11 Reasons You Won’t Write a Book This Year

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1. You’re using the wrong tool.

By using a program where you can only see your current page and your entire project is on the same layer you lack perspective on your progress. You should be using Scrivener (Mac or PC). Use coupon code selfpublishing to save 20%.

2. You’re waiting to be picked

“Opportunities are drawn to people in motion.” My friend Jon Acuff says this because he’s always in motion so he always has opportunities. If you want to get picked by a publisher you need to be blogging, guest posting, writing shorter works, writing magazine articles, writing, writing, writing. Nowhere in the book publishing process should you be waiting.

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3. You don’t understand how fear works

Fear serves as a road sign that you’re going in the right direction. Fear isn’t a a stop sign, it’s a mile marker that we’re making progress. If fear is present then keep going. If you’re scared then you’re on to something. Push through the fear. If it isn’t scary then it isn’t valuable.

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4. You love Facebook more

Pick your social media outlet. Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn. If you spend 15 minutes a day on any of these and are not making progress on your book then you’re choosing them over a completed book. I don’t go a day without checking Twitter of Facebook. I go a lot of days without writing. That’s my choice and it’s a bad one.

Reward yourself with social media after you’ve written.

5. You edit before you write

Writing and editing are not meant to happen at the same time. You’re self-editing before the words even hit the page so they don’t get out of your head. Writing is creating. Editing is refining. Writing is addition, editing is subtracting. When you combine editing and writing you end up writing safe and cold. You write less words. You leave little room for discovering new ideas.

Editing while you write is like trying to tune up your bike while you’re pedaling uphill. Your good intentions are going to cause you to keep from advancing. Write, rest, then edit. Mark Levy wrote a great book about this topic.

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6. You have no creative energy

Creative energy is flame that can turn into a healthy fire if you feed it. Your creative energy is being extinguished by self-induced distractions that have little or no value. Email messages, Facebook updates, blog posts, podcasts and tweets are more noise than fuel for inspiration.

The noise from the places you think you’re getting ideas from are actually crowding out your ability to have deep creative energy. Taking time to read well written books and longer writing pieces will train your mind to create clearer ideas.

A diet of bite sized content does not create a person able to create longer pieces of writing.

7. Your creative energy is already spent

If you do have creative energy it’s being spent elsewhere. You must either kill some activities that are taking that energy or wake up earlier to capture more creative energy. If you spend any time watching television or surfing the internet after 7pm that is time you’re resting your brain.

Rest is vital. Choose to rest and put limits on how long you’ll veg. If you’ve been vegging for more than two hours look at the clock and make a decision. Do something productive (reading, working on your relationships) or go to bed.

8. You’re watching the winner’s circle

The victory circle is for those who have finished well. If you take your eyes off your journey to watch those who likely started before you and have therefore finished before you then you’ll lose momentum.

Do not fixate on those who are further ahead. Learn from them then put your head back down and do your work.

9. You use technology as an excuse when it’s not

You can learn how to self-publish your book using;

Using those three tools will allow you to publish a book in a matter of weeks. Total investment is approximately $40 and 20 hours of learning. You can save even more time by spending some money on a training course if your time is worth more than the cost of the training.

If you can use YouTube then you can learn how to publish your book.

10. You don’t believe you’re worth investing in

They all have 100% money back guarantees so if you’re not buying one then you either have no extra money or you don’t believe enough in your writing enough to invest in it.

Would you invest $300 in my next book if I gave you a percentage of the sales? You would if you’re smart. My books are a good investment. I’ll make a lot more than I spend creating the book.

The same is true of you. You’ll make more than you spend if you do the work.

If you’re not investing in your writing then you’re either totally strapped for cash or you don’t believe in your writing.

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11. You trust your past more than your future

When you buy an investment they have to tell you that past performance is not an indication of future returns. What it did in the past is not a guarantee of how it will perform in the future.

You haven’t been writing. You haven’t been focused on creating. You haven’t invested in yourself. That past performance is not an indication of future performance.

Start writing 500 words a day. In 30 days you’ll have 15,000 words. Do that a few months and you’ll have a book. A real book. A book you can give away or sell. You can use that book you can use to launch your brand. You can use it to teach thousands of others while you’re at home with your family. Your book can do a lot of work if you’re willing to put in the work of creating your book.

There are a lot of reasons you won’t write your book this year. Here are the same reasons why you will write a book this year.

1. You’re using the right tool – Scrivener
2. You picked yourself.
3. You’re scared but keep writing.
4. You love your book more than distractions.
5. You write then edit.
6. You manufacture creative energy.
7. You save your creative energy for your project.
8. You look to successful people as motivation.
9. You commit to learning.
10. You believe you are worth investing in.
11. You trust your future more than your past

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  1. says

    Thanks so much for this post! For some reason the “click moment” for me was reading “write 500 words a day and in 30 days you’ll have 15,000 words. Do that a few months and you’ll have a book.”

    I’m doing it! I’ll have my book!!!!!

  2. says

    Yes, and thank you. BTW, I will have a book written this year. Due out April 1. Yeah baby! And, it is thanks in a large part to you Andy! Thanks for the advice on rewriting for success and for the inspiration to stick with it! (Someone I know made the “thank yous”!)

    • Andy Traub says

      Congrats Dayna. Motivating people is easier than actually doing the work so way to go. Glad I made it in the book. Let me know where I can buy one once it’s out.

  3. says

    Thanks Andy! These are great reminders and I’m seriously wanting my book complete by this summer. I’m going to put these things into practice and I’ll keep you posted on my progress!

    • Andy Traub says

      Good stuff Corie. How are you going to invest in your writing? Scrivener is a great place to start.

  4. says

    Thanks for #5 Andy!

    I’ve long ago kicked the other 10 in the face and I WILL finish my book by July 31 of this year, but if there was going to be anything that held me back, it was #5.

  5. says

    I have everything but Scrivener to get my book finished. Sadly Scrivener doesn’t work on Chromebook and I can’t afford a Mac just yet. Perhaps determination will get me past that one bump in the road. :)

    • Andy Traub says

      Anastacia I think using Google Docs well is the next best solution to Scrivener. Just use a lot of folders and label them in a way that helps you stay organized.

  6. says

    You hit the nail on the head with #9. SO many people use technology as an excuses, and these days the tech has gotten easier.. And it’s continuing in the trend of being easier for the end user. This excuse will end up being invalid soon.

    Also, great reminder about “editing and writing shouldn’t happen at the same time.” I think this one is the biggest challenge I have to work on. Whenever I write I’m constantly going back and checking and it breaks the flow up.

    Great article, good tips, and a reminder on what NOT to do, thanks Andy!

  7. says

    Wow … Andy, thank you for taking the time to write this post. This might be the single most helpful blog post from anyone, anywhere I have read in about a year (and I read several every day). You have kicked my behind in a good way….

    Thank you, sir!

  8. says

    Your post hit me right between the eyes… My book is partially done so why don’t I just finish it?! Very timely… thanks for the kick in the butt!

    Awesome to bump into you this morning! You probably don’t get much work done while at the Queen! Love that place for more than just an office away from home! Great place to connect!

  9. says

    Hi Andy, I’m new to your blog after hearing your seminar with Jeff yesterday, but I’m glad I signed up! I love your inspirational, and more importantly, actionable tips on how to become a better writer. I’m personally a huge advocate of writing then editing, allowing creativity to breathe through your words. keep up the good work!

  10. says

    Amazing list Andy. “Watching the winners circle” really jumped out at me (especially with my current project). That’s a good reminder to put my head back down and charge!

  11. says

    What a great post. I have also talked to many prospective writers who will benefit from this. Thanks for knocking down the excuses and encouraging people to make it happen.

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