Writing a Book: Putting it off

Aug 28, 2013 | Writing A Book

Yesterday, my friend, Dan Rockwell, wrote a post on his “Leadership Freak” blog titled, “A Personal Confession.” It includes the following.

“At lunch, I told my wife I thought I’d clean my office before working on ‘the book.’

She laughed hysterically. She laughed so much that I started laughing too.

When she finally stopped, – after starting and stopping several times – I said, ‘I didn’t think it was that funny.’

She said, with complete honesty and incredulity, ‘You’d rather clean your office than work on your book? You hate cleaning your office.’ Then, she started laughing hysterically again. She laughed so hard that I laughed along, but, with a little less gusto.”

Dan’s post is about getting any kind of important work done, but his example is similar to the situation of many people who want to write a book. For many of my clients, it happens because writing a book is a different kind of project. They’re not sure what to do next.

As David Allen taught us in his book, Getting Things Done, that can be a real roadblock. Knowing the next step lets us get on with taking it and it’s why some authors hire a coach. Here are some other things that can help you get on with writing your book.

Establish a book writing habit. Write at the same time and the same place every day. After a while the clock and the location will be reminders to write.

Follow my “Raymond Chandler Rule.” When it’s time to write, go to your cave. You don’t have to write, but you can’t do anything else, not even “research.”

Get an accountability partner. Some people hire a coach for that purpose, but you can use anyone who will gently, but firmly remind you of what you should be doing. Make sure it’s someone you’ll listen to. Spouses, good friends, and professional colleagues have all signed on as accountability partners.

There’s no doubt that Dan knows how to write. He writes Leadership Freak posts every day. He’ll find that writing a book is different and I’m sure he’ll figure out a way to get it done. When he does, I want to read the book.

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