11 Ways to Make Writing Your Book Efficient and Fun

Here are eleven great ways to make writing your book more efficient and fun:

1. Dedicate a specific time to write and prioritize it. If your book is a priority for you, then other things will have to become a lower priority. For me it seems like everything is number one priority so I try to do it all and multitask to the max. But this really doesn’t work that well. Two things really help get your book done: dedicating time to write and having assurance along the way that you’re doing the right thing. You can get both of these things at my Write-Your-Book Workshop in January in St. Paul, MN.

2. Write when you are at your best. Past jobs I’ve had have forced me to be “on” at any given time during the day or night. But as I’ve paid attention to my natural disposition and preferences, I’ve learned what time of day works best for me. When do you work best?

3. Focus only on your book during your writing time. Multitasking is a myth. Trying to do a number of things at the same time is not helpful for any of the tasks. In fact you will perform each task more slowly and less accurately. So devote your full attention to your project and you’ll make greater traction faster.

4. Let the words flow. Don’t get stuck in the weeds. Check out my post “Increase Your Writing Speed: 5 Ways to Write More, Faster.”

5. Flow within your outline, not outside of it. When I say to let it flow, it’s not a free pass to write about anything and everything that comes to mind. It is permission to let the ideas flow within the constraints of your book’s structure or outline—the part of it you are writing at that time.

But if you happen to step into the flow of another part of the book besides the one you had planned to work on, go with the flow. Use the natural energy you have to fuel that part of the book.

6. Put unfocused thoughts in the parking lot. You’ll notice that when you step into creativity, you’ll get a ton of creative thoughts about everything, not just the topic you’re working on. Don’t let them distract you from what you’re trying to focus on. But you also don’t want to lose something good that you may want to use later.

If what you start to think about is not directly related to what you are working on at that moment, put it in the parking lot. In other words, have a piece of paper or another file open on your computer to document anything you want to remember later but doesn’t belong in what you are working on right now. Take a few brief notes and then get back to your area of focus.

7. Make yourself comfortable and enjoy yourself. Work outside. Enjoy your favorite hot or cold beverage. Put on music (I avoid music with words and stick mostly with classical music that is lively). Make a healthy snack to nibble on while you write. Buy a bunch of helium balloons or a bubble machine and have them floating around the room. Whatever makes your working environment more productive and enjoyable, do it. Read a great blog post by Beth Barany about taking care of yourself while you are writing.

8. Write in 60, 90, or 120-minute blocks of time. I find it hard to get into a decent flow in anything less than one hour. More than two hours I start to lose the writing edge that is needed. If you set aside a half or full day to write, set an alarm for yourself so that you get up and take a regular break. The break will help you to be more productive when you dive back in to the content after the break.

9. Ask questions along the way. There’s nothing quite like doing a bunch of work and then realizing that you’ve wasted your time because you did it the wrong way. Always feel free to ask someone you’d consider a professional in the field or even someone who might know just a little more than you do.

10. Capture creativity when it’s happening. Pay attention to when ideas start to come to mind. Take time at that moment to write them down—at least the general idea or a few bullet points. Otherwise your ingenious thoughts that were once so clear will disappear into the dark and mysterious abyss that holds all the creativity that didn’t get captured in the moment.

11. Do whatever you have to do to make significant progress. Each person has his or her own way of working most productively. Figure that out for yourself and make it work. Others are waiting to read your book!

Question: Which of these do you need to focus on the most? Leave your comment below.

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