Are you planning to write a book later this year? Here’s 5 things to start doing now, to lay the ground. (If you’re ready to start now, read this: How to start writing a book, in 5 steps.)
1. Evernote your sources
Every time you read a useful blog post, article, or quote, add it to Evernote and tag it “book”. If you don’t already have an Evernote account, open one now. I have the Evernote add-on on my computer browser, and the app on my phone on the same page as my internet and blog-reader links, so I remember to use it. Read more about using Evernote and curating your info.
2. Collect case studies
Every client and project is a potential case study for your book – but when it comes to writing the book, you can’t always remember them. Choose an easy way to collect key info on each one. You could…
- create a computer folder to drag-and-drop client or project documents into
- type up a few notes on Evernote
- use a small notebook that you can carry with you easily
- write them up as case studies on your blog
3. Start blogging
Blog regularly – even if no-one ever reads it. Regular blogging has a host of benefits for your writing. Among others, it helps you identify ideas, get a feel for the shape and size of topics, and practise writing in a friendly, accessible style. As with any skill, writing improves with regular practice, so get a head start now. Read more about how blogging will help you.
4. Glean your ideas
As your awareness that you’re going to write a book grows, you’ll keep thinking of bits to include in it. These often come at odd moments and can slip from your mind just as easily, so make sure you capture them. After each project or client session, book in a quarter hour of reflection time to jot down notes.
5. Book in the time
If you’re planning to write your book later in the year, plan to write your book later in the year: book the time into your calendar now, to make sure it’s safeguarded. If you want to write your first draft in 3 months, as I help my clients do with the Springboard programme, I recommend that you set aside one full day or 2-3 evenings a week (about 6 hours, excluding breaks). If your business doesn’t allow you to set aside that much, then halve it and plan to write your first draft over 6 months. A word to the wise: books are marathons, not sprints, and writing responds very badly to stress. Don’t book yourself a crazy schedule: it’s better to create a sustainable plan and take longer over your first draft. You’ll be healthier for it, obviously, but so will your book.
If you want to declare your book goals and hold yourself accountable, email me with your book topic and your planned start date. I’ll send you fortnightly reminders to keep gathering your raw material.