Writing in small increments, over a few months.
This is the method which I advocate in most situations…. But there is a happy medium. For me, that’s is about 12 weeks.
It’s pretty quick, so you’re always doing something and moving forward, but it’s not SO quick that you lose quality.
You don’t want to spend 12 months or two years writing your book. It will feel like forever and become that really slow, boring project you never get around to doing and there is no end in sight.
I suggest to all my book coaching clients that they write for 15 minutes a day.
Yes, it would be even better if you could do 30 mins, 40 mins or an hour… but for many people, this becomes a bit overwhelming on a daily basis, because it’s a bigger chunk of time you have to set aside before you do anything else (I suggest writing before you even open social media or emails so that you avoid going down a rabbit hole and never coming back to the book!).
15 minutes is so much more do-able.
Like all good things, this is how you’ll create a habit. This momentum will build and you will find it easier and easier to write, rather than putting it off and procrastinating because you’re not in the right mood or headspace.
Although people say “But I can’t get into my creative flow within 15 minutes”, it’s actually the opposite. Firstly, this is a bit of a mindset issue and will become a self-fulfilling prophecy if you keep telling yourself that… BUT beyond that, once you start writing every day, over time your brain will recognise the habit and your creativity unlocks! Have you ever heard about creativity thriving with discipline? It happens!
When I wrote my book, I made a decision to write for at least 15 mins every day, whether I felt like it or not. Even if I was tired (I had a baby and a full-time job, so I was often tired!), I still sat at my computer and wrote SOMETHING for 15 mins. Then if I was still tired, I could go and sleep/relax… but sometimes, those 15 mins turned into 3hrs and 3000 words.
And writing every day is a good way to build your confidence – because we build confidence when we do what we say we’re going to do.
I once read about a woman with five kids who wrote for five mins every morning before her children woke up. In a year she had written a novel.
Now that’s inspirational!
The beauty of writing for 15 minutes is that in addition to feeling very achievable, it also means that if you are doing it seven days a week, then missing a day or two here and there won’t throw you off your game.
Now, it’s likely that you won’t get your whole book written in three months if you ONLY write for 15 minutes each day… but you’ll get a lot closer than the ‘waiting until you’re inspired’ or ‘writing once a week’ approaches.
I’ve also noticed that when you do write for 15 minutes a day, that you feel inspired to write more. Suddenly you find pockets of time all over the place. The time you didn’t think you had before.
What I love about writing your book this way is that it has time to breathe and develop. You’re writing while you’re living, breathing, having fun, working with clients… and you go through lots of moods and ebbs and flows. All of this breathes life into your manuscript, and while it also means there are up and down periods, you can smooth this out during the editing phase.
Your book has time to blossom.