So far I have written most of the first draft, but I confess I'm struggling to find the time to finish it. When I started writing it, I really wanted to get it done within three months, but it's already taken me longer than that. I'd love to get it finished before another three months is up, so could probably do with some good advice. So, I was delighted to get an interesting press release entitled How to Publish a Book in Three Months ... or Less. The press release is by prolific author, Tom Evans.
Here is what he suggests:
It might sound counter-intuitive, but by taking 10-20 minutes of ‘me time’ each day, you claw it back in bucket loads throughout the day. The latest book from Tom Evans, author and author’s mentor, is a testament to how he practices what he preaches and teaches.
New Magic for a New Era: How to Live a Charmed Lifewas available for sale worldwide at the end of February 2015, yet he only started writing it at the beginning of December 2014. Here are the seven steps he took to manage this extraordinary creative feat.
Step #1: Have a Cracking Idea
Tom engaged a coach to look at his business in October 2014. She pointed out that although he’d written and published 10 books, he’d never told the story of how an ex-BBC TV engineer came to be doing what he was now doing.
His immediate response was that his story was boring, nothing exciting had happened to him and that he had lived a rather charmed and easy life. She said that surely some other people would like their life not to be so tough, so why not share the secret of how he’d done it. The seed was sown.
Step #2: Have an Immovable Deadline
Tom normally writes his main book of each year starting on the Spring Equinox – ‘Springing Forward’ so to speak. Before the end of last year, it occurred to him that it would be fun to break with his self-imposed tradition and get the book of his life written and published before his next birthday, at the beginning of March. With a bit of time bending and stretching, he ended up being two weeks ahead of that deadline. The secret of how he does this happens to be in the book.
Step #3: Slowing Down Time
The first tip Tom uses to get more done in less time is to breathe more slowly. To begin we need to use our diaphragm and to do belly breaths. This of course is how a baby breathes. We’ve just got out of the habit.
Now you don’t have to do it all the time but just doing seven to nine deep and slow breaths at the start of the day is enough to slow things down. It works especially well if you are running late for a meeting. By breathing more slowly, we ‘expand’ time.
If you want to know how this works, ask an elephant or a tortoise why they live so long.
Step #4: Connecting with Your Muse
Before Tom started meditating about 10 years ago, he thought it was both a waste of time and that there was no way he could make his over-active mind go quiet. Nowadays, if he misses his morning meditation, he actually has a worse day.
It might sound counter-intuitive but by taking 10-20 minutes of ‘me time’ each day, you claw it back in bucket loads throughout the day. You become less stressed and notice serendipitous events. So one chance encounter can save you hours in searching for just the ‘right thing’.
Meditation is not about sitting in a dark room in the lotus position chanting “Om”. A walk in nature or a park is a great tonic too. So before writing each chapter, Tom would either meditate or walk his dogs. The whole structure for the next chapter would appear just like magic.
Step #5: One Thought at a Time
The normal human mind can only have one thought at a time. So just think about what you are thinking about right now and the thing you are thinking about gets replaced with the thought you are having about that thought.
Just pause for a moment, read the above sentence again and check the validity of this notion.
Armed with this knowledge about the way we think, this gives us the most amazing insight when it comes to our time management. If we are focused on anything else other than the task in hand, time will slip away from us. Accordingly, these are the three sources of time leaks:
• Fretting over the past
• Worrying about the future
• Thinking about something else other than what you are working on
So the key to making the most of our time is to ‘get in the zone’ and focus solely on what you are doing right now. When thoughts other than the ones we want to think arrive, a simple way to make them go away is to ask them about their purpose — and as to who sent them.
Step #6: Whole Brain Thinking
It is an urban myth that the left brain is logical and the right brain is creative. When it comes to time, it appears that the left hemisphere sits inside space and time and that the right hemisphere sits everywhere and ‘everywhen’ else.
When we are ‘in the zone’ what is happening is that both hemispheres are working at the same time. The left brain handles the detail while the right brain holds the whole of the work ‘in mind’. To get both sides of the brain working together, Tom breathes through alternate nostrils five times before writing.
Step #7: Printing on Demand
As soon as Tom got the initial proofread of his book back in mid-February, he converted it to Kindle format and with 24 hours it was available for download worldwide. He also formatted it for print and ordered a single book from CompletelyNovel, his print-on-demand supplier for real proofing. The proof copy arrived within a week and he sat down with no distractions to really read it as if he was a reader.
It’s here where you see just a few residual errors that are not so much typos but are places where you can make the book flow much better. He also speaks the chapters as he reads them as, if you can’t read it ‘out loud’, a reader won’t easily be able to read it ‘in loud’.
So armed with a book that now flows much better, a new version is uploaded to Kindle and a final version sent off to be available via distribution worldwide — all in time for his birthday.I think I am lucky in that I don't have to self-publish because my book is going to come out via Moon Books, which is a great pagan publishing company. However, I think I will be taking on board some of Tom's advice in order to get that first draft finished.
More details about Tom, his books, courses and podcast can be found online at www.tomevans.co
You can order his book via Amazon: New Magic for a New Era: How to Live a Charmed Life