I wrote my first book in 2011, then released several in the following years, and here’s what I’ve learned about creativity and productivity when it comes to this kind of writing project:
Getting a book out is a wonderful project, and it’ll stay with you even when you’re gone… But this project requires quite a bit of time investment, and a certain amount of creative rigor to see it through.
By the way, between 2016 and 2023, I didn’t release any more books. I think I didn’t really have anything to share in a timeless way at that time; it was only in 2022 that I was ready again, and that’s my first lesson:
Have a deep intention to share something anchored in time. A book lasts. In this age of 60-second “fast food content” that will be forgotten the next day, your book will be read for many years, at least I hope so.
I’ve never released a book out of necessity or just for marketing, I always had something to say and let for the next generations.
What do you want to leave and freeze in time? Advice, principles, a story… Start with a long-term intention.
Where to start?
There are two ways, and I apply both:
– Start with a detailed plan, then write each part.
– Go freestyle and let the “pen” flow.
It’s up to you 🙂
In both cases, I recommend regular writing sessions in “free writing” mode, i.e. writing without correcting yourself or looking for the perfect structure. Write freely, and you can correct, reformulate and structure afterwards…
Small confession: I write the intro and conclusion last, as well as the title. On the other hand, I already have the cover in mind, visualizing a finished project from the outside.
Don’t wait for inspiration! Inspiration won’t always be there. I learned this technique from Stephen King: Every day, I write. Even if nothing comes out, I’m in front of my text editor writing at the same time every day.
By the way, here’s a little tip for your creative flow: You can change media or use minimalist supports that avoid distractions. I use my iPad Pro in airplane mode with the Ulysse app to write. There are also new-generation “typewriters”, which I’d like to try out, but personally I’m not hooked. I prefer the Remarkable, which I also use for note-taking in paper simulation mode.
You can also have writing sessions in other environments when you get stuck in your daily routine. Go to the terrace of a café, to a library, by the sea, in the mountains, in the forest… I’ve done it all this year: writing facing the Atlantic Ocean, the bay of Fort de France, the Pyrenees mountains, the Dordogne forest… A change of scenery!
And most of all: Enjoy the process, fall in love with the writing journey !
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