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I don’t have time

I want to write a book but

I want to write a book but I don’t have time

I’m assuming you are reading this blog post because 1) you want to write a book and 2) you don’t have time, unless you stumbled on this post by accident, in which case check out these writing tips instead. But if that title just about sums up your position vis-à-vis writing a book, you’re in exactly the right place.

Before we dive in, make yourself a coffee or your favourite beverage, take ten minutes out, take a deep breath, and let’s analyse the problem. Answer these five questions:

  1. How have you tried to solve this book / time problem before?
  2. Why hasn’t it worked?
  3. How do you feel about wanting to write a book but not having the time to do it?
  4. Why do you want to write a book?
  5. Why don’t you have time?

If you answer ‘I don’t know’ to any of these, keep asking why until you either work out the answer or understand what you would need to do in order to find out the answer.

The answers to these questions will be different for everyone, and embedded within those answers is the solution to your problem.

Go back to the ‘why’ questions above for a moment. (Questions 2, 4 and 5.) You may have been tempted to jot down the first thing that came into your head. That’s fine, but let’s take it up a notch. Take each of these questions and keep asking ‘why’ until you get to your deepest reason.

By the way, if you want to publish a book but don’t want to write it, you’re in a different position – scroll down to the end of this post for a couple of tips.

A thought-experiment

We’re going to compare the answers to question 4 and 5 and look at how they match up. Here’s an example. I am sort of exaggerating to make a point here, but only sort of. I’m assuming – as this example is a made up – that these are the deepest answers this writer gave to these questions.

Why do you want to write a book? It would be fun. I need a way to relax.

Why don’t you have time? I just had twins and my partner’s gone back to work.

Think yourself into the role of either agony aunt or wise friend, whichever helps you the most. What would you advise a friend who came to you with the above answers, and asked what to do? By the way, as this is a thought experiment, you can substitute any big life event for ‘just had twins’ – in fact switch out any of the details in this thought experiment if it makes it easier for you to mull over.

Too many soap operas?

Now consider these answers instead:

Why do you want to write a book? It’s my main life goal not only to see myself in print but to have a career as a successful writer.

Why don’t you have time? I watch way too many soap operas.

Again, what would you say, as agony aunt or wise friend, if someone you know presented you with this conundrum? Next I’m going to mix up the answers. Once more, imagine yourself in the role of agony aunt or wise friend once more and try advising on the following. These are harder!

Person one

Why do you want to write a book? It would be fun. I need a way to relax.

Why don’t you have time? I watch way too many soap operas.

Person two

Why do you want to write a book? It’s my main life goal not only to see myself in print but to have a career as a successful writer.

Why don’t you have time? I just had twins and my partner’s gone back to work.

How would you advise yourself?

Now compare your own REAL answers to questions 4 and 5 and imagine you are that agony aunt or wise friend, giving out advice. (And you’re really good at giving advice.) What would you say?

This process is about saying ‘yes’ to the book you really want to write. We’ll look at the answers to the other three questions in the next post in this series, which is all about how setting up systems will enable you to find more time to write.

What if you don’t want to write your book?

If you’d like to publish a book, but don’t want to write it and / or don’t have time, you can consider:

  • collating existing content like blog posts or course materials you’ve written, or
  • hiring a ghost writer. Ask me if you need some pointers.

More soon. Until then, happy writing,

Lou xx

P.S. Ready to work with me? Here’s how.

P.P.S. Please share this series of posts with a friend who’s always wanted to write a book. You’ll find a list of all of them here.

 

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