Reset

Three Things I Learned Last Week

You don’t write a book because it’s a good thing to write a book. You don’t write a book to “build your platform.” You write a book because you can’t bear not writing a book. You have something to say and you’re willing to put in the effort, day after day, to craft that message in the best possible manner.

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Starting in the Middle

Amy wrote in and said she was struggling with writing her book. “I know I have something good to share with people!” she said. “But I’m having a hard time just getting started.” I’ve written about working through process a few times before—see how to make decisions, starting a business, and how to finish, for…

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The Essence of the Process Is Revision

I've said before that writing a book isn't difficult when you break it down into 1,000 words a day. In fact, if you write 1,000 words a day fairly consistently, you can write more than one book a year.

A few smart readers have pointed out that the writing is the easiest part. Truly crafting something worthwhile requires much more work in the editing or revision phase. It's one thing to get 50,000 words on the page, and it's another to turn them into something that other people want to read.

I still maintain that it's more important for most of us to focus on forward motion, on making choices that allow for consistent, daily effort. Most people remain stuck at the beginning, unable to envision a reality of themselves actually writing a book or creating another big project.

Nevertheless, the comments that revision is more difficult and more important are true. First you create, then you revise. The essence of the process is revision.

49,000 Words and Miles to Go

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How to Write a Book

Most important: to write a good book, you need a good idea. No one wants to read a book without an idea, no matter how well written it may be. Always start with something to say.

But let's look at the practical aspect—how do you actually write a book?

It turns out it's not that difficult. You basically work with the time-and-money concept, where you break down exactly what you need to accomplish the desired goal. How much is required?

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1,000 Days After Overnight Success

More than two years ago, I wrote a free manifesto on becoming a professional writer in less than a year. It was called 279 Days to Overnight Success, and the purpose was to outline the roadmap I had followed in crafting a new career after moving back to the U.S. from overseas and finishing grad school. Somewhere around 15% of the total AONC readership can be traced to the worldwide interest in this manifesto, so I thought I'd take a quick look back at the lessons from it.

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Notes from a Cold Bathroom Floor in South Africa

Tomorrow I'll be headed to Madagascar, the final stop of my latest trip before I begin the long process of returning home. But at the moment, I've been spending the past three hours sitting on the floor of the bathroom during a brief stopover in Johannesburg. Why the bathroom? Because it's freezing here in Johannesburg—we're now in the middle of the southern hemisphere winter—and the only heater in my room is located by the sink.

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