Writing a high quality book takes time. But unless you’re writing the Great American Novel or the Unabridged History of Everything, you don’t want it to take too long. I shoot for 90 days for my coaching clients for a reason and not just because it sounds snappy.
When you’re writing something as large and complex as a book, you need to keep the momentum going. That’s why I start my clients with a one day intensive that charts a specific course for their book. The first – very rough – draft is on paper in two weeks. From there we see what needs fleshing out, more research, maybe a graphic or case study to illustrate a point. We look for what’s missing, maybe a missed step or a jump in logic. We add some more to the first draft. Then we have time to edit and polish.
But not too much time. The more time you have to complete a project, the more time it takes. Work expands to fill the time allotted. Always.
Writing – more accurately – finishing a book involves pacing yourself. The bursts of energy that result in putting it all down on paper or powering you through editing successive drafts need to be interspersed with time away from the manuscript so you can come back to it with fresh eyes.
My coaching and ghostwriting clients are all highly motivated and very busy individuals. They do more in a week than most people do in a month. (Yes, it’s sometimes a matter of herding cats.) I have found the most successful individuals work from a plan with a schedule and that’s what I give them.
Keeping momentum going is a vital component of the book writing/finishing process. Most would-be authors get bogged down somewhere in the middle, when they lose energy, enthusiasm and direction. That’s when most abandon the project.
If I can have the majority of your book down on paper within a few weeks, we can avoid bogging down altogether. You don’t get lost in the middle because you started out with a road map that plotted out your journey from beginning to end. A 90 day window to complete your project gives you an endpoint that is close enough to see. It’s easier to walk through a mile of tunnel if you are heading towards a light than it is to walk that same mile in darkness. It’s the difference between hoping you’ll finish and knowing you’ll finish.
My job is to provide light throughout the tunnel so you’re not walking blindly. We start off fast so you have the momentum to carry you through the project. And, if I am really good, writing a book will be an enjoyable process rather than a struggle.