Writing a Book – Finding Time

Trust Agents Book Cover You want to write a book, and have been wondering about the process. Maybe you’ve started a bunch of times, but something got in the way. Motivation failed you, or you lost track of the time, or you wrote the entire thing but never got it out there in any form or fashion. There are lots of roadblocks and dead ends in the world of writing books.

Finding Time to Write a Book

Most people, when I queried them, said that finding time was the #1 complain/worry/issue they had with being able to write a book. As I’m about to complete my fourth, and my fifth will be finished a few months after that, I can tell you that it most certainly does take time, but that time can be found. Here are a few ways to “find” time.

  • Write notes about your book into something like Evernote, which can be accessed from your phone, your desktop, and any web browser (meaning you have no excuses to take down ideas).
  • Keep 3×5 index cards in your pocket or bag, and jot notes there, too. A lot of writing is done before you sit down to actually write.
  • Build loose-but-useful outlines and seek out 20 minutes here and there to “shade them in.” People facing a blank page waste too much time thinking about the page. Instead, work on bits that need work.
  • If you work better speaking, look into a product like Dragon Naturally Speaking to do dictation for you.
  • Prone to distractions? Try Ommwriter for Mac (or PC).
  • Also, shutting off the Internet helps.

But I Have Kids

So do I. I have two kids. And I run a few companies, and help several others. You can create excuses to fit your issues with finding time, or you can find time. Here’s some ways to do it.

  • While they watch TV, you write at the table. If you have time for TV, you have time to write a book. Can’t concentrate? Headphones.
  • Wake up 40 minutes earlier. Use 20 to get less groggy. Use 20 to start some writing.
  • Stay up 40 minutes later. Use 30 to write and 10 to calm your brain back down.
  • Use “idle time” like waiting room time to write. Don’t want to whip out the laptop? Then use something else to capture more work (remember that note cards aren’t a book).
  • Quit one “used to be useful” activity. We all have them. Are you still at book club? Unless it’s your life saver, stop. Ditto volunteering. Volunteer to write a book. Then volunteer.

Time DOES Grow On Trees

Gandhi famously said that we all have the same 24 hours in the day. We just choose how we fill them. I find time all the time. One way I do it is to ignore email for a while. We are a world trained to answer little red 1′s. Shut off the auto-popups that tell you when mail comes. Kill the audible for it. Do everything you can to limit the INTERRUPTIONS of time to just a single channel, like SMS, so that if someone really needs you, they know they can text you. And if they bug you too much then, consider switching to Google Voice and set up rules for each phone number that bugs you. Problem solved.

How you respect your own time and how you show others the value of your own time is the key here. You can’t shut out the world, but very very few authors get that luxury anyway. Every book I’ve written, I’ve written while running more than one company, while managing a busy speaking schedule, while blogging daily (sometimes more than once a day), while being a dad, and while facing all the other complicated interruptions that life throws your way.

Own this. You can do it.

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about discipline. Yes, it’s a series. There are four more posts coming. : )

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  • http://www.successfulblogging.com/ Annabel Candy

    Hi Chris,

    I’ve got one finished manuscript I’ve never done anything with (all writer have those don’t they?!) plus two books that have been barely started. At least I did manage to start, finish and self-publish one book last year so I know it can be done again:)

    I love that you’ve parceled out your time into 20 minute slots. This is useful because I always think I need an hour to do any writing which isn’t true as after about forty minutes I need a break anyway.

    The other thing is I really want to finish another book by the end of this year but since it’s now August my procrastinating brain is now saying “oh, you’ll never get it finished so why bother starting?”

    What works for me is to set a target of say 1,000 words per day five days each week. I’d have to bump that up a bit if I want to finish my book this year though.

    Another option is to make a sacrifice and forgo something like BlogWorld which takes a week and instead spend a week on a desert island, just me and a laptop, no kids, no internet, no clients. That would work too.

    But until then I’ll make like Mr. B and try to slot it into all those 20 minute gaps when I think there’s no time to do anything special so I spend it surfing or reading.

    Thanks for the inspiration:)

    Annabel

    PS. And I’ll be looking forward to reading your new book too.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I think you’ve got the right plan, doing the scheduling. That’s one way to keep yourself pushing against the goal. Just make sure you start working with accountability buddies to make the goal work for you. : ) 

  • @Mnememeaphors <Twitter

    Dam Chris, 

    you’ve just served up your chocolate Chip Micky Mouse Pan Cakes of your Disneyland iPop ……. SWEET!I’m off to broadcast this before the sugar buzz wears off !As Musketeers say,See you on space mountain!

  • Yonnel

    Hey Chris, that’s a good one! Spot on.

    I never planned on writing a book, but a month ago, this truly great publisher came to me and asked me to. Complete freedom of speech, 2 years to send a manuscript, good prospects in terms of media coverage, plus nice pocket money (including a bit RIGHT NOW). Couldn’t refuse, could I? So now that we’ve signed, well… I just have to deliver. And of course I have a few minor things alongside: building a company, PR jobs, playing rugby.

    This is both scary and hugely exciting, and your advice couldn’t have come at a better moment. I’ll find time, because there’s no turning back. Cheers!

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      It’s scary but a really good thing. : ) I’m excited that you’re going to give it a big run. And yeah, you’ve got a lot of things on your plate, but I sense you know how to juggle. 

  • http://www.accidentalcreative.com Todd Henry

    Agreed, Chris. 3 kids, very full-time business, other pursuits as well. So I rolled out of bed at 5:15a every day for a year straight to write THE ACCIDENTAL CREATIVE. Was it hard? Yes. Was it worth it? Oh….yeah. :)

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      See how that worked? You created a great book! : ) 

  • http://daniellehatfield.com/ Danielle Hatfield

    Such a great post Chris. Thanks for the reminder re: “Gandhi famously said that we all have the same 24 hours in the day. We just choose how we fill them.”

  • http://daniellehatfield.com/ Danielle Hatfield

    Such a great post Chris. Thanks for the reminder re: “Gandhi famously said that we all have the same 24 hours in the day. We just choose how we fill them.”

  • http://www.i95dev.com Henry Louis

    Recently, I have read a post where a lady named Susan Esparza has left her job to start writing her novel. I would be sharing this article with her.

  • Andrea P. Howe

    All great points, Chris. I especially appreciate your comment: “How you respect your own time and how you show others the value of your own time is the key here.” That one goes far beyond book-writing.

    Having just completed my first manuscript, I’d add underscore and bold to your point about minimizing distractions. This is key. I established a habit of no email processing before 11am on book-writing mornings. It worked so well for me that I am continuing the practice into my regular work days, post-book. I also created a “retreat week” for myself about 2/3 of the way to the publisher deadline — no client work, no conference calls. I was available by phone if anyone needed anything urgently (shockingly, they did not).

    Looking forward to the post on discipline.

  • J.K. Riki

    Enjoyed the post mostly but “stop volunteering?!” Seriously? For some organizations that’s all the help they’ll ever get! I disagree with that bit of your advice. Otherwise good post.

  • Larry Wilson 3

    Thanks Chris as always great information. Sometimes we need to create a not to do list.

    • http://rickmanelius.com Rick Manelius

      That’s a great twist on an standard idea. What if we physically wrote out the things we’re not allowed to do while we’re in bunker mode…

      Thanks for that insight.

  • http://nateriggs.com nateriggs

    I’m doing this right now and have been blow away at how diffucult it is writing long form. I mean, I blog every day and really don’t have much problem with it. But moving from writing 500 to 700 words at a time to 5000 to 7000 at a time is challenging.

    For me, writing in bursts doesn’t work. It takes me at least an hour to get into the mode where I can crank out the detail I need so I’ve been writing for full days, usually on Sunday when email and everything else is slow…

    • http://twitter.com/PodcastinChurch Paul Clifford

      Why not try to go from 500-700 words to 1000-1500?  5000 is 3 days writing for me.  It’s also 1/10th of my monthly goal.  If I wrote 5000 a day, that would be writing about 3 books a month.  I’m hoping to hit 3 books in 12 months, that’s a big, hairy, audacious goal to me.

      • http://nateriggs.com nateriggs

        I appreciate the suggestion, Paul. Thanks. :)

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      But a 500-700 word post is about 1/2 of a section of a 7000 word chapter. So, write a 1/2 section, pause, write another 1/2 section, and you’ve got a chapter section. Done.

      That’s how we do it. : ) 

      • http://nateriggs.com nateriggs

        I’m getting used to it, after spending the first few weeks pretty frustrated.  Now it’s just working through chapters and sections at a time. Either way, it’s good to be forced outside of your comfort zone … and I totally have been. :)

  • http://raulcolon.net Raul Colon

    Chris thanks to previous posts where you have left tips I have found how to continuously create content around the many things I do. It is no easy task at the beginning but now It has become second nature to me. 

    I do keep post it notes, a moleskin, evernote (on all my devices), and I use ommwriter to help me concentrate when writing. 

    I guess I would love to write a book and if I ever find a topic I am so passionate about that I can do a good job in a book then I will certainly use the many tricks you have thought me to keep content on my blog flowing to write my book thanks again. 

  • http://rickmanelius.com Rick Manelius

    For some reason I thought you had 3 kids? Or is there something you plan on announcing to us in the next couple of months? :)

    Great advice as always. For me, my time is lost in the in-between moments. I’m discovering I have more time than I thought.

  • http://rickmanelius.com Rick Manelius

    For some reason I thought you had 3 kids? Or is there something you plan on announcing to us in the next couple of months? :)

    Great advice as always. For me, my time is lost in the in-between moments. I’m discovering I have more time than I thought.

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  • http://twitter.com/NancyD68 Nancy Davis

    I can write. Organizing what I have is going to be the problem. That and my ADD. I am far too easily distracted. Going to keep at it though. I may start working with the dictation tool. That may be better for me.

    • http://rickmanelius.com Rick Manelius

      I can write as well. My problem isn’t ADD, it’s starting to edit before I get my full thoughts onto paper.

      It’s the editing and second guessing that I find paralyzing. A dictation tool might be a good strategy for me too, if I can discipline myself to not touch the keyboard until I’m done!

      • http://twitter.com/PodcastinChurch Paul Clifford

        Make your goal not to write good stuff, but to write as much as possible.  Your future self will be better at editing, since he’ll have a sense of the whole book and right now you don’t.  This also helps with writers block.  If you write “any old crap” that comes into your head, you find that you get to the good stuff faster than staring at the blank screen.

        Paul

        • http://rickmanelius.com Rick Manelius

          I’m kinda doing that right now with my blog, although it’s a little different because the posts are still public and/or complete versus a manuscript that stays behind closed doors until the official ‘launch.’

          I guess a better way would be to pump out 10 drafts for posts and then go back and edit them individually. I’ll have to think about that.

          I do admit that I write better when I simply get it all out on the page first and then cleanup. It’s getting through that sprint before the little voice appears. That’s the challenge!

          Thanks for the great advice. Much appreciated.

        • http://cubedwellerfitness.com/ Troy Pesola

          Paul,   Just reading your comment has helped me know where to start.  I keep collecting, thinking, organization, agonizing ….. but not writing.

           -Troy

        • http://cubedwellerfitness.com/ Troy Pesola

          Paul,   Just reading your comment has helped me know where to start.  I keep collecting, thinking, organization, agonizing ….. but not writing.

           -Troy

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I wrote you a post, too. : ) 

  • http://twitter.com/davepelland Dave Pelland

    Great suggestions, as usual…I’m a big fan of dictation software. It’s not perfect, but it’s usually better (and faster) than I would be. 

  • Jon (was) in Michigan

    Timely advice, Chris.  I just started writing my first novel.  :)

  • http://www.linkedin.com/company/webvisible WebVisible

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  • http://www.heartchoices.com Debbie

    So many people believe they have a book inside of them …but never take the time to actually write it.  Thank you for breaking down some of those excuses.  I keep a journal and I use my camera to photograph memories I never want to forget.  Blogging regularly has also helped me to become a better writer.

    We do make a choice as to how we fill our time.  Thanks for your insights Chris.  Looking forward to your next book.

    Debbie

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Love your thoughts, Debbie. : ) Thanks for jumping in. 

  • http://www.JohnMichaelMorgan.com John Morgan

    When I was writing my book, Evernote became my best friend. I also found that staying up at night was when I would write my best. I’d throw some headphones and listen to something awesome while writing. I got 3x’s more done at night than I did during the day.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I’m totally with you. Sneaking in time and using headphones help. : ) 

  • http://www.stevenwb.com swbuehler

    I’ve been a firm believer in Livescribe since I bought my Pulse smartpen at the beginning of the year, and they’ve now got all kinds of ways to digitally capture handwritten notes, from notebooks to flippads to even post-it notes, and everything is searchable, and with a paid add-on they can even be converted to text for documents (and books). I keep my starter notebook with me everywhere and print one of the four printable notebooks from the desktop application to take notes at events or conferences, one 25-page printable notebook for each conference/event. It also captures audio as I write, so I can go back and listen to what was being said when I wrote down something in particular, and *watch the note being written* stroke-by-stroke as the audio plays along. I can (and have) also share those notes, with audio, with others as pencasts or specially-formatted Pencast PDFs that they can follow.

    (disclosure: I beta test for Livescribe, but I’d sing their praises even if I didn’t).

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I’m so cruddy with writing by hand. Ryan Blair told me he wrote his book longhand and I was mind-blown. That went out with Lincoln, I thought. But you too? I’m impressed. : ) 

      • http://twitter.com/Mofthesea Maria del Mar

        This is a great tip! I am one of those weird people who prefer longhand. Off to find out more about this!

      • http://www.stevenwb.com swbuehler

        I probably wouldn’t do whole books longhand; I do also carry around a netbook/tablet hybrid (Dell Inspiron Duo, which replaced my aging MacBook) for “bulk writing,” blogging, and interaction (I’m on it right now with the mobile hotspot on my Android device while I’m taking the commuter express bus into downtown Tampa from Plant City, and I type in the upper-90 to 100+ WPM range). But there are a lot of places where it’s far easier and less bulky to pull out my Livescribe smartpen and notebook and record audio and write than to boot/restore my “iDuo”, wait for OneNote or Evernote to load, etc., and the smartpen provides me with an instant hard copy “backup” as well. My writing is pretty readable (chalk that up to doing calligraphy as a hobby years ago) but it does get atrocious after a while; but I’ve found the Livescribe Desktop is fairly forgiving in that regard.
        Next time you’re down here in central Florida I’ll show it off for ya; my gf and I plan on Disney World annual passes in a couple of months and I know you’re down here from time to time (I was planning on PodCamp Boston next month but BarCamp/Blog Camp Tampa was scheduled for the same weekend and the local peeps get my priority).

      • http://www.stevenwb.com swbuehler

        I probably wouldn’t do whole books longhand; I do also carry around a netbook/tablet hybrid (Dell Inspiron Duo, which replaced my aging MacBook) for “bulk writing,” blogging, and interaction (I’m on it right now with the mobile hotspot on my Android device while I’m taking the commuter express bus into downtown Tampa from Plant City, and I type in the upper-90 to 100+ WPM range). But there are a lot of places where it’s far easier and less bulky to pull out my Livescribe smartpen and notebook and record audio and write than to boot/restore my “iDuo”, wait for OneNote or Evernote to load, etc., and the smartpen provides me with an instant hard copy “backup” as well. My writing is pretty readable (chalk that up to doing calligraphy as a hobby years ago) but it does get atrocious after a while; but I’ve found the Livescribe Desktop is fairly forgiving in that regard.
        Next time you’re down here in central Florida I’ll show it off for ya; my gf and I plan on Disney World annual passes in a couple of months and I know you’re down here from time to time (I was planning on PodCamp Boston next month but BarCamp/Blog Camp Tampa was scheduled for the same weekend and the local peeps get my priority).

  • http://www.AcademicSuccessForAll.com Elana

    I love this post. Thank you.

    For people who struggle with writing, either finding the time, staying focused, editing, I recommend EFT. Most people struggle because they have one or more self-limiting beliefs, which are usually unconscious but manifest themselves as behaviors that sabotage a conscious goal. EFT can help people to clear away those annoying, sub-conscious, self-limiting beliefs. EFT is easy to learn, totally harmless, and usually the results are quickly obtained.

    I have found it to be an invaluable tool for completing writing projects.

    I teach EFT to my coaching clients, but a google search will quickly lead you to a wealth of information on EFT, include numerous how-to videos.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I’m not sure what EFT is. : ) 

  • MissQ

    Hey Chris, can you explain the process in getting a book published. Where does one start? Any tips?
    Thanks,
    Q

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      The rest of the series will help a bit, but you would also want to read CKWEBB.com . He’s a Wiley guy who talks about books and publishing a lot. 

  • Anonymous

    After 6 books, I’ve finally found my groove and actually enjoy the process quite a bit.  Here’s to doing one together someday!

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      It only took six? And now with all the other changes in your world? : ) 

  • Anonymous

    Great post Chris!  I just used Ommwriter for the first time and love it!

    One trick I’m trying to master is doing 90 minutes of undistracted work followed by a rest period.  I learned it from a Success CD and so far it’s going great.  I’m sure the concept could be applied to writing a book as well.

  • Anonymous

    Great post Chris!  I just used Ommwriter for the first time and love it!

    One trick I’m trying to master is doing 90 minutes of undistracted work followed by a rest period.  I learned it from a Success CD and so far it’s going great.  I’m sure the concept could be applied to writing a book as well.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Brilliant, Brad. I think that’s a great model. Mine is more like 20 or 40 minutes, but that’s because I’m easily distracted. : ) 

  • http://20andengaged.com Briana Myricks

    Outlines definitely help me, and I just downloaded Ommwriter a couple of weeks ago, so I’m going to use those to my advantage.

    • http://rickmanelius.com Rick Manelius

      I like outlines but I ultimately had to ditch omni outliner. It’s just not as convenient as capturing ideas in evernote, particularly when I’m on the run and only have my phone.

      What feature is it that makes it work for you? Is it the ability to expand and collapse the different sections?

      • http://20andengaged.com Briana Myricks

        I haven’t tried Ommwriter out yet; I’m still a diehard Evernote user. But it’s nice that Ommwriter puts you in the right mindset TO write with minimal distractions. I wish the two would somehow merge, and provide the organization of Evernote yet the peacefulness of Ommwriter.

  • http://www.kenmoorhead.com Ken Moorhead

    “How you respect your own time and how you show others the value of your own time is the key here.”

    This is it, for me. I need a fair bit more “down time” to unwind than the average person — I also tend to be much more productive when “on the clock.” Good friends marvel that I only check email twice a day (it’s amazing how many problems sort themselves out if you let them) and frequently put calls from “important people” to voicemail. Out for a date on the weekend? The phone is turned OFF for the duration.

    It’s all about deciding what’s most important in your life — time with your kids, writing a book, getting fit — and creating hard rules for yourself about keeping those at the top of your priority list. Some people may squirm and complain at first if they wind up getting the short end, but they adapt quickly and learn to get what they need in the space you’re willing to give. 

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I love that you can do that, Ken. I’ve got NONE of those mastered. But I’m trying and hoping to learn. 

      • http://www.kenmoorhead.com Ken Moorhead

        It’s a bit terrifying at first. I went on vacation in May for the first time in a long while. I knew I’d been stressed and wound tight for months leading up to it, I was up late at night realizing all the things I hadn’t shown my coworkers how to do. I was stressed *before* going on vacation about the size of my inbox upon getting back to the office.

        My first day in Key West, there was a conscious effort not to log in to the webmail. Surely something had gone wrong and somebody needed something!

        I realized then that I wasn’t helping myself relax and that I needed to just let go of it for a week… the business had survived without me before and it could learn to survive without me temporarily. Then and there I decided that email was now a twice a day activity… and *not* a first-thing-in-the-morning priority. It was completely disruptive to everything else I was supposed to be getting done because that pile of email was full of urgent requests.

        I waited until I was actually back in the office to open the dreaded inbox …. nothing had gone wrong! Or at least no fires that only I could put out. Nobody had been left waiting on anything (or at least they knew to wait until I was back). I stuck with the twice-a-day rule (much to horrify my coworkers) and now it’s just habit. Things can wait. 

        Did I get your email? Yes, I’m sure I did, I’m sorry I haven’t been able to read it just yet. Most of the time I don’t even have the chance to ask “What can I help you with?” — things can wait.

        It *was* absolutely terrifying at first… and I felt compelled to be defensive about it (I did piss a few people off at first). I know how my friends feel when they say “Oh, your company/job just must be so different from mine, I could never do that” because I was sure of the same.

        But the truth is that once I drew those hard boundaries — getting enough sleep at night, leaving the office by 5:30 so I could work out before going home, taking a full and uninterrupted hour away from my desk at lunch, not even acknowledging my inbox’s existence save for about 45 minutes each at 11:30am and 4:30pm, everything become much clearer and easier. I knew I wasn’t going to work at home so it *had* to get done during the workday. It became easier to prioritize. And I learned how to gently tell people that I could help them, but there was a good chance it was going to take a while longer because of other commitments. It’s scary stuff for anyone, and people think I’m mad for doing it “in this economy.”

        I know your calendar is packed, but I’d challenge you to find a 10 day (M-F, two weeks) period that is less crammed to try out some very hard boundaries between what you want to do most and everything else. If it doesn’t get done between 8am and 6pm that day (or whatever you decide those boundaries are), it’s just not getting done that day. 

  • http://www.TheFranchiseKing.com The Franchise King

    Thanks, Chris. 

    I found the time to write my book. I informed my family that I couldn’t have any interruptions during certain times, and I closed the door to my office.

    I’m not going to tell you that it was always easy to find the time. Of course planning ahead and actually doing the writing didn’t always jive. Sometimes, I couldn’t put sentences together. Some days I just blew through page after page. …like someone possessed. 

    Pretty cool experience, all in all.

    JL: 

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      It’s very cool that your family could let you suffer through it. It’s not always easy to get that kind of buy-in, but when you can, take it. : ) 

  • Rex Williams

    You really know how to tap into a subject that a lot of people are dealing with, Chris. I guess listening to a large audience helps.

    I’m in the middle of the same thing, trying to find time to write a book. A few years ago, the cutting edge people were all launching blogs. Now, I think everyone is writing books. It’s because the technology and industry is changing, just like when it became easy to create your own blog, now it’s super easy to publish your own book.

    The hard part is still publishing content that is valuable, but I think we’re getting better.

    We are creatures of habit and routine, so breaking out is hard. But everyone somehow found time to publish a blog, now we’re just taking it to the next level.

    Thanks for the help.

  • Rex Williams

    You really know how to tap into a subject that a lot of people are dealing with, Chris. I guess listening to a large audience helps.

    I’m in the middle of the same thing, trying to find time to write a book. A few years ago, the cutting edge people were all launching blogs. Now, I think everyone is writing books. It’s because the technology and industry is changing, just like when it became easy to create your own blog, now it’s super easy to publish your own book.

    The hard part is still publishing content that is valuable, but I think we’re getting better.

    We are creatures of habit and routine, so breaking out is hard. But everyone somehow found time to publish a blog, now we’re just taking it to the next level.

    Thanks for the help.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Hi Rex–

      I definitely asked my audience for what they needed on this. It’s a fun trick, if you’re lucky enough to have a community that you’ve grown. I’m blessed. 

      One thing – publishing is easy. Distribution and sales are just as hard as ever before. Well, not distribution, awareness. 

      It’s the eyes. How do you get them wanting it? That’s coming up. 

      –Chris… 

  • http://voice.com/ Voice

    Great post–the trick, perhaps, is to find something you’re passionate about writing about so that you have the willpower to turn off all the distractions. But I suppose we’ll hear about that in the post about discipline!

  • http://voice.com/ Voice

    Great post–the trick, perhaps, is to find something you’re passionate about writing about so that you have the willpower to turn off all the distractions. But I suppose we’ll hear about that in the post about discipline!

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Passion doesn’t hurt your writing, but discipline *can* come without passion, if you practice enough. : ) 

  • http://www.lunaeva.wordpress.com Eva Luna

    Excellent article, busy writing my book at the moment, children locked in the wardrobe. 

  • http://badsphincteroedipus.com That’s Mr Matt Searles Bitch

    To be honest… I spend a whole heck of a lot more time trying to kill time then find time.. and of course.. the more time corpses you knock off.. the more you can talk about not being sure of where to find time.. (cause you know that sissy is hiding on you now)

    At the moment, there’s a crap load of things I can’t find the time for.. most of which involve cleaning in one form or another.. wether it be dishes.. or bleaching out the fridge.. (long story) or whatever.

    The good news is I can nearly always find time for movies or video games or… to drink beer…

    Or to put it another way.. I always feel like the shtick about “oh, I haven’t the time” is not really about time at all but about psychology.. 

    Like right now there’s a bunch of projects I’m trying to get off the ground.. but.. the issue has nothing to do with time.. it’s more like psychic inertia.. its getting that object to move.. or accelerating the objects movement that creates the most pain.. and that’s the part where times hardest to find.. 

    I think if we think about it that way it’s a whole lot easier..

    For instance.. I have this bad habit of taking like a month to create this bit of music.. [mind you what I'll create in that month is like world historic greatness] but there’s something about that that’s so painful.. like you gotta give up a month of you’re life to get that damn thing done.. and I know I gotta do it… but.. I just can’t bring myself to do that.

    I can, however, bring myself to load of a music production program.. and in between whatever the hell else I’m doing.. I will find time.. in the laziest of ways.. to play around in that program.. For the most part.. I play around in a way that’s “I refuse to do anything that feels like work,” cause you know.. I’m lazy like that.. style..

    But the truth is.. this is just an overcoming inertia tactic.. 

    Of course.. if I were really serious I’d probably email Native Instruments sucky tech support and ask them WTF is wrong with there data bass system.. and why is it that none of there crap worse since I down loaded there precious kore packs… 

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      You’re kind of a unique human though, Mister Searles. Am I wrong? 

      • Kevin Whyte

        I’m no Matt Searles but I think he has a brilliant point…psychic inertia. He describes me to a tee. 

        Unless there is a deadline imposed by someone I care about (& I don’t seem to care that much about self-imposed deadlines), I’ll do almost anything to avoid doing what I profess I want to do.  It’s fairly frustrating and leads to some pretty heated and negative internal debate.  At some point, something tips the balance and whatever it is I’m trying to do happens…almost in spite of me.  

        Successful time management, weight management, financial management & anything that isn’t a biological process requires mental discipline.  It is much more fun reading about how to make the time to write a book than it is to actually do it.  (but truthfully isn’t that a “good” thing?)  What was my point….I seemed to have lost it. Oh well, at some point hopefully your excellent advice will coalesce and I will become a book writing, company running, kid raising fool but until then, Mass Effect 3 is out this holiday season and I have to finish 1 & 2 again so I can be ready for it….hmmm is physic inertia simply laziness rebranded?

  • http://homeremediesmd.com Home Remedies MD

    I published my 1st book this year and hope to publish another book next year

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      That’s great. What did you write about? 

  • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

    Hi Paul–

    That’s awesome that you hit it during a lull. Very cool that it didn’t hit in the heart of it. But, let me say that I know that it’s not always fun to be at a lull between clients, either. : ) 

    –Chris… 

  • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

    So happy you shared this, Beth. I appreciate your perspective. Best of luck with your new book. I bet it’ll be amazing. : ) 

  • http://www.smallbizsurvival.com Becky McCray

    I’ve been thinking about this photo book… ;) 

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Hooray!

  • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

    I *love* this feedback, Cara. All good stuff. Thank you for sharing it, and I like that point about it being 250 words a page. I’m not sure I can do that in Google Docs, but will check on Pages (the Mac version of Word). 

  • http://www.timpeter.com/blog/ Anonymous

    This is awesome advice, Chris. 

    While I use Evernote all the time, I prefer text editors to Evernote for the actual writing (TextMate on the Mac and PlainText on iPad). PlainText saves to a Dropbox folder, so I can move between devices easily just like Evernote. I wrote a couple of sections yesterday–filling in the outline as you suggest–on a short flight on my iPad, then picked up and wrote a little more in my hotel. I format while writing using John Gruber’s Markdown language, which TextMate can convert to RTF, PDF, HTML or (Heaven forbid) LaTex when I’m ready to publish. 

    However, just as you mentioned, working this way lets me write whenever I’ve got a couple of minutes free. 

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I agree with text editors. I don’t use Evernote to write the actual book. : ) 

  • http://www.facebook.com/deannatroupe DeAnna Troupe

    Very good advice. I’ve published one book and I’m working on revamping another one. I like the tips that the other authors have given about just working on small chunks of the book at a time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/deannatroupe DeAnna Troupe

    Very good advice. I’ve published one book and I’m working on revamping another one. I like the tips that the other authors have given about just working on small chunks of the book at a time.

  • http://cubedwellerfitness.com/ Troy Pesola

    Chris,

    I look forward to the series.  Like many people I’ve had ideas bouncing around for years, but haven’t taken focused time to craft out a plan and start writing.

    Thanks,
         Troy

  • http://cubedwellerfitness.com/ Troy Pesola

    Chris,

    I look forward to the series.  Like many people I’ve had ideas bouncing around for years, but haven’t taken focused time to craft out a plan and start writing.

    Thanks,
         Troy

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Great! Stick with me, tough guy. : ) 

  • http://byderekj.com Derek Jensen

    iA writer is also another solution for eliminating distractions while writing. 

  • http://byderekj.com Derek Jensen

    iA writer is also another solution for eliminating distractions while writing. 

  • http://www.mikewhite.co.uk Michael White

    Everyone certainly has different writing styles. It is really fantastic that you find you can fit writing a book into your busy schedule (mainly because I want to read the book!). However I feel the need to shut myself away to write – no distractions. Not sure why. Bring on the rest of this post series!

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I know precious few people who publish books via that method. Know why? Because unless you’re wealthy and love solitude, it rarely works. 

  • http://www.wilsonusman.com/ Wilson Usman

    Love this because it’s true. We all do have the same amount of time. It’s really all about the excuses we make to not really get things done. Like everything else, if you want something really bad, you’ll do it. But of course having some of the tools and tips describe in this post I think it can make it a lot easier for us to get it done.

    Thanks Chris, I’m finally finishing my 1st mini eBook, my problem was fear though, I finally got over it.