For years I talked about writing a book, but I didn’t have the time, resources, or know-how to start. After 10 years of making excuses, I finally told myself, “you’re going to do this Larry!”. After only two weeks, I was staring down at the one hundred and two pages of my first book. Wow. I couldn’t believe it. It may sound astonishing, but it’s not. I had the book inside of me the whole time. The only thing stopping me was that pestering demon called “procrastination”.
I remember my first year of high school, I was obsessed with a girl named Heather. She was sweet, pretty, and smart, a girl every guy at school was after. Incidentally, Heather and I were good friends, but I could never bring myself to ask her out, although I wanted to. Afraid of my own will, I had my friend James speak to her on my behalf. That day after lunch he came back to me with a huge smile on his face and said, “Man, she said you’re a procrastinator!” I took offense. Being “a procrastinator” sounded really bad, and it is. However, to my embarrassment, I didn’t know what the word meant, but when I finally figured it out, it was too late. Heather had moved to another state.
How I Wrote a Book in Two Weeks
A few weeks ago my friend Lonna asked how I was able to write my book so fast. I’ve struggled to write many times, but at this moment, it came easy… I’m just talking about my rough draft. Once I decided to stop procrastinating, I put together a plan, and the story came almost effortlessly. It takes more than passion for meeting your goals, you need a plan, some way to execute on your passion.
So yes, I made a plan, and I’m going to share it with you.
Here’s my comprehensive list of all the things I did to arrive at page 102. So if you’re ready to get your thoughts out of your head and into your first book, this is how.
Step One: Drilling Down Your Theme
In order to write, you have to have something to write about. What’s your theme? What’s the question your audience is asking that you have the answer to?
It’s usually something you hate and want to fix. That’s what drives passion.
For me, it was a no-brainer. I hate seeing people get taken advantage of by so-called marketing experts that never deliver on their promises. I wanted to restore the faith of those who felt they were never going to figure it out.
So think about it? What is the most important question your audience asking that you have the answer to?
What are you known for? What do you want people to know about you? What ideas do you have that will be valuable to someone else?
Whatever the answer is, it should be your theme — your purpose — what your book is about.
Once you have your theme, you have to figure out your concept.
Step Two: Nailing Your Concept
A concept is how you make your story relatable so that your ideas resonate with your audience.
Everyone has ideas, but without a good concept, people won’t be interested in what you have to say.
As in my case, many people write marketing books, but how many people write marketing books associated with ancient heroes? I had to focus on a concept that would make my book special, something that would resonate with my audience and spark interest.
The purpose (theme) of my book was to help people away from the things that didn’t work so they could focus on the things that do. In order to pull this off, I wanted to highlight the parallels between the most successful businesses of today and the heroes of yesterday. This was tied into the concept of my book… It’s how I packaged my ideas.
So what’s a clever way to package your story that will make people want to listen?
What’s your concept?
Step Three: Establishing an Outline
It’s hard to create a piece of art without establishing a clear outline. Just like the colors of the Mona Lisa, you’re going to need a scheme that brings the whole story together. Imagine the Mona Lisa with colors like blue and pink… it wouldn’t be the Mona Lisa. In the same way, your story has to make sense. You need something cohesive and easy to follow.
Writing a book is like growing a tree…
Think of all the parts that make up a tree: You have the roots, trunk, branches, and leaves.
When I wrote my first book, I didn’t create the leaves before the branches. I started with the root, which is the theme. Then I went into the trunk, which is the concept. Then I laid out my chapters, the branches. And every paragraph represented a leaf attached to the branch, that was connected to the trunk, that all came from the root. This is how you create a cohesive message, chapter by chapter that leads up to the climax of your story… the answer.
Step Four: Filling in the Blanks
Have you ever written an article, blog post, proposal, letter, or report? Then you can write a book. A book is a collection of ideas all tied into one theme and one concept.
Remember writing reports in school?
First, the teacher would give you a purpose for the project (theme). But it was up to you to demonstrate your knowledge in a way she could understand (concept). When writing the report, you probably had to structure it by sections and paragraphs that focused on particular ideas that lead to the conclusion (outline).
Now, how many reports have you written in school? Think about it…
It would probably only take five reports to create your first book.
And that’s how it’s done. Now the only thing left for you to do is fill in the blanks.
Are you ready? Then let’s do it!
P.S. I never found out what happened to Heather. She’s probably happily married to the guy who didn’t procrastinate.