Writing a Book: 4 Ways to get the writing done

Dec 4, 2013 | Writing A Book

You’ve decided to write your book. You’ve done the planning. Now all you have to do is write the thing.

Ideally you want to work in uninterrupted blocks of time that last at least an hour. Uninterrupted means no phones or social media activity or breaks to wash the dog. Just write. Research on ultradian rhythms suggests that 90 minutes is the best amount of time for most of us to get into the writing, do significant work, and wrap up.

Here are three ways other authors have done it.

Carve out time to write every day. This is the most popular way to get the book done. People get up an hour early, or stay up late, or devote their lunch hour to writing. I’ve found that this works best if you can also write at the same time and in the same place every day.

Carve out a larger block of time every week. I’ve know authors who set aside Saturday or Sunday morning, or maybe the whole day to work on their book. To make this work, you will probably have to figure out how to get planning and some research done before your writing time.

Get away for a couple of days or a week and do nothing but write. Some authors I know have really hectic professional schedules. The only way they can get their writing done is to go away and write for a few days.

I’ve used that strategy for the big push to finish a couple of books. I’ve stayed at a bare bones Seaman’s Mission, borrowed a friend’s house on the Russian River, and another friend’s small trailer in Aspen.

Well, the headline says there are four ways and I’ve only mentioned three. What’s the other one?

If you can’t make any of the first three work, you have to suck it up and write in the cracks in your day. Everything we know about good writing says that shouldn’t work, but many, many authors have produced great work that way.

Many of those writers are moms who are caring for pre-school children. They prepare breakfast, and then write until they have to get the kids up. They write some when they put the kids down for a nap and stop when they get up. They fit the work into the time available. I admire these people because they have the discipline to do good work in snatches despite an onslaught of distractions.

Bottom Line

Find the way to write that’s best for you and your situation. Then write.

What’s your experience?

How do you get your book writing done?