You do realize that half the year is officially over, right? And how far have you gotten on writing your book? I know, I know, you got busy. Life got in the way. It’s the same set of ‘reasons’ I hear over and over. And that makes me sad. Socrates was right, a busy life is a barren wasteland of should haves, could haves, and would haves.
Not enough women are writing books. It's not for lack of desire. In a survey I conducted recently, women told me three things were holding them back: lack of time, lack of focus, and lack of confidence. Lack of time is by far the biggest challenge so I want to tackle that first.
I talk with a lot of women who know they have a book in them. Most women believe that they simply don’t have time to write a book. In fact, women are overloaded managing career, business, family, and personal responsibilities. Most think it will have to wait until they retire. But putting it off means you lose valuable insights and details that are vivid right now, not to mention the many benefits of becoming an author. The secret to finding time is so simple it's stupid. A simple shift out of that too busy, overloaded mindset that changes the way you think about your time.
Hack #1 - Make it a priority
Remember the good old days when the word priority was singular referring to one thing? It wasn’t until a few decades or so ago that a plural form of the word emerged. And boy, has that made a mess of things. How can we have more than one priority? Isn’t that missing the whole point?
Anyway, I know many women who are far busier than you and I who found the time to write a book. How did they do it? They made their book a priority. They chose to stop doing some things temporarily. They fit it in wherever possible like weekends, evenings and airplane trips. They even got up at 4 AM to write. And they annoyed a few people in the process. But they made it their priority.
Hack #2 - Make it easier
Find some quiet time to take inventory of your current schedule and responsibilities. Make a list and identify tasks that could be postponed, delegated, or eliminated entirely. Look for trivial time drainers that have crept into your schedule. And don’t panic and think you’ve got to free up big blocks of time right away. Even small chunks of time are valuable. Pick one time-drainer to eliminate in the first week or month. Then another and so on. You need to get creative with your time before you can invest your time in creating your book.
Hack #3 - Make it a habit
Set a regular time in your calendar for working on your book. Make it non-negotiable, like a medical or hair appointment. Yes, as important as your hair appointment. Funny, we wouldn’t miss one of those… Be ruthless in protecting your writing time. Remember, it’s a priority. Stick with it until you find a new rhythm that works for you. Allow time for this writing thing to become a habit. Like brushing your teeth or putting on makeup, let it become an automatic part of your routine. Think of writing like building a muscle. The more you do it the stronger your writing gets and the easier it is to be productive in the time you allotted.
Now I know what you’re thinking; I have a major project coming up, I’m dealing with significant life changes, I’m under a lot of stress already. In fact, it may simply not be the right time to begin your book journey. Only you can make that decision. But be fair to yourself and your potential audience. Check your ‘too busy’ mindset at the door and choose wisely.
Some of my favorite resources for managing your mindset and your time include You are a Badass by Jen Sincero and Atomic Habits by James Clear. Whatever your favorite resource is embrace it, dive into the process and get started writing your book.
Don’t let a lifetime of wisdom wait a lifetime to be shared.