Throughout my twenties, an item high up on my bucket list was this:
Write a book by the age of 30.
In my mind I was going to pen a great work of fiction. The thriller I started writing was called Rumour Hazard, it was about fake news, I should probably still write it sometime.
I later edited just one character on my bucket list to keep the dream alive.
Write a book before the age of 40.
On the 15th October 2014, on the day before my 40th birthday, I finally launched Legacide. Yes!
And a few weeks back I finished the second one, Boredom Slayer - a speakers guide to presenting like a pro (if you want to be the first to know when it's ready, sign up here).
I learned something writing this book that I didn't figure out with the first one though, and it led to what may seem like the link-baity title to this post. **Spoiler **- it isn't.
Let me ask you this before I get to the how though. How long do you think it would take you to write a book? To help with your calculation, the target my publisher gave me was 40 000 words.
Got your number? Good. Got the time to make it happen quick? I thought not.
Well, it turns out you're probably wrong on both counts. At least I was.
I put off writing the book in my 20s because I just didn't have the time.
Well, to write Boredom Slayers, I used a tool called novlr (recommended). One of the features that novlr has is that it gives you a great dashboard. When I finished the book, I checked out the dashboard and was pretty blown away by what I saw...
The book took me less than 36 hours to write. In total. WTF!?
Sure, I spent time brainstorming, and as I was writing about presentation theory and public speaking, my vocation for the past 21 years, a lot of it came somewhat easily to me. Still though, I wrote a book in under 36 hours!
The answer to the question, how can I write a book in under 36 hours is just to start writing, I may be a test case of one, but the sub 36 hours thing will just kinda sort itself out. And if it doesn't, you won't care anyway - because you'll be invested already.
It's crazy how much stuff we put off because we just don't have the time right now. That's just a lie though, one of the many we tell ourselves because the truth is usually harder to swallow. As you'll see if (when) you read it, I wrote Boredom Slayers exclusively at coffee shops (and a few aeroplanes) while getting lunch. I basically wrote a book to get out of sitting and eating alone.
Just ask yourself how many things you've not done because you just didn't have the time. And ask yourself if it was worth it.
I watched a video on Facebook yesterday, it was based on the final blog post a 27-year-old Australian woman wrote the day before she passed away from cancer. It's about 9-minutes long, and you probably feel that you don't have the time to watch it right now, but I kinda think you should. I did.
So there you have it, and if you still don't think you can do it, I can recommend you start with this audiobook.
Otherwise, just write...!
(cover photo The Note by Ruben Alexander)