How to Write a Book Without Losing Your Mind

Posted on

Expert advice on ending procrastination and finishing that manuscript, dissertation, or other big project

A few months ago, I promised some nice people in New York that I would, sometime very soon, write a book.

Since then, I have:

Called my mom rejoicing.

Called my mom crying.

Considered changing my Twitter bio, then thought better of it.

Considered emailing all my ex-boyfriends and mentors to let them know I’m an impostor, then thought better of it.

Extensively researched three different long-form writing softwares, only to find that I prefer the first one I ever tried.

Researched and bought several different types of special German pens, only to find that I prefer good old Paper Mates.

Now just one task remains: Write the thing.

To that end, I recently consulted with some productivity experts to figure out how it is that people—such as, hopefully, myself—are able to accomplish big, long-term projects, within the time allotted, and ideally with minimal psychiatric help.

I reached out to Laura Vanderkam, who has written several books, most of them about the art of getting things done. (She sees your Lean In and raises you I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time.) She has a book come out every 18 months to two years, but most of the writing gets done in six months, she told me. After that, she’s editing and promoting the book. And between everything, she’s blogging, podcasting, speaking, and traveling. Oh, and she has four children, ages 11, 8, 6, and 3.

Prev1 of 3Next

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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