My first book, The Greatness Gap, was published recently. Since then, I have gotten dozens of emails and phone calls from a course in miracles how I did it, and did it so quickly. You see, I’m not a “writer” solely by trade; I’m a full-time Chief Marketer and Executive who happens to do a lot of writing in the confines of my full-time job. I still was able to write my 200-page book, outside of my job, in 35 days.
However, being a published author was always one of those aspirational sorts of things for me and I’m sure for a lot of people. If you’re thinking about writing a book, or using a book as a foundation for a business, perhaps you can take some insight from what I learned along the way. I should also note that I do plan on writing more books in the future based on my experience this first time around.
For a first-time author, I have gotten asked the top five following questions:
1) How did I write a book while still having a full-time job (and presumably doing my full-time job well)?
My easiest answer to this is that you would be absolutely shocked at how much time one has when they strip out all the distractions. I would say the biggest thing, if you’re married or have a family, is that you need 100% support and buy-in from your spouse. In my case, my wife was absolutely supportive of my efforts and very involved in the entire process, and so if I disappeared for 2 or 3 hours on a weekend, she knew why. In fact, my wife was my first editor and she read and reviewed the book at least 5 times before anyone else saw the first draft, so she was as much a “part of” my book as me. Beyond having immense support at home, I literally tried to use every single minute of the day outside of my job to write.
This made it easy to focus very distinctly on my work when I needed to, and then on my book when I needed to. I never was focused on the other while I was doing one. Weekends, late nights, and early mornings were the prime times for me. If you figure that most people in full-time jobs work anywhere from 7-10 hours a day, that leaves (in my case) 14 hours. Some of that is sleep, some of that is down-time or doing other hobbies, but if you take a few hours off your sleep schedule and back-burner other hobbies, you absolutely can write the book without letting work or family obligations go to pieces. In fact, I continued to achieve at the same high level at my job while writing the book, and no one at work even knew I wrote it until I was finished. That’s how “church and state” I made it.
2) How did I write my 200-page book in 35 days?
Ah, yes. The question of how I wrote 200 book pages in 35 days. First, let me say that the book is legitimately good, and has been positively reviewed by several independent sources, so it isn’t like I just wrote 200 pages but the book was bad. I’ve already covered the importance of support at home and time management. But the actual writing is a different story. For me, I was immensely passionate about the contents of my book. Therefore, I would have a lot of stream of consciousness thoughts related to what I wanted to say in the book. I basically would write (type) everything down as it came to me. I think that’s important. I wasn’t trying to write a masterpiece, perfectly formatted and grammatically correct, from the start.