Having Lunch? Why not write a book!
Jeanette S. Cates, Ph.D.
You're reading this with a skeptical mind. And I would have, too, just 60 days ago - before I wrote and published my first book. So set aside your doubts and see how to make this work for you.
How it Began
It started as a pleasant lunch in my favorite "working" restaurant - you know the one with great service, a quiet afternoon atmosphere, and, for me, sunshine coming in the window. On that day I took a new book from a friend of mine - 101 Power Strategies: Tools to Promote Yourself as the Contractor of Choice. He had given it to me a few weeks before and it looked interesting.
As I began to thumb through it, my mind started clicking. Let's see, Paul's Strategy #1: Talk to everyone you know. In my online world that's the equivalent of Gather emails.
Paul's Strategy #2: Say it in an elevator. Hmmm, online that would be Use a signature file. And so it continued. As I read each of Paul's strategies, I wrote down the equivalent in my area of expertise - online business. Naturally, one idea triggered another until I had over 100 ideas by the end of lunch. Wow! The outline for a book, although it had no chapters or sections at this point. But I had the ideas down on paper. Less than 2 hours work - and a pleasant lunch.
Five Minutes per Page
So what do you do with 100+ ideas? You start adding substance to them. I had recently read the sales letter for Steve Manning's How to Write a Book in 14 Days and signed up for his email lessons. They promised to teach me how to write in 5 minute stretches. Yes, I had to set aside my skepticiam in order to recognize that he was onto something.
Indeed, he showed me that I could write 2/3 page in just 5 minutes. No longer a skeptic, I ordered the full course and devoured it when it arrived!
Now it was time to apply my learning. I took my list of 100 ideas everywhere. I applied the 5-minute writing technique to one idea at a time - while waiting for an appointment, sitting in Barnes & Noble, waiting for a restaurant order to arrie, on the plane, in meetings. I spent just 5 minutes on each idea. 101 ideas x 5 minutes is only 8 hours and 25 minutes! The first draft was finished! I had written a book over lunch!
Next came the organization. I put each idea (now called Tactics) on an index card and started sorting. I came up with 6 or more structures, but finally settled on the current table of contents that fits my larger Online Success System.
I went back to Paul's book and looked at the section intros, the front matter and the back pages. I decided what I liked and what I would add. Then I started writing - it was easier this time.
So how long did it take to finish the book start to finish? Approximately 60 days from my first day in the restaurant I had a finished draft ready for layout and final editing. Getting it to the final copy, with cover, sent to the printer took another 30 days. Recognize that this was not a full-time job. I wrote while doing my full-time consulting business and launching 3 new web sites.
The most important thing is it's finished! After years of thinking "I need a book" I now have a book. It's not the large, comprehensive reference manual I had envisioned for my first book. But it's a quality product that sells and provides good experience on how to market a book.
So what's keeping you from having a book?
"I don't know what to write." My suggestion: pick up a book you like and model your book after it. I highly recommend Paul's 101 Power Strategies since it provides solid, general business principles (and it has a solid track record for inspiring others!)
"I don't know how to write." My suggestion: Go to How to Write a Book in 14 Days and sign up for the free email course. You'll learn enough to recognize the value of the full product - and you'll be a more confident, faster writer.
"I don't have time." My suggestion: See suggestion above. You'll learn the 5 minute technique and be writing in no time. After, can't you spare 8 to 10 hours to write a book?
Send me a copy of your book - I'll look for it within the next 90 days. See you on the bookshelves!
Dr. Jeanette Cates is the founder and CEO of TechTamers, a consulting firm that works with business owners who are ready to turn their knowledge and their websites into gold! She is the author of Online Success Tactics: 101 ways to grow your small business and the creator of the Online Success System.
©2002-2004 TechTamers.com. This article may be reprinted online or in print so long as the above paragraphs remain in place.
Book Over Lunch - a TechTamers site