Marie Forleo introduction

Hi!

I'm Marie

You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

read more

Do you ever dream of writing a book?

Maybe yours is half-done and you can’t seem to finish it. Or perhaps you’ve already written your first book, and it’s time to pen the next.

Discipline is remembering what you want. - David Campbell Click To Tweet

When you’re busy running a business, it can feel near impossible to find the time to get your book done.

Even worse is the guilt and pressure you feel knowing that a finished book means an instant boost to your credibility and the ability to serve a lot more people in your market.

In this video I’ll show you three simple tricks to help get your book done once and for all – especially if you’re too busy making money.

Inside tip: strategies one and three are what I used to finish my book while running a successful coaching practice and teaching five dance fitness classes a week. So yes, these strategies definitely work.

If nothing else, you’ll get the distinct pleasure of more of my singing (HA!).

In the comments below, I’d love to hear your tips and strategies to get a book, or any other passion project, done – especially when you’re busy running your business.

Give me as many specifics, stories and resources as you can.

Your experience or insight might be just what someone else needs to trigger a breakthrough.

Of course, if you found this useful, please share it with your friends in the social media interwebs.

You may also like...
Add a Comment

160 comments

  1. This is actually really timely.

    I’m actually writing my book right now. I already released it, but as an experiment that was really successful and profitable. Now that I’m more comfortable communicating in this niche – and have even received feedback and emails with comments and questions asking for my advice on the topic – I’m sooo focused on making it happen!

    Thank you for these 3 strategies!

    I’ve been scheduling it and making appointments with myself for this project.
    I’ve been hard on people who don’t respect my time when I am working as well!

    Thanks!

    PS I just started working out in the morning… so I either begin after I get home, or before I go. (and I get up at 3 AM).

    I can’t outsource lol – I’m a control freak!

    • Lauryn, that is the cool thing about having a book coach like Marie suggested! You have total control, but someone is helping you push through! It’s brilliant!

      Congrats on your success! Yippee!
      Tina

    • marie

      OMG at 3am. Rock it out woman!

  2. Amy

    I’ve seen others dedicate not just an hour a day but dedicate an entire week to writing the WHOLE thing. If you have most of the ideas in your head and it just needs to get to paper I think this is great. Super hard if you have a business to run though.

    • marie

      I haven’t been able to pull that one off yet Amy 🙂 But awesome for those who can!

  3. Love this video! It really hit home with me because I’ve had the Sexy Food Therapy book (based on the blog) on the back burner for some time. I’ve been busy booking patients, creating my online program coming up, etc., etc.

    Thank you for the good, quick, swift kick in the pants! I’ll be applying your tips and getting me some pony outsourching love

    Thanks again Marie 🙂

    Melissa

  4. Thanks for sharing 750words.com.

    We’re gonna start using it today!

    • marie

      Awesome Wayne – let us know how it goes. So many people find it incredibly valuable.

  5. Oh gosh!

    My tips and strategies.

    Well my first thing is to tell people choose something you’re really passionate about. The topic I’m writing right now is a little on the “sexy” side of things, and I’m a “sexy” individual, so it’s really in line with my personal experience, who I am and what I want to learn.

    When you’re passionate about what it is you’re communicating, it’s easy to establish yourself as an expert and power through the challenges that come with writing, editing and revising a book. You’re so in love with the topic that most of the time you never realize how much time you’re pouring into it!

    My other tip is focus on the outcome you want to achieve. Do you want to see other people discussing your book? Do you want to see people reading it on their Kindles or iPads? Are you interested in seeing whether or not you have a market as an expert in that particular field? Whatever it is, imagine that it’s happening… because it will. And the sooner you “git her done,” the quicker you’ll experience it!

    • marie

      Love the “outcome” tip Lauryn! Thank you for sharing these ideas.

  6. Funny timing as I just pulled an all-nighter in an attempt to finish a chapter in my book. I think books get done in the cracks. I have scheduled workdays for it, but it is hard to do that very often. Right now, the all-nighters are working for me.

    • marie

      Do what works baby!

    • I love all-nighters… when they start with me waking up between 11pm and 3 am… get it!

  7. Holy cow, Marie, this was timely. I was just walking over to my computer thinking about all my “excuses” getting in the way of diving into the book/program I’m planning to write when I opened your e-mail.
    The program is in my head, and it’s the bomb, if I do say so myself!…..I’m super excited about it, I just can’t push myself to actually start it.
    I think one of my fears is once I actually start it, I won’t do anything else until it’s done. I’m a bit obsessive, lol. So, I keep working on “getting ahead” on everything else I have in place so I don’t fall behind while working on my project and not quite getting there.
    I’m starting tomorrow. haha.

    • marie

      Justdewit Catherine.

  8. Love this, Marie!

    While I’m working on getting started on a print book, I have used another great technique for writing ebooks:

    Use the note card system you learned in high school!

    Of course, instead of note cards, I now use digital notes in Evernote. Whenever the spirit moves me on the topic I’m writing about, I jot down a note in Evernote & tag it with the title of the book I’m working on. Sometimes the notes are just a question & a link to a source, sometimes they are full-blown sections of text.

    When I do make dedicated time to work on the book, I can rearrange the notes and flesh out the questions to bring the thing to life in no time!

    • This is genius! And I love that Evernote is on every device I own, so no worries as to where I happened to jot down that brilliant idea. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

      • EXACTLY. Plus, because it’s offline – I can work on things from an airplane! Or, ya know, one of those stingy hotels that doesn’t give you free wifi 😉 And, I don’t know about you but that’s where I do my best thinking!

    • marie

      NICE Tara! Loads of people I know use Evernote. Thank you for that!

    • Evernote really confuses me, so I don’t use it. And they never taught me the notecard system in highschool (and I was in a super advanced program… go figure!). But good tip…!

  9. Thank you, Marie, this was exactly what I needed to hear today!
    I tend to spend so much time writing my blog and newsletter that the book never gets done… Thank you for some great strategies!

  10. I found today’s Q&A awesomely relevant. Kudos to Marie for pointing outsome great tips.
    Other great reads on the subject of ‘winning against the blank page, or the unchoreographed, or the unpainted…’: two books are really worth reading:
    The Creative Habit by (choreographer) Twyla Tharp. Brilliant book.
    The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.
    Read them both while on a hiking hoiday in New Zealand, which has inspired many paintings so far.
    I hope to write a one woman show. I’ve been saying it for years, and it’s time.
    I will hop on to 750words.com and ask them for help, and just get ‘er done.
    thank you

  11. Marie – this is so weird that you wrote this today. Last week I hired a book coach to help focus my idea and then this weekend I was heavy into creating my book vision board. Then Saturday night before dinner, I popped in the Barnes and Noble on Fifth Avenue and there was YOUR book right on the front table!

    This video is so helpful – especially the part about 750words.com. I put all your advice on my vision board and I’m ready to rock n’ roll!! xo

    • marie

      AWESOME Melissa! And I still wanna work with your hubba re: Kuma. Maybe post LIVE?

  12. Ever since we shot this video I’ve been using 750words and it’s having an incredible effect on all of my content creation. Having that little feeling of accomplishment every single day really helps if you’re in a busy funk and don’t feel like you’re getting things done fast enough. Thanks, Marieeeeeeeee 😀

    • marie

      Kingda Ka. 🙂

  13. Schedule it, schedule it, schedule it. I think so many writers and creatives find this a very un-sexy way of working. I prefer to think sexy is producing and getting shit done! Love the scheduling.

    • marie

      Exactly Hannah – Steven Pressfield’s books, both War of Art + Do The Work are awesome for more on this too!

    • Amen Hannah, getting shit done IS sexy!

    • I had to get over that myself. I finally realized that DISCIPLINE is freedom, NOT feeling unproductive and allowing distractions to run my day. 🙂 Okay, so Marie said it before “If you don’t schedule it, its not real.” I was like “Okay, I know… ugh…” but now, after doing quite a bit of reading and meditating, I KNOW!! Scheduling it!

  14. Thanks so much, Marie! This was my question and your answer was extremely helpful! I completed my first book but now I’m working on a companion book and a self-guided audio program to go along with it, so I’m going to take your advice to make sure it all gets done. I have a business coach, which has been immensely valuable…I never thought of a book coach in particular. Fantastic idea!

    Logging off now to get to work… 😉

    Thanks again,
    Crystal

    • marie

      NICE Crystal and so great to hear you got the first one done!! Congrats 🙂

  15. So what am I doing commenting on your post then? 😉 Kidding! 🙂

    I’d never heard of the 750words site. Thanks! Some of my novelist colleagues also swear by the writeordie.com program.

    And many others, instead of hiring coaches, link up as accountability partners or form critique groups.

    Anyway, the Tweetable at the end was the kicker for me. Thanks again, Maria.

    • marie

      Awesome Rhonda – I’ve never heard of write or die but I love the name.
      Speaking of names, it’s Marie…though calling me Maria does inspire me to get in the kitchen and make some sauce.

  16. Just what I needed today. My book has been on the back burner for way too long.

  17. I just love the way that stuff shows up when you need it! I have had a few book ideas in mind for well… quite a while now and decided only a few days ago to sign up to http://www.nanowrimo.org/
    It’s free and basically you write your book in a month – November to be precise.
    I was guided towards it last year by my best friend, she and I were going to write a book together and it never happened, nor will it now as she died in June this year. So I am going to do it this year about my journey before and after her passing as it has left me with many questions, and learnings (she took her own life)
    A very timely Q from Crystal with great A (that sounds wrong!) from M!
    Watch this space and who knows what might show up!
    Mwoah!
    Jules

    • I’m doing NaNoWriMo for the first time too!

      I am moved by your bravery in a) doing the craziness that is NaNo and b) your subject matter.

      Best of luck to you!

  18. Dear Maria,

    As always, your timing is perfect and elegant. I meet with my book proposal coach, Stephanie Gunning from http://www.stephaniegunning.com today to discuss pages. I pressed send yesterday on ten elements of my nearly complete proposal.
    I totally endorse your suggestion to get outside help. Working with Stephanie helped focus my work in ways that I had no idea I needed. Her support on meeting industry standards is letting me sleep nights, not worrying about being embarrassingly wrong. And, having the eyes and ears of a publishing professional increases the quality of my work.
    Another suggestion is to share what you are writing with someone else. Don’t write in a vacuum. Buddy up with someone. Share chapters. Give what you hope to get- clear honest feedback. Writing is about communicating.
    Start communicating in small bits to build your momentum.

    Thank you Marie! Think of me at 1:00 today- my feedback session with Stephanie on my nearly complete and ready to amaze the publishing world non-fiction book proposal for Laundry Line Divine: A Wild Soul Book for Women. Yeow!
    xo Suzi

  19. Hi Marie – thanks for the tips. I particularly liked the 750 words site. Odd how the universe provides things when you seem to need them, because this is the 2nd time in 3 days that I have heard of the idea of just getting up and writing – brain dumping I call it… and Im amazed at the ideas that come out…

    Also making time for it… something so simple.. but we always put off those things that we feel may be difficult. As you can see.. I dont mind typing…but with focus.. trick i e.

    Keep up the good work.. short sweet to the point..

    • marie

      Awesome Merna 🙂 And thank ya – we try to keep our content as concise and valuable as possible!

  20. Interesting timing. After waking up at 3 a.m. (Hawaii time) and not being able to sleep (which never happens), I decided to spend the time working on a big writing project I’ve got up my sleeve right now. That’s all I got this morning: invest wisely those unexpected pockets of time.

    • marie

      Love this one Tara!

  21. As a ghostwriter & author coach, I see this every day! Great resources Marie!

    Here’s what I share with my peeps. 1. Most people confuse editing with writing. When they’re supposed to be letting the ideas flow, they’re busy critiquing their word choices and wondering if anyone is ever going to read this crap. Stop that. 2. Most people intellectually understand HOW to write a book and could talk about their subject for days, but lack organization and accountability. Templates, checklists and regular checkins with a writing buddy or coach can ensure you get it done!

    Toni
    finallyfinishyourbook.com

  22. Maya Hanley

    I came up to my PC just now to take a look at my memoir, which has been languishing for some months now. Talk about timely. I will check out 750words.com and will also start to schedule (something I already knew but wasn’t doing). I even have my father’s agent waiting for the manuscript so how lucky am I? (My Dad died 20 years ago and would love to know I was writing a book although I think he’d not be too happy that it’s mostly about him!).

    Watch this space for ‘My Father’s Silence’ (working title). 🙂

    Love your videos.

  23. I am also in the process of writing a book.

    What I am doing:

    1) I put sections of it on my blog as blog posts so that I can get feedback from my readers. I not only got tons of great comments and feedback but also more to think about to add to the content of the book. This is really helping me because I can see the great responses that my (not-made yet) book is getting.

    2) I use “write or die by mr wicked” to get me writing. It is a fun online or desktop tool to use that makes you write. It times you to get a certain amount of words written and if you stop typing it starts playing some annoying music to keep you writing.

    3) I wrote out my outline for my book first. Then starting filling in content.

    4) I will actually start recording my book in audio and send out the audio to get typed. I have been too busy lately and feel it would be faster this way.

  24. These are some great tips for writing a book, the 750 words site looks cool too. There are so many distractions when you are trying to stay busy and write so I definitely started putting my cell phone to silent. I think I might start scheduling to because right now write in random two hour blocks and while it works some days don’t get to write. Great tips!

  25. I don’t think that not getting it done for me was ever about the time.

    20 years ago, I just dreamed about it.

    Ten years ago, I hired a writing coach, met with her diligently, and got it done…..all the way to the last meeting…which I missed….and that was it.

    The book block was not real. Not having time is an excuse. Not finishing was about the fear of putting it out there. The fear was in my mind, and ten years ago, I couldn’t overcome it. Now, I don’t think the book is worth doing (How all brides can get better wedding photos). Thanks to the internet, it can be covered in a bunch of blog posts.

    Today, I have a new, bigger, more serious book in mind, a proposal to write by Jan, and a solid deadline for the finished project. I have mocked up a cover to inspire me. I found a writing partner who is excited to do it with me (she is already published, and while she said this was my baby, I said I needed another parent to help me get to the birth) .

    I am coming to RHH to get fired up, and I am reaching out to my fabulous network of well connected art lovers who can help me make it real. Already the opportunities are presenting themselves left and right. This time I feel fearless.

    Writing is not the hard part. Following through with the project is.

  26. One strategy I use is to give myself deadlines by which I intend to accomplish a certain amount of work or project. This helps me stay on track. To make this trick more interesting, I give myself a treat every time I meet my deadline!!!

    • Hi Paola,

      I use self-imposed deadlines for everything I do. It really works to get stuff done, doesn’t it?

      Maryellen

  27. Love this Q&A Marie! Thanks for recommending 750 words, I’d never heard of it before.
    I plan to write a book in the next or so and am not rushing into it simply because I know it’s what I will do but need to focus on building my businesses first. But for those gearing up to write theirs I think it’s a good idea to get a pretty little book, one that’s so adorable that you can’t resist picking it up and writing in it. Paperchase do some really good ones. Then just write when you feel the inspiration. I think it’s best not to over-think or make writing a burden because it should come from the heart rather than be something that one feels compelled to do. I also love Melissa Cassera’s tip on having a vision board- that’s a great way to stay motivated and remind yourself of why you’re writing in the first place.

    • Hi Victoria,

      I remember Wayne Dyer saying that he would create a cover for a book he intended to write and then put that book cover over and actual book. That made the unwritten book seem real.

      It would be easy to do that using Fiverr.com http://fiverr.com/ You could get a book cover for $5.00 and make your dream seem like a reality.

      Good luck with your project!

      Maryellen

  28. Love, love, love 750words.com! Thank you for the tip!

  29. Great tips Marie -LOVE THEM! And lost of juicy bits in the posts too.

    It also helps to hire a ghostwriter if you need some help….
    Love the scheduling tip…simple, but effective.
    I also like to go to cafes and the like to just sit and let it flow….for some reason being totally away from all distractions and being in the energy of others AND a new a space motivates me.

    Great post…thanks Marie!
    xo, Tina

  30. Thanks for the 750words.com suggestion!

  31. Great tips Marie!

    One thing that helped me this summer was asking people who I knew would be interested in my eGuide for a testimonial in exchange for the free product.

    Since my product serves grad students and newbie therapists, I had a deadline for the rough draft of September 12–the college enrollment date for one of my “testy’s.” It really motivated me to get the draft done, and now it’s in the hot little hands of the graphic designer:).

    Thanks to Crystal, too–awesome question!

  32. It is so ironic that this blog post should come now. I just referenced your book on my blog recently at:

    http://bookblogette.blogspot.com/2011/10/q-wednesday-why-2-book-covers.html

    I will be posting today’s video on my blog today.

    Diedre

  33. It’s completely uncanny how your posts come at exactly the right time!
    You’d be happy to know that after the little butt-kickin’ you gave me during b-school, i had been chugging along and handed in a few chapters of my book… but i got off track during the summer, and building a new website derailed me even more so..However I am thrilled to have a few new ideas to get me back to writing the last few chapters..
    Can’t wait for RHH LIVE!

  34. This video came at just the right time! I am putting the finishing touches on my book and have a daily writing plan that I follow. Now that I know about 750words.com I’m going to put that into the rotation and bring this bad boy home!

    Thanks Marie for the extra push right before the finish line!

    xoox,
    Rachel Luna

    Check out my last post: http://www.thetailormadelife.com

  35. I was so happy to see this question get answered. I am always wondering how people get it all done. I am a stay-at-home mom of two toddlers, online business owner and aspiring writer. My new answer is not to beat myself up and move forward with what I can get accomplished.

    • Create an outline for yourself Michelle. Then, when you do get time to write you’ll be writing strategically with a purpose.

    • Michelle – I just uploaded my 2nd Children’s book to the publisher so please know that it can be done (it just takes longer!). I wrote most of the book when my daughter was at riding lessons. I would drag my computer to the lessons and then go off into a corner and write. Sure it took longer and sometimes I’d be on a roll only to have to stop. But it got done. Hang in there…

  36. Greetings, Marie –
    Another great way to write your book is to not write it at all!
    There are multiple voice-to-text options available. Some are software based like Dragon Naturally Speaking AND there are also lots of services where you call in from any phone and record your words (book content) and get a copy of the typed pages in a Word or text document in your email. You can then edit it (or have someone else do that). Makes it easy-peasy. Great video, Marie, and right on time.

    Best of success to all the future authors here!

    • I like iDictate http://www.idictate.com/ for voice to text. You can call a number, talk and then get a transcription e-mailed to you. It’s less expensive and faster than traditional transcription.

      If funds are low, then get a free conference call line, record yourself talking and then download the MP3 and transcribe the words yourself.

  37. Thanks Marie for the great tools!
    I have found especially that the SCHEDULE IT is the secret-there’s something about seeing it written down that makes it REAL and also gives me satisfaction to check OFF when I do it! (I love me some lists!)

    GREAT RESOURCE for Mac users: http://www.MacFreedom.com
    (It basically locks you out of using the internet on a timer when you’re using Word or ie: writing that book).

    Hope that was helpful all!
    Love,
    Diana Dorell
    http://www.TheDancingGoddess.com

  38. Great tips!!! As always!

    My passion is working with new and budding authors. I started my own freelance writing, editing and coaching business called Short and Sweet Projects to help people tell the world what it is they have in their hearts and minds. I especially love working with new, innovative small business owners.

    My 4th tip: Hire a ghostwriter who will write your book on your behalf.

    A ghostwriter will work well for you IF you: 1. Hire well. 2. Give your writer all of your info/ideas/dreams/outlines/phraseology up front. 3. Grant her access to you to answer questions. In just a few days or weeks you can have YOUR book that reads as if you wrote it and it won’t cost you a fortune.

    • Amen Lacey! There is a lot of wisdom in admitting that you’re “not” a writer and hiring one!

    • Great idea, Lacey. Do you have any good resources for finding/hiring qualified ghost writers?

      • Hi Sukie

        Here are a few things to think about and look at when hiring a ghostwriter:
        1. Collect writing samples – Can she write? Is her writing clear, organized and interesting? Do you connect with her and her topic?

        2. Talk to her: Does she ask a lot of questions? Is she enthusiastic about your project and topic?

        3. Client reviews and recommendations: Do her clients enjoy working with her? Does she have time for your project? And, this is important, does she meet timelines and deadlines?

        4. Buy cheap buy twice. 25% of my work is for clients who hired cheap the first time around and were not happy with the quality, so they hire me to rewrite.

        5. Be sure to come to an agreement on how “ghost” your writer will be. Some of my clients credit me by name. But some of my clients ask me to sign a very strict confidentiality agreement; I can’t use my work for them in my portfolio or tell people about my work for them.

        There are several online sources for finding writers like elance and freelance – but, again, buyer beware. 🙂

        Of course, I’d be happy to talk to you about your project – either as a friend or a client 🙂 “Creativity in Motion” sounds intriguing!

        • Sweet, Lacey – GREAT suggestions. And, wow, I just looked at your profile, looks like you do health and beauty writing. I just might need some of your help as I get my revised website launched and moving 🙂

          • I’d be happy to help any way I can! We girls have to stick together.
            I wish could direct you to my website, but right now it looks a little like your website 🙂 shortandsweetprojects.wordpress.com Maybe I should hire that out…. 🙂

  39. Great great video! I did each and everyone of these things to get my book done.
    Decision. Schedule It. Coach. Hire help!

    If I can get a book done, anyone can! I have a hella full schedule working with Laura, a 3 year old who needs lots of mommy time, and a husband who would like to see his wife once in awhile. We even moved to another state during the middle of my writing schedule! Without the coach to keep pushing me, I would not have finished. She held me totally accountable to a schedule…and because I never like to let anyone down, I had my homework finished on time!

    One big piece of advice I walk from this experience is that I should have hired the editor and designer for the book much earlier. I struggled for about 3 weeks before I was able to admit to myself that it would be better for the book to be in the hands of professionals in this area. Once I did – I felt an amazing sense of relief!

    Great great great post and video Marie!

    -Anne

    • Good advice on hiring an editor and designer Anne! Writing a book that ends up looking unprofessional defeats the purpose of writing in the first place.

  40. Thanks for the great advice Marie and the shout out for Writing Coaches! I am a writer and Book Coach and I have heard every excuse and reason for “not writing” that you can imagine. Getting your book done boils down to discipline and tenacity; sheer willpower most of the time.

    I wrote a post today with some of my best writing tips. The biggie is: Don’t write and edit at the same time. Writing and editing are two different brain functions and you’ll feel defeated and self-critical if you do both at once.

    You can get more practical tips here: http://reinventionqueen.com/2011/10/11/shut-up-and-write-or-hire-a-writing-coach/

  41. Hi Marie, it’s impressive how timely not only this post is but it seems every one I have read from you since I started tuning in several months ago… 🙂

    I am working on my 4th 5th and 6th book simeoultaneously because they are raw food recipe books called Nude Food and Liquid Love (not sure about the all- raw desserts title yet) and this has gone slower than the last ones with all the ways I need to learn to nourish my new business while being a hands on mom…

    O! This may be really useful to build buzz and keep you motivated by creating accountablity-
    I haven’t finished the book but I am already sharing about it now because my audience is hungry for my next offering, so this is how I build excitement prior to launching- here is a SEXY, FUN VIDEO of one of the recipes presented in a way you probably won’t see anywhere else:

    HAPPINESS IN A BOWL
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r18_iVn-6m8

    In-Joy!

  42. Thank you Marie! This was what I needed not because I put off writing to do other of my things but I put it off to do things for others. I do need to focus on myself and not allow the shift of attention to occur.

    I write from my heart and soul therefore being in a certain “space” for me is essential. I do make sure I do not get disturbed, play music that inspires me, and make sure I have meditated earlier to connect me to my inner source of wisdom.

    One powerful tool for me is writing with a blue pen and paper. I find my best work comes from this method. Another powerful manner for me to write is I am full of emotion, either very sad or very angry, something “very” and I write while I cry or grinding my teeth. I do edit some of what I write but the raw emotion in my writing is fun to see as I review the many pages of what I have written. It reminds me that even though I strive and work on being love and peace (through meditation) I am still human and go through very strong emotions.

    Thanks again!

  43. This was the advice I needed to hear this week! Thank you. 🙂

  44. Gina

    Wow…did I need to watch this video! I’m tired of making excuses. This really kicked me in the pants. Thanks a bunch!

    Gina~

  45. Awesome tips, Marie. First up, my biggest hurdle in writing my book isn’t sitting down to do it – it’s a mental block about what I’ll do when I’m finished. Release it as an ebook? Find a publisher? Self publish? That load of confusion keeps me from writing in the first place.

    But, when I DO have a writing project I just have to get done, I do what worked in college to get my papers finished. I create a deadline and dedicate a whole day to the project. I hole up at home in grubby sweats and preferably a deep conditioning treatment on my hair so I won’t be tempted to wander outside for any reason whatsoever. I put on a pot of tea, stack up my reference books, turn on some music (current favorite for writing proficiency: flamenco guitar) and sit my butt down in a chair and WRITE.

    I force myself to get a rough draft done at least and then I put it away for several days until I feel up to editing and revising.

  46. I hired book coach Ann McIndoo, she worked with Tony Robbins to do his first book and was his assistant for years. Now she helps get your book out. I talked my book instead of wrote it and did the prep that really made a HUGE difference working with Ann: http://www.soyouwanttowrite.com/. Check out her stuff and see if it feels good. I’m editing my book and will have a huge surprise to share at RHHLIVE next weekend!!! Love this video and the TIPS are great. xo H

  47. Great advice! I’m not actually at the book stage yet, but I’m trying to get a blog and regular email newsletter started and am really having trouble finding the writing time for those. The first 2 tips apply just as much to those writing projects as to a book project. I can’t wait to check out 750Words.com.

  48. Another amazing site is http://www.ommwriter.com — it’s like a spa retreat. Not only does it fill your screen with sweet ambient colour and sound, it automatically turns off your Tweetdeck & Skype notifications, too. Makes writing a pleasure – somewhere you WANT to go.

    Something I teach my writing students: it helps to think of writing as a relationship in your life. You put so much of yourself into your writing — it is not unlike a partnership, friendship, or marriage. Think of it as a commitment, not just a task.

    • Wow!! Love it!!! Thanks for sharing!

  49. If I may add, I found a really great illustrator company for e-books. If you like the style of Crazy Sexy Cancer they are similar. They are called Red Handed Studio and they are based in Sydney. This is how I first saw their work (this is NOT a promotion, but the design of this ebook had my floored… I was like “this is the most gorgeous ebook I’ve ever seen!!!” http://www.sarahwilson.com.au/2011/09/the-i-quit-sugar-ebook-on-sale-now/)

  50. OMG- you have no idea how much I needed these 3 tips RIGHT NOW! You rock and I appreciate you always keeping-it-real, fresh and fabulous. I’ve just recently started following a few powerful women success coaches and YOU, Ms. Marie appeal to the cool gals! I tune out to those gals that use all the contrived verbage from the old Tony Robbins days. I’m a creative type and takes A LOT to hold my attention- you certainly do that! High five & a hip bump:-)

  51. Great video, Marie. Scheduling is crucial and paying someone to “ride your ass” is the only way to get your book done… fast.

    That’s why I created Bestseller in a Weekend. It helps business owners, coaches, service professionals go from “idea to author” in 2 days or less.

    As you mentioned, busy business owners are often distracted throughout the day, and the book gets pushed to the back burner. So Bestseller in Weekend is designed for busy, often overwhelmed, business owners who want to write a book to increase their credibility, attract more clients, build their platform and visibility, and make more money in their business, but do not have the time to set aside to actually write a book.

    Good advice, as always, Marie!

    All the best,

    Alicia Dunams
    Publisher, Speaker, Creator of Bestseller in a Weekend
    http://www.BestsellerInAWeekend.com
    http://www.writeyourbookquickly.com

  52. A little piece of advice.

    Learn how to give a great presentation.
    The key elements of a great presentation are also the key elements of a book.

  53. Synchronicity rocks. I am, as I write, sitting in an apartment I rented for a week in NYC to get a book proposal finished that I’ve been working on for, uh, too long. My husband is home in OR holding down the fort with my 5 year old and my staff is tending to the business so I can have some dedicated writing time.

    So here I sit writing by day and hanging with friends by night- and doing a little networking on the side. I get the creative energy of the City and simply, time.

    Oh, and I’m using a software program called Scrivener for organizing my files. So far so good. Will look into a writing coach too, looking forward to checking out some of the recommendations on the thread.

    Back to work! Thanks for the post.

  54. Hi Marie! 🙂

    Fabulous tips! I just signed up for 750Words.com and am going to schedule in time every morning for writing. I’m not currently writing a book, but want to get in the habit of writing regularly. And hey, it will help me create content for my blog and other things that I’ve got going on. 😉

    Love the idea of a book coach, too! When I’m ready to get cracking on my first book, I’ll definitely look at hiring someone like that. Why waste time and effort trying to get it done all by myself when I can hire someone to make the process easier? 🙂

    Thanks, Marie! 🙂

    xo
    Jess

  55. Love these strategies and am excited to share that I’m a Book Coach, that provides coaching, editorial reviews, publishing and book marketing consulting! I’ve been there, done that – and now share my in-depth knowledge, marketing savvy and publishing experience with others.

    Seriously ladies, I’d love to help you finish that book and get it out there!
    Email me! pr@launchstudios.com

    Autumn Millhouse
    http://launch-studios.com/wordpress/

  56. Such great advice!! Thank you! Shutting down the distractions and scheduling the day… Julia Cameron would agree with writing first thing in the day! And love the tool 750 Words.

  57. Thanks for the awesome tips!! I’m trying to finish my recipe book so this vid came at the perfect time! One of the most important things for me has been staying off of social media sites while I’m working, it’s just too distracting/tempting!!

    and p.s. Girl, you are looking fabulous!! Did you change up your diet or workout routine?! You look lean and radiant and your skin is glowing even more so than usual!! xo

  58. Marie, thank you so much for the great tips and the lovely video 🙂

    At the moment, I’m concentrating on writing a blog with the aim of helping others advance in their career (http://yoursuccessplan.blogspot.com/), I’m also working full-time and have a family. That is why I’m saving all my blog posts on word and I’m planning to add everything together and re-write / edit the text as a start for a book.

    What do you think about this option?

    Take care and continue with the great work! <3

  59. Thanks Marie for the great tips. Not only am I in the middle of writing a couple books, but I also write a news letter every month and a bigger article for a local yoga magazine. These tips will surely help keep me on track, and I LOVED the tweetable.
    Things I already do to help with writing are start with a skeleton outline, so I know where I’m going, and freeflow writing on paper so I can pick and choose what I type on the computer. Thanks again:)

  60. I had a book project that had stalled – every so often I’d open the file, fiddle with a few words, then find something more “urgent” to work on. One day, I had to take a train from DC to NYC – about 3 hours. I printed out the entire manuscript and – most important – packed NOTHING ELSE TO READ. I hauled out a red pen and read that thing all the way through. By the time I got to NYC, I had a totally new approach to the material and I was excited about it again!

  61. There are often more reasons than lack of discipline to not doing what we want most. Most of them have to do with fear of success or fear of rejection. It takes some fessing up to these fears in order to get past them and get down to our “great work” sometimes.

  62. A friend and I started a writing group a number of years ago. Although the group no longer meets, she and I still go to writing events together and talk about books we want to write or are working on (s-l-o-w-l-y). We finally made a pact this year (in April) that we would either hand each other a readable (not final) draft of our first novels on October 31st or hand the other person a $300 check (painful, right?) And, if neither of us had our drafts ready, we would write our checks to a charity. She and I both work best with deadlines so the work went slowly up until the beginning of September, then (magically) we both got organized and the writing has been going at top speed. I am happy to say I am on track to give her a readable early draft of my first novel on October 31st. I think she is on track, too. It feels great!

    I plan to incorporate the same strategy with getting my first related-to-my-business book written.

    Good luck all you authors-in-process out there.
    Debbie

  63. Hey Marie (and everyone else!),

    Has this video come at the right time or what! I have just sent a note out to my target audience to do some marketing research for my book to ensure I am on the right track. Thank you Marie!

    My tips are:

    – If you cannot find a book coach, engage a friend or colleague to proof read for you and agree with them when you will have a certain amount of writing out to them – being accountable helps with motivation.
    – Aim to write ‘x’ amount a day – so when you have scheduled in a certain time of the day, have an objective to meet – i.e writing 3 points in the third chapter, or something similar.
    – A friend recently told me I should write for 10 minute blocks – no distractions, no interruptions, just 10 solid minutes of writing – it works!

    As for writing in the morning or not, I think it also depends on whether you are a morning or a night person. I’m definitely a morning person and writing early works for me. One of my colleagues is a total night owl and prefers to write from 11pm onwards. Whatever works for you, right?

    – Razwana

  64. Thanks for the tips!

  65. Hey Marie et al

    Wow this is so timely and cool in my inbox today of all days because at 5pm today I received my first copies of my hot off the press new book from my publisher!!

    I can’t tell you how excited I am. I’ve wanted to be a published author since I was a young girl reading Enid Blyton.

    I’ve been writing for years and already have one self published book on Kindle but this is the first book that was actually published by a ‘real’ publisher.

    I loved your tips and will check out 750.com but another good resource to use is online-stopwatch.com I just made myself sit my bottom down on the chair and write every morning with my timer ticking until it was done.

    After each session I would reward myself … might just be a 20 minute break reading or as simple as treating yourself to a latte

    The other strategy I found that works really well is to write your website book sales page BEFORE you finish the book so you know exactly what you want to be able to say the book does for your readers. This is exciting too as it motivates you to finish and gives you your vision of your ‘end game.’

    Sad and lonely half written books on your hard drive are not helping anyone so commit to finish! I know cause I have some of them sitting there … 🙂

    Thanks Marie
    p.s I love that green colour on you 🙂

  66. stephanie*

    Marie!
    First of all: You look fantastic! What a treat to look at you for the time of the video, you are shining and your outfit is very inspiring! Actually, i m a singer and not writing a book, but it is all the same (source), isn t it!? The good thing is: as my body is involved in this too, I am somehow addicted (a wonderful addiction it is!). So, when I not do it, I (my body) gets angry. I ve learned to just do it, before this happens and it is going quite well.
    For me, it is not only discipline (which is to give it the priority), for me, it is being true to myself.
    Thank you for another great Q&A. I love them, you are an inspiration.
    Love from Switzerland, Stephanie. x

  67. JOSEPH PARENTI

    Marie

    Thanks for a great video and access to all the great comments.
    Lets say your writing is almost done or done. I am not done, but I think I am less motivated to finish since I do not know what to do then. So, what is the next step? How do I find publisher or should I just create my own ebook and market that?

    Thanks
    Joe

  68. Cam

    great tips! *as always

  69. Thanks for turning us onto 750 words.com Marie! I schedule my writing time for certain mornings of the week, just like an appointment as Marie suggested – it really made the difference. The challenge is, sometimes my creativity doesn’t arrive at 9am Monday morning for the scheduled writing sessions. To overcome this, sometimes it works to write freely – turn off my internal editor – and just write whatever comes to mind. It is surprising where that leads. I’m curious what others might try doing when your creativity just doesn’t want to show up for the writing session?
    xo Carrie

  70. Thanks for the 750words.com tip. I love that it was inspired from the Artist’s Way Morning Pages.
    Should definitely help me commit to daily writing to finally finish my book!
    =)

  71. Hi Marie,

    Thanks so much for the tips. My book is in the final editing phases, and this seems to be a big challenge for me. I’m a bit stuck, worried that it won’t be
    “good enough” so am trying to get beyond that.

    One other tip, interview yourself and have it transcribed. Use that as the springboard for organizing and creating content.

    Many blessings!

    See you NEXT WEEK at RHHLive!

    Susan Mathison, MaryEllen’s friend from Fargo!

  72. Focus, focus focus!

    You said it Marie.

    Cheers

    Rosemary

  73. I love these strategies and hadn’t even thought of a book coach. Will definitely be checking that out down the road.

    What I found worked (and granted, this is something that takes planning and scheduling) is to plan a chunk of time – be it a long weekend, a week or two, or in my case it was a whole month – to get out of your normal situation and go somewhere quiet to focus exclusively on writing. I wrote my first book, Eat Naked, this way. I’d been working on it in bits and pieces for months, but that deadline was fast approaching and so I took off to a friend’s place, far far away from my ‘normal’ life, and just focused on the book 100%. No clients, no distractions, no other commitments. Every time we start and stop, it takes time and energy to get back into the writing process. Chunking out a big portion of time to devote 100% to writing eliminated a lot of that.

    Thanks for your great videos Marie! You’re spot on. Love what you’re doing.
    xo
    Margaret

  74. Hi Marie
    I always get something important from watching your videos. I think your message must work on my sub-conscious level as I often catch myself doing what you suggest. Thanks for Q & A time. Its about all we can get of you here in Perth Western Australia and I am tooooo grateful 🙂
    Have a great week
    Love from Jennifer x (raving fan)

  75. I fell into writing and although had my first book snapped up by a large publishing house, I’m self publishing the second. But No. 3 isn’t coming as easily so the 750words website will be awesome to keep the ball rolling. When coaching people about writing though, I believe a little bit of writing, every day, no matter what it is – helps the fear go and creativity prosper. What do other writers/authors/bloggers out there find works for them.
    Have a great week.
    Debi at http://www.poppypretzel.com.au

  76. You always give great value in your vids, Marie. 750words.com? Never heard of it! So thanks for that little nugget. And love the very motivational quote. Reminding myself of what I want to accomplish – mainly getting my hot self to London full time – keeps me on purpose.

    You rock the dock!

  77. Hey Marie;
    I wonder if there is a setting that you can choose where if you click on a name or a link in comments it automatically opens a new page instead of redirecting you on the same page? We Mac people can have right click trouble and I’d hate to see folks wandering away from the discussion because of all the juicy links!
    🙂
    -Dr Samantha

  78. One way I have found to get products created more quickly is to go back to my inventory of things already created – articles, blog posts, audio recordings, tele-seminars and start compiling from there!

    Thanks for some great nuggets!

    EXPECT Success!

    Jackie Ulmer

  79. Ok – here’s what I did to get my book ‘Lucky Bitch’ done very quickly (after procrastinating for a year). http://www.LuckyBitchBook.com

    * I decided on a date to launch it (and told my list and everyone I knew about it)
    * I made a video a week before hand saying “Today’s my birthday and I’m launching my book”, so it HAD to be on that date
    * I did a teleseminar and got it transcribed (so a big chapter of my book was done)
    * Booked my friend to be my editor and had a big deadline to her
    * I promised a friend she could include the book in her book launch

    With all of those multiple levels of accountability, I didn’t want to let anyone down. My resistance was horrible – to the point of TEARS. At one point the ONLY thing keeping me from chucking it all in was the fact that I had already made the video (and my hubby edited it).

    So, the moral is just LEAP and make it happen, no matter what.

    xx Denise DT

    • Wow! Love these levels of accountability. Oftentimes the only way we run 26.2 miles is if we sign up for a marathon and then tell everyone we are going to run a marathon! Public knowledge and the fear of public humiliation in a sure-fire tactic to getting a book written… fast.

      Denise, you sound life a fire cracker. Great advice!

      Alicia Dunams
      Publisher, Speaker, Creator of Bestseller in a Weekend
      http://www.BestsellerInAWeekend.com
      http://www.writeyourbookquickly.com

  80. Amy

    Such great ideas Marie! I just finished my book a couple of weeks ago and it took me forever! I am the biggest procrastinator ~ wish I would of heard your tips sooner 🙂

  81. Hey Marie! Love this 1 it really spoke to me as I too am in the process of writing a book but let everything else get in the way so thanks for this boost!

    Here’s my question. I really admire how you speak about what it took to get where you are, and you mention that you worked odd jobs along the way to help support yourself. I too have done that, and continue to do that, and I’m curious to know what are the signs that you can leave the rat race behind and jump full time into your business without feeling fear over cash flow? Thanks so much and I want you to know that you truly are an inspiration to me, and your Q&A Tuesday is something I anxiously await every week!

  82. A book coach is great advice and this concept of having someone whip your ass on schedule works great for any project you wanna get done!

  83. Wooo! Marie, you have no idea…
    This vid was made for Meeeee!
    Thank you!

  84. Great strategies there, Marie!

    Finding time to write can be challenging. One of my favorite times of the year is in November when I do NaNoWriMo ( http://www.nanowrimo.org ). It’s about writing a novel, though there is a “rebels” group that works on non-fiction. Finding a community of writers who are after the same objective you are can be very powerful for getting it written.

    Though I have not used this tool myself, some of my fellow NaNoWriMo participants swear by Write or Die ( http://writeordie.com/ ). It’s a tool that you can set for a length of time, like say 15 minutes and write. The catch is what happens when you stop writing before the time limit. Depending on how you have it set up, it will do anything from an annoying message and beeping at you to erasing words you’ve already written.

  85. Thanks, Marie! I didn’t know about 750words.com, but I started using them this morning to get my ass in gear for my book and blog posts. 🙂

  86. Love this post, I am a book doctor, and I am sending it to all my clients. My clients do well when I tell them that they don’t have to organize anything, they just have to write write write and have FUN doing it, I can do all the annoying organizing and structuring etc… Books are great ways to open huge career doors, so it’s great that you videoed this Marie!! As always, love your stuff. Suzanne.

  87. Great advise.

    My problem is that I have written my book, but am not sure what to do with it. I’ve been told that I should not have to pay to get it published, that I should find an agent who will get bids from publishing companies with offers to pay me for the rights to publish it.
    I’m guessing I need to get a copyright to protect my work before anyone actually sees it.
    There seems to be a lot of steps involved and in the mean time I am trying to run a business.
    Is there a way to hire someone who can be trusted to handle all these details for me and won’t charge me a fortune to do it?

    • You’re right, it can be complicated to navigate the world of publishing. It depends on whether you want to go the traditional or self-publishing route and whether you want print, ebooks, or both.

      I have been doing a ton of research on this lately, and could definitely help you out without charging a fortune. Feel free to check out my website, ladymyerswordsmithing.com, and get in touch if you would like more information.

      Go you for writing a book!

    • Anna,
      One of the best things you can do at this point is go to a bookstore (or look on Amazon) to see which publishers are putting out books similar to yours. Make a list of them and then check out their websites. A lot of publishers have submission guidelines on their sites. Good luck!
      Jenn

    • Anna,
      I thought I posted this earlier, but I don’t see my reply, so I’m reposting. At this point, one of the best things you can do is go to the bookstore, explore Amazon, and even go through your books to see which publishers are putting out work that is similar to yours. After you have a list, check out the publishers’ websites to see if they have submission guidelines. These guidelines will really help you figure out some steps to take. Good luck!
      Best,
      Jenn

  88. With 4 small kids and 2 home based businesses writing our first book was a challenge. One thing that worked great for me was taking the kids to a quiet park with a picnic table close by. The kids had a blast playing and kept each other entertained and being outside provided great inspiration & focus to write. The only way our book “Iditarod Dreamer” got done!

    Strategies welcome on how to get it on my shelves however 🙂

  89. Co-author the book with someone you admire and respect. Even better than a coach, the dialogue for content is inspiring and you have someone as invested as you are to be accountable for the production.

  90. Your Best outfit for TV yet. The camera likes solid bright colors..no sweats..knits.. dull greys…or hanging shit with patterns…This is your brand too..with a leather jacket thats fitted with zipped cuffs sexy and steamlined for a more casual look. But always look slicked and polished and fashion sexy like your brand yo!~

    and that quote…Discipline is remembering what you want.! (Girl I almost passed out when I saw that one. that is …oh Lordy me..that was good.)

    Great video series..excellent job Marie.

    Best,
    iDalis

  91. Re

    Hey everyone!

    This is an interesting topic. Next month, I plan to dive head first into National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and the idea of finishing a 50,000 word story in one month definitely intimidates me. I love all the tips here, but if anyone is looking for anything extra, why not take it from the people from NaNoWriMo themselves? They have an entire forum dedicated to just finishing your book! You can find it here: http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/forums. Here’s a specific forum for reaching a 50,000 word goal: http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/forums/reaching-50-000

    Thanks for the advice Marie. Stay beautiful and flipping awesome. 🙂

  92. BTW: LOVE that dress! So lady like and elegant! And the necklace? Beautiful!

  93. Marie, how cool is this? I am writing a book NOW. You are truly right on time with your advice. Thank you, Bev

  94. I like the way you think, girl!
    My personal coach became my husband, by accident. I think. Like many other posters I was 3/4 of the way done with my book and then stalled- for 2 years. One day my husband asked my when I was going to finish. I answered him with a shrug and a “Oh, one of these days.” He looked my straight in the eyes and said, “I guess something as big as that is intimidating. I understand if you didn’t finish it through.” Now I don’t know if he meant to secretly challenge me or he was trying to truly be sympathetic, but I hate being told I can’t do something. I hate someone even hinting at it. That was all it took. Now I’m the proud storyteller of Here Comes Trouble.

  95. I just finished my own book thanks to you! “Copywriting For Bootstrapped Startups” alive and selling!

    The best tip I can give is to set a painfully close deadline for every chapter. This forces you to cut out the useless stuff and just focus on getting it done (very 80/20).

    Woot!

    p.s. if you wanna grab the book, here it is: http://offthebookshelf.com/authors/3172-eddy-azar

  96. I did this backwards! I wrote a book before I was making money. 🙂 I think what got me motivated was accountability. I told all my friends and family I was writing a book and when I would have it done. I was too proud to fail.

  97. I just wrote my own book and am self publishing.
    Called Help! I Can’t Stop Eating
    And I realize I need to set aside the time for writing.
    Good tips and ideas.
    Thank you.
    Lana

  98. I saw this ages ago before thinking about writing an ebook. Now that I’m thinking about writing one I instantly remembered that you had mentioned a neat tool to help start moving and keep moving on it. So I hunted the post down! Thanks so much Marie, great advice and it obviously stuck with me. Hopefully it will work well and I agree on the writing early idea

    Jess

  99. Woe. Totally got me with that quote. BAM. Gonna put that one up and in my grill on the daily..
    Much love for that one.
    X

  100. Three great ideas.

    One year I participated in PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month). This is a one month challenge for authors/illustrators of children’s picture books. You are encouraged daily to come up with an idea a day (or more) for the duration of the month long challenge. All the while, organizer Tara Lazar, has guest authors post on her blog and there are incentives at the end for those who succeeded at the challenge – namely crits from those in the publishing industry! If that’s not a motivator, I don’t know what is. 🙂

  101. It took me a year to write my book & only one tweet to get
    on Oprah! I love twitter!!

  102. Seeing so many struggle with procrastination (and procrastinating myself on my own book Feel The Fear And Freelance Anyway) inspired me to help.

    What if you could record the whole thing and transcribe all of it? Speaking is 4 times faster than typing and I can edit the book as I write it for people from their audio and video content. Definitely good to get some parts transcribed at least. Starting to see something real on paper is so great for getting off the blocks or having some momentum.

  103. Hey there, I’ve watched your videos and they were great! I am a ten year old and you won’t believe that I am already working. I know how to publish a book and all I wanna know is what is the best software to make your book? Lots of school work is preventing me on researching about what software I should use. And also making the illustrations and all is a pain 🙁

    I can just share a tip I use in writing. I do a handwritten version of it first before I put it on computer so I can know anything that I may like to change.

  104. I second the writing first thing in the day. Not only does it get done before any interruptions can come along and get in the way, but you also feel better. I have been using this technique and believe it is the one making the biggest difference so far.
    Thanks for another great video!

  105. One of the often shared beauty tips for teenage girls states that these nasty looking veins are caused by sitting too much.

    Apply a dark brown mascara to the middle lashes, then tilt the wand diagonally
    and apply the mascara to the outer lashes. Or Gabrielle Union’s skin, Halle
    Berry’s and so on.

  106. It is first time when I hear about 75o words. Amazing. Thank you.

Let us know what you have to say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *