Happy Monday, writers!
Oh, wait. Excuse me.
Happy MLK Day, writers!
Three years ago today, I published my first (and only) short story. Like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK), I, too, had a dream. As a child, I dreamt of becoming a famous author among other things. I didn't think it was possible, so I pushed that dream aside and pursued careers that had more clearly-outlined paths like teaching.
Nevertheless, January 15, 2015, was the day one of my dreams became a reality. My short story Confessions of an Adult Nerd: The Bay Area Blues (Volume 1) hit Amazon and was well received.
It was a process to write that book. Allow me to briefly explain why...
My first book, SoKoDiaries: An American Teacher Living in South Korea, was a biography of sorts, where I revealed my excursions as an English teacher living in a foreign country. While living and teaching overseas in South Korea (SoKo), I had tons to write about because I was experiencing something that was new to me and my audience at the time. In fact, this is what my audience was used to reading from me: true stories about my life as an educator.
But after the third and final volume of SokoDiaries--my first book series about my teaching in South Korea--I wanted to try something different. I wanted to try my hand at short stories. My childhood dreams and vivid imagination came rushing to me near the end of 2014, and I needed a creative outlet. I wasn't confident in my ability to pull off another book genre other than non-fiction, but I tried it anyway. In honor of MLK, I made my dream a reality by clicking "publish" on Amazon three years ago.
Confessions of an Adult Nerd: The Bay Area Blues (Volume 1) is MY testimony. I thank you guys for celebrating my bookiversary with me, but what about YOUR testimony. I know writing a book is challenging, but perhaps I can give a few simple strategies you can use to make the book-writing process more digestible. This blog post consists of three hacks to help you write your book faster.
I understand that there are different types of writers. Some writers are decision makers, so it doesn't take them long to create chapter titles, book covers, etc. because they're sold on their decisions right away. But that's not everyone's testimony. In fact, I know of a few writers who like to let their work sit for a while, and they come back to it days and weeks (and maybe even years) later to make sure it's what they really want to share. Whatever type of writer you are, I believe these three writing hacks will help you write your book in less time than you think is necessary.
1. Put your book in a 3-ring binder so you know it’s real
This may sound cheesy and pretentious all at the same time, but it works. Sometimes, we get so tied to our computers/laptops that we cannot see our writing progress or lack thereof. If you print out your book and see blank chapters, then it'll hopefully inspire you to create chapter titles along with the content that is appropriate for each chapter. Or you may find that you actually need to edit a few chapters and scale down. Or you may find that your book is not that far from being publish-worthy. The physical, printed papers help with the book-writing process because your work will feel more like a book, and it will be organized in case you want family and friends to proofread it.
2. Join a book club (group) and get some accountability
Let's face it, people hold us accountable. Have you ever mentioned a goal to a friend and they ask you about it the following week, and you're like, "When did I say that?" Yeah, that's the beauty of accountability. Imagine if you knew a group of aspiring authors with the same book-writing goal to hold you accountable. Wouldn't that be encouraging?! My advice is to check out Meetup for local book clubs in your area. Or check out Facebook for book (accountability) groups a.k.a. groups centered around aspiring authors. Feel free to join my Facebook group; it's not only for book writers but for writers in general. CLICK HERE to join.)
3. Write it out without worrying about editing
If you stop and think about what to keep and delete while writing, you will interrupt your writing flow. Don't do it! Just write, and edit later.
If you’re swamped for time and have some money to spare, hire a ghostwriter. This way, you can eliminate the writing part altogether. But guess what, you still have to S.T.A.R.T. (Find out what S.T.A.R.T. means by purchasing your copy of my How To Write Your First Book: Helping Aspiring Authors Overcome the Book-Writing Hurdle book.)