We spend time being ‘busy'. Busy marketing on social media. Busy networking with fellow writers. Busy submitting manuscripts to publishers.
You know what we forget? We're writers. We need to write!
One of the things I found early on was that I, apparently, write pretty fast. Joe asked me the other day how I'd already written more than four novels in my short writing career.
I laughed. Why? Because I thought I was going too slow. You see, my goal is to write a lot. A lot, a lot.
So how can you write a book starting now? Try F.A.S.T.
Want to learn how to write a book from start to finish? Check out How to Write a Book: The Complete Guide.
1. Forget The Rules Placed On Your Craft
I'm lucky because I don't come from a classically trained writing background. You see, if you've grown up wanting to be a writer, and you've taken courses, majored in writing, had Pulitzer winning professors, etc…along the way you've been told rules over and over again.
Do these sound familiar?
“You can't make money writing.”
“You have to take a lot of classes.”
“You have to major in English or Creative Writing to write a novel.”
“A book takes at least 18-months to finish.”
…and on and on and on.
If I'd listened to what people had told me, I wouldn't have clicked one keyboard key in pursuit of my dream.
How can you do the same?
2. Aim For A Weekly Goal
I started out with a daily goal. That's great if you can swing it, but you know what? Life gets in the way. It's impossible to ignore the wife, kids, and bills to write all day.
Now my goal, when I'm on a deadline, is 10,000 words per week. That means I can write 2,000 words on Monday, 1,000 words Tuesday, and so on. My writing fits into my schedule, but I still have that weekly goal to hit.
By hitting my weekly targets I've been able to achieve my larger goal of writing each novel in just two months. Not bad.
3. Set Your Routine
I have a set way of writing novels. I always wear noise canceling headphones with a soundtrack playing that I specifically created for the novel I'm writing. I always bring my Costco green tea to drink. I always have a protein shake and a stick of cheese in the same little grey cooler. I always write during the middle of the day.
My routine puts me in the zone. It's my safe place. When I sit down to write I just write. I don't have to worry about what I'm gonna eat or if I'm properly hydrated.
You should do the same. You don't have to be completely anal about it. The simple act of writing in the same place each day can give you the comfort you need to speed down the path to finish your book.
4. Train Your Brain
I didn't know anything else. Sure I wrote essays and stories in grade school in college, but I made my system up. My goal is to write six novels every year. That's one every two months. For me, that's very achievable.
You might be different. Your current pace may be only 1,000 words per week. Train your brain to double that number. Triple that number.
Exceed your prior expectations and crush your self-imposed limitations.
Rewrite Your Rulebook
You might be a super prolific writer. You might be the slowest writer on the planet. What separates you from the other guy or gal? Talent? CPU speed? A better dictionary?
I say it's all mental. If you believe you can write a book in a month, you do it. If you've heard that books take twenty years to write, why are you listening?
Make your own rules. Get your art out there. Your readers are waiting. (Share that?)
Where will your career go if you rewrite the rulebook?
For fifteen minutes write about what your writing career will look like in ten years if you ignore the advice of all the “experts” out there. Dream big.
When you’re done, post your practice in the comments. As usual, be supportive by giving feedback to others’ practices.