The Fastest Way to Write Your Book

Chapter 2 - Why write a book and why write it fast?

Why write a book?

There are so many reasons that it's hard to know where to start. Let me list three personal reasons.

Firstly, I'm a writer and I need to write. When I'm not writing I'm not truly happy and the ideas clutter up my head. The urge to write nags away at me.

Secondly, the ideas keep on coming. The longer I spend not writing, the more ideas I have for more things to write about and the more the urge to write grows. It's useful to have as an outlet for some of these ideas, but I like to keep some back for myself.

Thirdly, I want to be remembered when I'm gone. I want to leave a lasting legacy. Most people live ordinary lives and when they die they’re forgotten. What a waste. I don't want that happening to me. I want the world to remember me and value the contribution I made. What better legacy than a good book?

Those are my reasons for wanting to write books. Let's consider some others.

Sometimes people expect you to be a writer even if you don't consider yourself one. You might be a speaker, training instructor, teacher or coach. When people regard you as an expert they'll ask you for more information to take away with them. They trust you to supply them with this information - and they know you have it. Not only do they want you to be a writer; they expect it. The important point is that you're not starting from scratch. You already have the information; you just have to write it down.

Once you've written a book, your credibility skyrockets. You stand out from the crowd. You'll be in more demand as a speaker or teacher or coach. You'll be able to charge more for your services and people will willingly pay it, because your book proves you're an expert. They'll buy your book even if it covers the same material that you've already taught them. Of course, it's a great selling point if your book contains much more information than your speech or training session. Mention that during your talk and your sales will increase.

What about your ego and personal pride? Writing a book is more than most people ever achieve. Many people start writing one but never finish it. Can they really call themselves writers? Maybe. Maybe not. They aren't sure. They might call themselves writers but have a nagging doubt. But if you've not only started writing a book but finished it, then you truly can call yourself a writer.

There's the fame thing to consider as well of course. Do you want to be famous? If so, do you want to be famous as a writer? Or do you want your fame as a writer to lead to fame in another field? If you've written a bestselling book you can be as famous as you want to be. Join the media circus and appear on talk shows, book-signing tours, radio phone-ins, quiz panels and much more. Or shun publicity, stay at home, and write the next book.

Then there's recognition. This might be recognition within your company, within your industry, or by the public - which is the same thing as fame. If you write a book about the industry you work in, think what a career booster it could be. You might scoff and say your boss wouldn't think much of your book and it would do nothing for your career. That may be true. But there are other companies and other bosses. Add your book to your CV or résumé and apply for another job. It'll put you well above the other applicants. If you choose to stay with your current employer, you'll find your colleagues now treat you with more respect even if your boss doesn't. Writing jobs will come your way when they need to draft a new advertisement, or a brochure, or a business plan, or an article for the company magazine. Your writing talent has been recognised!

Do you have something important to say? A book lets you disseminate that message to a wide audience. Your message might be one of entertainment if you're a storyteller. Or it might be a message of hope or peace or love. Perhaps it's a warning, telling people their future is at stake unless they act now. Maybe you've found a new technique that will enrich people's lives or help them improve their circumstances. Perhaps you've come across vital new information. Don't just tell a few friends; write a book and tell the world. If it's a powerful message it'll get out eventually anyway and someone else will write the book - and make a lot of money out of it. You'll curse yourself for not having done it when you had the chance.

Are you happy with your job? Do you like sitting in traffic every morning and evening? Do you like waking up at some unearthly hour to the sound of an alarm clock? Are you happy with just four or five weeks' holiday each year? Are you happy arranging your life to fit in with your company's demands rather than your own needs? Life doesn’t have to be like that. As a professional writer you can live wherever you like, work whatever hours you like, take time off whenever you want, avoid traffic jams and throw the alarm clock in the bin. How does that sound to you? Luxury? Maybe. But you could do it. You don't even have to be a full-time writer to make major changes to your life. If you could make enough money from writing to cover half your salary, you could work part-time and give up working mornings. If you're a morning person, you could give up working afternoons and go to the beach or the golf course instead. Or you could downsize from your stressful City career and take a more enjoyable job nearer home.

How secure is your job anyway? No one wants to think about redundancy or enforced retirement, but if you work for someone else there's always a chance it could happen. As a writer, you're never without a job. If you need more money, write another book or increase your marketing effort on an existing one.

Writing books is also a great way of making money - if you can do it. Not everyone can of course. Some slave away for years and never make a penny. One advantage of this book is that you'll discover you don't have to slave away for years to find out that you aren't a good enough writer - you'll know within a month or two.

When you work for an employer, there's a limit to how much you can earn. There's your salary, overtime and (possibly) bonuses, but that's it. Lack of money severely cramps your lifestyle and your freedom. By writing books, you can work harder for greater rewards. The more you work, the more you earn. Your income can go beyond your salary and perhaps replace it entirely. Some people become seriously rich by writing books. That could be you. You either have to write one or two exceptional books or lots of good ones. I'll show you how to take the latter approach, but that doesn’t rule out the possibility that some of your books might also turn out to be exceptional.

There are hundreds more reasons for wanting to write books, but I'll end this section with one last one - and it's a good one. People want and need books. They need entertainment. They need education and information. Bookshops need products to sell. We like to curl up in bed with a good book. Books keep us company when we're feeling lonely or bored or ill. We use books to relax and unwind; we take them on holiday with us. Books improve our lives and increase our knowledge. Books let us find out about ourselves and the world we live in. People love books. Someone has to write them. Shouldn't it be you?

Why write it fast?

You could certainly spend two years or more writing your book if you really want to. But if you have a busy life it's hard enough finding any time to write at all. Spending two years on a single book would be an impossible luxury.

Just because you're producing a book quickly doesn't mean there has to be any reduction in quality. If you write in your own voice, the words you end up with should be the same no matter how long it takes to write. The time factor is therefore irrelevant. By following the methods in this book, you should be able to write twenty books in two years rather than just one. And each book's content will be identical to one that would have taken the full two years to write the old way.

Let's assume you've written your book in a month. You don't have to tell people you wrote it that quickly. Most people believe it takes at least a year to write a book. And the longer it takes, the better it must be. So tell them it took two years. When they see the quality, they'll believe you. Although you might have to write them under several different names so they don’t get suspicious!

Another advantage of writing a book quickly is that you don't have time to get bored. Writing at high speed is exciting! Many writers abandon their books simply because they've become bored with them. That doesn't mean the book itself was boring. It means the writer was unable to maintain an intense interest in the subject or characters for such an extended period. It probably seemed quite an exciting project at first. The book might have an excellent structure and the writing might be of the highest quality. If they could only finish it, it would do well. But they got bored. After two years that's not surprising. When you write a book in a month there's no time to get bored. It's one big adrenalin rush and lots of fun - especially when you see the finished product growing before your eyes. It's even more fun when you know you can sell the result.

By all means spend two years writing your book if that's what you really want to do. Take the time to play with sentence construction. Spend a week finding le mot juste. Spend an entire morning adding a single comma and the entire afternoon taking it out again. However, I suggest that you spend the first two years writing several books the way I describe in this book. Then you can live off the earnings and spend as much time as you like on your magnum opus. (Although you'll probably be having so much fun by then that you'll churn out the magnum opus in a month too.)

Here's another reason why writing quickly is a good idea: freedom. The money you make from writing means you can spend less time at work and more time doing what you enjoy. Do you feel guilty about not spending enough time with your children or grandchildren or friends? Why not spend a month writing your book and then enjoy yourself for twenty-three months? You'll still produce a book every two years. You don't even need to give up your spare time for that one month. I'll show you how to write your book in odd moments and lunch breaks, and perhaps an hour or two at the beginning or end of the day. You'll be able to complete your book within a month without sacrificing any of the quality time you spend with your family and friends.

Two months from now you could be holding a finished book in your hands, even if you haven't started writing it yet and even if you have no idea what it'll be about. You can start selling it immediately. As you finish other books, you can sell them too. By the end of the first two years, you could have twenty books on sale. If each of them sells as well as the one single book you'd normally have written in that time then you've generated twenty times as much income. If one or two don't sell quite as well as expected, so what? Others will probably sell better than you expected. Consider the life of an average writer, turning out a single book every year or two and making a steady living from it. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Except that to produce twenty books might take him his entire working life. You could produce the same number of books in just two years. I'll leave you to decide what a difference that could make to your life.