When my last book came out, many people asked me how on earth I found the time to write a book. That’s a great question!
As many of you know this blog gets 1.5 to 2 million unique visitors each month. If you are a blogger, then you know a lot of work goes into keeping up a website. Because of this, I knew if I was going to find the time to write another book, it was going to take some serious re-arranging of our schedule and my business/work time to make it happen.
Here are 3 strategies I employed that allowed me to find the time to write a book:
Strategy #1: I Made it a Priority
We had decided that writing another book was a priority for me and for our family, so we made the time for it — with some effort and creativity and the support of my family!
If you want to actually follow through with anything, you have to say, “I’m GOING to make this a priority” not “I WANT to do this”. After you have committed to making it your priority, then, you have to look at your schedule and figure out how it’s going to work.
Jesse and I got out our calendar and found a three-month period where I wasn’t going to be traveling much and our family commitments were relatively low. We blocked that entire period off on our calendar and basically said “no” to almost everything during that season.
Strategy #2: I Hired a Ghost Editor
Once I knew when I could take the time to write the book, I hired on a ghost editor. A ghost editor is someone who works alongside you in the writing process.
I worked with my editor on every single section of every chapter. I would write down all of the concepts I wanted to talk about in each section and my editor would ask me a lot of questions about it.
She would send back an outline and some content ideas to me and I would go in and re-arrange things and expand on her suggestions. Then we would talk more about the order, she’d do more tweaks and give more suggestions, and I’d write more content. And on and on it went — through every chapter and every page and every paragraph of the book.
Every step of the way, she would guide me in the process and be there to give feedback, constructive criticism, and encouragement. Having AJ work alongside me really helped me to stay focused and kept me accountable. Not only did she help me come up with exactly what I wanted, she significantly reduced the amount of time I had to spend researching, tweaking, and editing. Best of all, she made the final product so much better!
Strategy #3: I Rallied My In-Home Cheerleaders
It is so important that everyone in your life is on board with the idea of you writing a book. I knew that writing a book was going to take a major commitment on my part, which would impact my husband and kids in a big way, too. So I didn’t say yes to writing it or commit to the timeframe my publishers wanted it written in until I knew my family was wholeheartedly supportive of every bit of it.
Because of their firm commitment to this, they were willing to come up with a pretty unconventional work schedule during the time period when I was writing the book. I would go to bed early and sleep for a while. Then I would get up at 12:00am and work until 4:00am. I’d go back to bed for a while and then get up late and start my day.
The kids and Jesse would get up and around at least an hour or two before me but because Jesse works from home now and took over a lot of the home and homeschooling responsibilities while I was writing the book, it worked for us.
This allowed me to get some quality writing hours in while most of the world was fast asleep and the house was completely quiet and the internet was almost 100% dead. This meant, there were almost no potential distractions and I could fully concentrate on writing.
I don’t necessarily recommend that you try a crazy schedule like this, it was grueling and hard and it took me at least a few months to recover and get back to a really normal routine. But sometimes, in order to hit a goal that you’ve made a priority, you make short-term sacrifices for long-term benefits.