Writing a book while navigating the demands of entrepreneurship is no small feat. It’s a blend of passion and perseverance because you find yourself at the crossroads of maintaining your business and finding the time and energy to write a book. Although these two demands may seem to be pulling you in opposite directions, it doesn’t have to be that way.
In this post, I will share some effective time-saving techniques and strategies that can help you overcome this challenge and successfully write your first book, proving that with the right approach, penning your book isn’t just possible – it’s a rewarding extension of your entrepreneurial journey.
Prioritize Your Content
As an expert, you have a wealth of information you can share with your ideal readers. However, that does not mean you should share all of it in a single book, nor necessarily any number of books.
Focus on your key messages and expertise, as well as what will most resonate with your target audience. This will help you align with your brand and business goals, as well as reduce the volume of information you may need to sift through while developing your book’s outline.
Once you’ve reduced the number of topics you could write about in your book, reduce it further so that the book you end up writing is focused on a single issue or problem your ideal readers face.
A narrowly focused book is easier to write, thus making time management simpler to achieve.
Structured Writing Plan
There are two parts to a structured writing plan:
- A content plan that outlines the topics you wish to cover and in which order.
- A writing plan that integrates writing time into your schedule.
Your Writing Roadmap
When you create a simple outline for your book, especially if it is based on both your expertise and competitive research, writing the book is easier. It is beyond the scope of this post to go into further detail, but I have discussed this topic in greater detail in the following resources:
- Article: 5 Reasons Why You Should Outline Your Nonfiction Book
- Article: Blueprint for Impact: Structuring Your Lead-Generating Book for Rapid Results
- Audio/Video Podcast: Blueprint for Success: Crafting a Solid Book Plan
Develop a clear, concise writing schedule that fits into your busy entrepreneurial lifestyle without overwhelming you. This can be daily or weekly. The keys are to be regular and functional, meaning that you have a regularly scheduled writing time and that it works for your personality, life, and schedule. Here are some tips that may help:
- Article: Time Management Tips for Entrepreneurial Authors
- Podcast: Turning Minutes into Manuscripts: Efficient Time Management Tips for Authors
- 1-Minute Tip Videos:
Delegate Non-Essential Tasks
Most entrepreneurs understand the power of delegation. But, at the same time, many are averse to delegating book writing tasks. The thing is, if you want to have the time to dedicate to your book, you may need to outsource or delegate business and writing tasks to free up more of your time.
Only you can identify which tasks within your business can be delegated, and I encourage you to look for those tasks that you don’t need to be involved in. But I understand, if this is your first book, that you may not know which book-writing tasks you can farm out. So here is a list of tasks that you can delegate to others:
- Competitive research: A virtual assistant can easily conduct research on other books on your topic and provide a summary report that provides you with the information you need to determine the content of your outline.
- First Draft Outline: A well-trained virtual assistant or book coach can use that research to draft a suggested outline for your book.
- Manuscript: A ghostwriter can write your book for you. A professional ghostwriter can do this based on an interview or discussion with you, or even your outline or notes. Their job is to write your book in your voice. Many bestselling books by famous individuals have worked with a ghostwriter to get their books out into the world.
Of course, even when you outsource these tasks, you still need to be involved in the project. However, your involvement takes less of your time.
Efficient Research Methods
Use efficient research tools and techniques to gather the necessary information without wasting time.
Here are some tools you may consider using:
- Google Scholar: This tool can help you access academic papers and scholarly articles relevant to your topic.
- Evernote Web Clipper: Many authors I know swear by this tool for saving web pages and articles for later reference.
- Zotero: This is a dedicated research tool created for managing and citing research sources and bibliographies.
- Mind Mapping Tools: There are a variety of mind-mapping tools available online. Mind mapping is great for organizing thoughts and structuring your research visually. Some tools you may wish to evaluate include Coggle, Xmind, MindMeister, Lucidchart, and Mindmup.
In addition to using tools, consider implementing more time-efficient research methods. Here are some to evaluate:
- Keyword Search Techniques: Use advanced search operators in search engines to narrow down specific information.
- RSS Feed Aggregators: To stay updated with the latest content from selected websites and blogs use aggregators such as Google News Alerts, Feedly, NewsBlur, and Inoreader.
- Online Surveys and Questionnaires: Gather data and opinions from a targeted audience using surveys and questionnaires that are automated. Tools such as Zoho Survey, SurveyMonkey, or even a WordPress plugin such as WPForms.
Use Writing Technologies
You can leverage writing software and online tools to enhance your efficiency and organize your content effectively. Here are some that I suggest:
- Trello – this tool can be used to visually organize your outline.
- Speech-to-text: Both MS Word and Google Docs offer the opportunity to speak your book and have the software turn your words into text.
- Scrivener: I have yet to try this software out, but authors I’ve spoken to who have used it all agree that it is a powerful tool for long-form writing projects. It offers organizational features like a corkboard, outlining, and document notes.
- Grammarly: I use the free version of this tool, which helps enhance writing quality by checking grammar, punctuation, and style, and love it. It makes the editing process more efficient. Use this in conjunction with MS Word’s Editor, and your copy will be much cleaner.
- Chapterly: This is a book-centric writing platform.
- Atticus: This is another book-centric writing platform. I used it to format It All Starts with an Idea for Kindle.
I recommend experimenting with a variety of tools to see which ones fit best into your process and work best with how you process information.
Get Your Book Out Into the World
Remember that the journey of writing your first book as a busy entrepreneur is a testament to your commitment and versatility. The strategies and tools I’ve shared are more than just time-savers; they’re catalysts for transforming your expertise and experience into a compelling book. Leverage these techniques as part of your author’s toolkit, and you’ll find that writing a book is not just an achievable goal, but an enriching extension of your entrepreneurial journey. Let your unique story and insights inspire others, as you continue to excel in both business and authorship.