Today I want to chat about three things that you can do as you’re writing your book to help you stay organized. I know that it can be difficult to stay on track with writing your book, particularly when you have a lot going on in your life. (I’m right there with you!) But, by staying organized, you’ll work much more efficiently, allowing you to hold your book in your hands sooner than you think.
Having a plan for your book is a great way to stay organized because you’ll have a firm idea of what you need to do to finish your book. Knowing everything you need to do makes it easier to decide what you need to accomplish that day or that week. Instead of focusing on the big picture and thinking, “Gosh, how am I ever going to publish an entire book?” you can instead focus on the smaller tasks you need to accomplish in the immediate future.
It’s also a good idea to have an overall idea for the plan of attack for your book. It’s helpful to have answers to the following questions:
I strongly recommend that you take the time to write an outline for your book as well. I have all of my clients write book outlines to help them stay organized as they put together the content for their books. As you’re writing your outline, take the time to really think through what you want your reader to get out of reading your book. Then, think through what he or she reader needs to know to get there. Make sure any gaps in knowledge or missing steps are included in your outline.
Having a calendar also helps us stay organized as we work to plan and write our books. Often we have grand plans of publishing a book, but that book is something that always gets pushed off to the end of our to-do lists. There’s always something coming up that needs to be one right away, something that gets our immediate attention. However, if we’re ever going to publish our books, we have to stop procrastinating.
I know this is something I’m personally struggling with right now. I work to run two blogs, have a part-time job, and get ready for a cross-country move. It seems like urgent, time-sensitive tasks are always popping up, making it hard to work on my book as much as I’d like to. But, I’m counteracting that by specifically planning out time to work on writing and editing my next book.
If you’ve been putting off writing your book, too, I want to encourage you to set out time in your calendar for working on your book. You’re going to actually mark out time for working out your book in your calendar like you would any other appointment. I aim for a minimum of two or three hours each week that are exclusively dedicated to working on my book.
Having the right tools will help you make sure that you’re working efficiently. One of my favorite tools that I recommend to all of my clients who want to the writing process a little easier is Scrivener writing software. (No, I’m not an affiliate for the software—I just really love it!) Scrivener is what I’m personally using to write my next book, and it’s also what I use when I put books together for clients.
Scrivener is a paid program, but I think it’s worth every penny. It’s the program most serious authors are using these days as they write and edit their books, and after downloading and using it, I know why. I’ve only been using it for a few months and it’s already completely revolutionized how I go about writing books. My only regret is not buying a copy earlier.
For example, Scrivener makes it much easier to reorganize sections of text within your book. With a simple drag and drop, Scrivener will change the order of your text blocks, allowing the text to flow from one section to the next. Scrivener also has some great tools for helping you visualize the layout of your book. And, Scrivener also has some great features that help keep you from getting distracted as you’re writing.
Looking for more tools to help you publish your book? Even better, are you looking for more awesome FREE tools? Click here to download my free “Top 5 Tools Every Author Needs” worksheet!