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Now that I’ve written a book, I want to scream from the mountain tops how much I truly believe that anyone who has the drive and desire to write a book can find the time to get it done with a little bit of discipline.

It is so easy to buy into the “I just don’t have time” school of thought because honestly, you probably don’t on first look. But when you take a second look at how you spend your “free time” and couple that with a dose of honesty about how much you really want to become an author, I think you’ll see things differently.

So, based on my own experiences…I offer these five tips for anyone who says they don’t have the time to write a book. Keep in mind that I have a full time job, two young children ages 8 and 3, a house that needs lots of cleaning and a husband who needs to see me from time-to-time.

1. Sacrifice something you value and write instead. If you’re serious about this, you may need to give up something you care about. Children and spouses are not an option. But if you watch several shows on television that you feel you can’t live without, try living without them and work on your book during those times instead.

2. Whenever you’re waiting, write. From the doctor’s office to the lobby of your kids’ ballet class we all are faced with waiting periods. The time when there is literally nothing for you to do but wait. Learn to take advantage of this idle time and pull out a notepad or bring your laptop.

3. Don’t tell everyone you’re writing a book. Talk is cheap. Just do it, and tell folks after-the-fact. You are doing this for you, so that makes you the only person who matters. If you’re doing it for accolades and pats on the back, you’ll never get it done.

4. Communicate with as many authors as you can through social media. Follow authors and book marketers on Twitter. Seek out publishers and agents and learn the craft. Find out what’s happening in the industry and learn as much as you can. Follow trends. Join a social networking group for authors or even publishers.

5. Write about your topic on your blog. Blog posts can feed your book. With blogposts you are thinking short and pithy. When you go back to previous posts you will find new ideas for your book. Keep the blog posts coming.

AND HERE’S A BONUS:

6. Stay up late. You can sleep in four-six months. If you absolutely have no time then you have to make it. Give up a few hours of sleep and write. You’ll be surprised at how the creative juices flow after midnight. I wrote from about 10pm-1am for two months straight.

Yes, writing a book takes dedication and for many, sacrifice. I am working hard on my marketing plan and looking for ways to generate buzz . I know it’s going to work because I’m committed. And I think you can make it work as well. So if you’re serious and you really want to write a book, put your money where your mouth is.

You’ll be glad you did.

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A guide for building relationships and connecting with customers online

18 Rules of Community Engagement, by Angela Connor

I’m writing a book.

I am now in the all-important phase of gathering endorsements for the back cover. I’ve known this would come and I’ve been adding potential endorsers to my coveted spreadsheet for about a month now with the goal of asking pretty much all of them to take a sneak peek at my book and offer an endorsement.

I’ve received two so far, and both made me feel all tingly and warm inside after reading them. These two paragraphs written by people whose work I admire and respect validate the hard work and late nights I’m putting into this project. It is just what I needed to keep forging ahead full steam.

(Thanks Sonny Gill and Martin Reed!)

But let me tell you how I felt before opening the emails.

  • My heart was pounding.
  • My palms were a wee-bit sweaty.
  • My feet even turned cold.

I decided to leave my inbox before opening the first response, just to give myself a silent pep-talk in the event the person refused to endorse or told me they didn’t like it and could therefore not support me. After all, I am indicating in the introduction to the sneak peek that there is no pressure and I mean that. I am not interested in any false or sympathy endorsements so I have to be prepared for those who will be brutally honest.

As someone who has often taken pride in not giving what people say about me too much weight, this is pretty new. I have to care about what people say, and I really want them to say something nice. In fact, I’m asking them to do just that by using the word “endorse.”

Book marketing, for the non-marketing type is no walk in the park. The good thing is, I’m getting the hang of it and I’m learning how to be pretty bold about it. That’s what it’s going to take to succeed, so I’m going to market this book until I’m blue in the face. And with all it entails, it just may come to that.

My grandfather always said that anything that doesn’t kill you will make you stronger. Well, I’m not dead, so I must be getting stronger every day.

Oh, and BTW–if you’re interested in a sneak peek of my book 18 Rules of Community Engagement: Building relationships and connecting with customers online, let me know. See, I told you I was getting bold. And what’s a few more sweaty palms between friends?

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Unless you’re new to this blog, you know that I recently landed a publishing contract, thanks to Twitter.

You also know that I am all about sharing what I learn. One of the things I will do as I write the book is chronicle the journey and ask for input along the way. I want to put a lot of practitioners in this book, not just the big guys we all tend to worship.

So, in what will forever be part 1 of a regular series chronicling this major event in my life, I am sharing the four things that I did today that will hopefully help me stay focused and keep my eyes on the prize.

  1. Responded to this HARO query from James Smythe: “I’m writing a report about Twitter for the guys behind the Shorty Awards ( www.shortyawards.com), especially its applications for business use.  We’ve been looking for a Twitter ‘Win’ in the business world – a story about how Twitter use has somehow helped a business or individual to gain a contract, a job, something exciting like that.  Please email if you have any good stories!”
  2. Created a FriendFeed room that will hopefully serve as a hub for ideas and communication about the book.
  3. Revisited my Backtype comments to tap into old ideas that I shared on blogs that  since left my brain and could provide great fodder and spark new ideas for various chapters of the book.
  4. Created a landing page for the series of posts related to this book writing journey.  (Thanks  to these tips from Problogger)

Are you writing a book? What are you doing to stay focused?

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This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry.

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