.

Seth Godin calls the practice of delivering your best work creating your art.

You may not think of yourself as an artist, and that is largely because society has conditioned you to believe that greatness is what others accomplish – rock stars, accomplished athletes, and other celebrities.

Yet, each of us is a rock star in our own right when we face the fear of doing the work that we know we have to do. The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin is a new book that will show you how.

What you most fear is what you must accomplish.

Our fears are indications of what is important to us, what we deeply believe is within our capabilities for making a contribution to this world. This is precisely why your original contribution can be considered nothing less than art.

You Have Permission to Create Your Art

Working with the perspective of elevating your efforts to the level of art is something even those who are artists in a traditional sense can benefit from. Society conditions us to believe that success comes from learning to draw within the lines – that only leads to mediocrity.

The Icarus Decepton will change that by giving you permission to go where you need to go to do what you need to do. It encourages you to use your gifts to accomplish what no other is capable of, and therefore, what the world needs.

Seth defines art not as a product, but an attitude – one that leads to investing in things that give you a chance to stand out and make a difference. There is risk in that, which is why it works, and also why it involves facing fears.

From the moment you open the The Icarus Deception you realize this book is an example of its suggested methods. Accompanying it is a bookmark (see photo above) that is designed to encourage you take the risk of sharing your art – right now.

You are instructed to describe your art on the bookmark and then place it within another copy of The Icarus Deception at your local bookstore. Can you face the fear of taking the unorthodox act of sharing your art with complete strangers?

Me too.

Are You Ready to Accept the Gift?

I read portions of The Icarus Deception the past couple of weeks with no big breakthroughs. Then I picked it up yesterday after a particularly challenging presentation that nevertheless happened to go well.

This time it gave me a new perspective on success – that winning isn’t everything. I considered why I’ll often work hard to give my audiences what I think they want when I should instead be giving them what nobody else on this planet can offer them.

Instead of taking the traditional route, The Icarus Deception will indeed give you permission to find your best path, the one that will enable you to truly discover your work is art.

Most of us are waiting for others to give us permission when they buy us or hire us. That’s a product of conditioning – it’s how we were brought up, educated, and trained.

Instead of waiting, isn’t it better to just pick yourself? That’s how most successful businesses and projects start.

Following a traditional path can only lead to ordinary results that go unnoticed. Hard work is just not enough anymore, especially in an economy where most of us are already working harder than ever.

Instead of working hard just to impress the boss or customer, work to liberate your talent, expertise, and experience to elevate your work to art.

There has never been a better time to practice your art. Digital social media is increasingly connecting everyone on this planet, thereby providing abundant opportunities for the brave, creative, and relentless among us.

Does that describe you?

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business and host of This Old New Business podcast.

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+


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