Episode 064 – How to Write Everyday and Finally Finish Your Book

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Welcome to another episode of High Ticket Sales Secrets. This is Dan Lok – your host, your guide and your mentor.

Today’s Topic is Related to Yesterday’s Podcast

It’s interesting, after yesterday’s podcast, I’ve gotten a number of emails. People are asking me about the new book and they can’t wait to get it. I appreciate the support. I also have a couple of questions people are asking me about – how I’ve already written so many books, how do you write a book, what’s my process like and could I share that on the podcast? I think it’s a very, very interesting topic.

Today I want to give you a few tips on writing. That’s interesting because it’s kind of ironic that I’m sharing writing tips with you because I never considered myself as a writer, as funny as that sounds. Although I’ve been a copywriter, I still write a lot of copy for my own stuff, my own companies, I’ve never seen myself as a writer. When I was in high school, I flunked English. My grammar is not that good. Good thing there’s editors out there that can edit your work. So I always have editors editing my work.

I See Myself as a Teacher and a Communicator More Than a Writer

So I don’t see myself as a writer. I always see myself as a teacher. I see myself as a communicator, that I share whatever I have in my mind, kind of like how I am communicating with you. This is not scripted, I just turn on the mic and share whatever thoughts that I have in my mind and whatever is going on in my life that I thought would be interesting. It just happens to be that you’re listening to this and we’re having this conversation.

So to give you some writing tips. I believe that over the years, I have learned a few things on how to write a book. If you’re thinking of how to write that book – maybe you’ve started off the book, you’ve started off with a couple of chapters but you never finished the damn thing. So I might be able to help you finish the book and finally help you to get it out there, okay?

An Overview of the Book Writing and Publishing Process

Let me give you a quick overview of how the book writing process and book publishing process works. Let me start off by saying that once you have a book, you always want to have an end-goal in mind. As I’ve shared with you in the past, a book is not a business. A book is not going to make you rich. You’re not going to get rich selling a book unless you’re going to sell a gazillion copies of the book. For most of us, a book is a business card. It’s the best business card you could have. Now, if that’s the case, we care less about necessarily getting a major publisher.

The first books that I’ve done, I didn’t have a publisher. I self-published the books because nobody would publish my stuff. And that’s perfectly fine. If you use it as a business card, you would print a book and self-publish, use it for marketing, for lead generation online, or to give it away when you see people in a speaking gig, that’s perfectly fine. It’s not like in the old days that you’ve got to find an agent and you write a proposal, hopefully that you get to the publisher and the decision maker and they like your manuscript and they like your concept. And with a little bit of luck, they publish your book.

Chances are, for you and me, that’s slim to none. It’s only laid on when I had a, for the lack of a better word, had more fame, that I get all those types of deals. But really, a majority of those, I self-published. That’s perfectly fine because it’s how you use the book. It’s not how you just have a book.

Nobody is Going to Sell Your Book More Than You

Also, don’t expect that the publishers just sell your book. You sell your book. Nobody is going to sell your book more than you do. So if you think, “Oh yeah, if I sign up with some major publisher, they’re going to help me do the PR, they’re going to help me do the promotion, all I need to do is sit back and create all those royalty checks.” It isn’t going to happen. Okay? It’s not how this works.

So you could either find a publisher which is going to be hard if you’re a first-time author. You could self-publish, that’s the easiest way to do it. Or there are a lot of these third-party publishers where, even now you can use these publishers to do publishing on demand where they have your file and you can create a certain amount of books they could print and get you listed on Amazon. That’s easy to do so you could definitely do that. There are a lot of resources on that. You could self-publish – you could find these third party publishers or you could have a traditional publisher. I would recommend self-publishing, that’s the easiest way to do it.

Allot Time to Write Your Book

Now when it comes to publishing a book, and many people have different ways of doing it, I’m just sharing with you what has worked for me over the years. I find it’s easier if I block a chunk of time to work on the book a little bit. Some people would lock themselves in a room, they won’t eat, they won’t sleep and try to crank up a book. That’s fine but that process does not work for me because I have a lot going on every day. So I would usually block off a time.

So now, when I had made a new decision to write a new book with my friend, Mario, I would block out say, 30 minutes every day. My goal is to write in that 30 minutes, no distraction. Sometimes I would write a couple of pages. On a good day I would get some more pages. That’s it. I’m working on it every single day. And it every day I’m making progress, that’s good.

Create a Blueprint

I also would create what I call a blueprint. Some people call it outline but actually, it’s a blueprint for me. I would map out all the chapters that I know I’m going to write. So I don’t think of it that I’m writing a book. I’m actually thinking about it as I’m writing articles. In this case, this book would have 24 chapters – I would have 12 chapters and Mario would have 12 chapters. This might change once I get into it.

Every day, instead of looking at it as, “Oh, I’m going to write a big book”, it’s okay. So if I have 12 chapters that I am responsible for, and each chapter would say, have 5 pages long, or 8 pages long, however you define it. And every single day, I know I need to write 12 articles and each article is 5 or 6 pages long. If every day I would knock out a couple of pages. Bam! Then I know I’m making progress.

Also this way, as I’m writing certain chapters just like all the books I’ve written in the past, what I notice is as you get through the process, a lot of things can happen. You might find out that there are certain chapters that you want to expand some more. There are certain chapters that you like but just don’t fit in the book. You can take those out. And there are certain chapters that you think should go in the beginning in the book but actually flows better when it goes to the end of the book.

Write Down Questions You Think Your Audience Want Answered

You can play around with it. When you break it down and chunk it like this, it’s much easier. And within the book, as I work on each chapter, what I would do is I would write down the series of questions regarding that topic. Let’s say on that chapter I’m going to talk about whatever topic. So when I wrote F.U. Money, if you’ve noticed in the book, in the first few chapters, I simply addressed that. So I would write down a lot of questions. I don’t necessarily put the questions in the book, it’s more of to get that creative process going.

In Chapter 1, you see exactly why it’s F.U. Money. Why is that important? Why don’t people have it? Why don’t people make it? What’s the confusion around it? What does it mean? How did I make it? You will see it flows in that kind of way. What happens is when you write a book this way, you naturally enter the conversation and naturally answer the questions your readers might have as they go through your book. It’s a lot like a dialogue, it’s much more conversational. You’ll know that people, as they have questions, the minute they have a question, minutes later as they’re reading the book, “Oh! You already answered it. How do you know?” That’s exactly what I’m thinking. This is awesome.

They have another question as you teach them something else. And you go through some of the other concepts in the book. And then, “Oh, you answer that too.” So I find that this flows very well. Create an outline, write down each chapter depending on the length of the chapter. 5, 10, even 15 questions that I think people might have in this particular topic in this particular chapter.

The Overall Secret

That’s my secret sauce. Big picture, blueprint, write it down every single day, keeping it simple every single day making small progress. Now it doesn’t have to be everyday. It can be 5 days a week. It could be 4 days but you have to block out a time. I like to do it in the morning because I find that I’m most creative then. Before I check my emails, before I do anything else, that’s how you crank up a book consistently.

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