NEW BOOK: Pivotal: Creating Stability in an Uncertain World Coming June 18, 2024

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Innovation Insights
by Stephen Shapiro

New Book Iterations

Finding Time for Writing

This is post #3 about the writing process for my next book. Here’s #1 and #2.

Sometimes a challenge for people in writing is making the time or having the support. Admittedly, I’m a pretty good self-motivator. I make the time.

Quite often I lock myself in a hotel for a week or two so that I can make progress without distractions. I find a place with a full kitchen so that I can load up the refrigerator with food the first day and never have to leave.

It’s a good thing I can dedicate the time, because I am not the most efficient writer. I iterate – a lot. For Invisible Solutions, I think I had printed out over a dozen different versions before it went to press. This book is already up to iteration number 5 (see the picture) and we are still in the earlier stages.

In addition to sequestering myself, this time around I’ve found it useful having a community of people to tap into. One group I am part of is organized by AJ Harper, the author of Write a Must Read. 

Her “Top Three Book (T3B) Authors’ Club” is a group of people who meet 2X a day for an hour each session. This gives you 10 opportunities per week to work with other authors – and the facilitators. AJ makes an appearance quite frequently and answers questions.

The call starts with about 5 minutes of Q&A. We then write for about 25 minutes. We have another 5 minutes of Q&A with a final 25 minutes of writing. 

Being part of this group has helped me in two ways:

  1. Commit to working on the book. I try to attend at least one writing sprint a day. It is fun to be with others who are focused on the same task of writing. I like seeing familiar faces who are have the same struggles I do.
  2. Having  input from AJ and her team. I had questions on creating a compelling book title, and AJ had some very useful thoughts. And the questions others ask are applicable to my writing.

There are other communities. I just joined one called Shut Up & Write! (the exclamation point is theirs) They have in-person local gatherings and one is less than a mile from my home. 

I am also part of the Useful Books community that Rob Fitzpatrick organizes. I meet with them once a week.

Everyone will have their own way of getting the work done. I like writing retreats and communities. What have you found to be helpful?

P.S. The Untitled Book (with no subtitle) now has a title. That will eventually be revealed.

P.P.S. Future posts will address the editing process, software for writing (and publishing), a powerful way to edit your book while not at your computer, and much more.

Stay tuned!