You Asked, I Answer
(Author Q & A)
Today I am sharing some of the questions I get asked often by fans and fellow writers. We’ll talk about how long it takes to write a book, how to manage it all, how I handle working with others and the differences between my books, courses and live workshops. I hope you will find these tips helpful!
How long does it take you to write a book?
This does not have a quick answer! My books are written in my head long before they make it to paper and actually get written. When I started writing and only wrote books, I could write a book in about 6 months. Back then I wasn’t very disciplined though and was inconsistent with my writing time each week.
Now I run two small businesses, have a blog, create content for my email subscribers, create courses and live workshops – along with writing books. I am now highly focused and disciplined which enables me to always be creating new stuff for all of the above. However, I don’t spend as much time as I’d like just writing books.
If I set everything else aside, I could probably write an unedited book (one of those stored away in my mind) in less than 2 months, maybe quicker. If edited and well-polished, I could have it ready to roll in less than 4 months with ease. And this includes the nonfiction I write.
The key is that I now have a process for everything I do and each time I go through the process it is easier and quicker to do.
I’ve been rather busy with building my businesses the last year or so – book writing temporarily got put on hold. But the books are storing up in my mind and the time is coming for me switch gears and refocus on getting more books written.
You seem to do a lot! How do you manage it all?
I assume you are talking about the business side of who I am as an author – I really do a lot. I can’t stay small. I have big goals and vision for my future. I am always generating new ideas and ways of how I can go about things. I’m always looking to learn and get better at what I do. I enjoy finding new challenges to take on and making leaps.
I use a lot of systems to make work more effective and efficient. When I can, I create my stuff to be evergreen (like my ebooks and courses). They take initial set up, but now that they are rolling I only have to check in on them every so often.
I’m also highly focused – I have a solid plan to create my visionary life and I act on it daily. DAILY. Even on weekends and holidays, I do my best to work for at least one hour on those days. It took a long time for me to develop this discipline but you know what, I make progress daily. I step forward every single day. These extra hours add up and so do the results.
Everyone can do a lot more than they realize. It’s a matter of decision making and priorities.
In truth, I love what I do so much – I have to do it. I can’t go more than a few days (planned vacay) without writing or creating something, it builds up in my mind and I have to release it. I am very passionate about my work, so work is actually playtime. Serious, focused playtime.
I’ve been a fan for a long time, I know you are very specific in who you work with. Why is that?
Thank your following me for so long! I love hearing from fans that go way back.
Yes, I am very clear on my purpose and vision for my work. The success aspect of my work is set high – which is one of the concepts I wrote a book about. (Raising the Bar for a Higher Level of Living)
I won’t share other’s work on my social media or blog unless it really lines up with my vision and the impact I want my fans to receive. I do set the bar high. I won’t work with just anyone. (You will find this to be a very common thing for highly successful people.)
I think though it really stems from knowing the long term direction I want to take my writing in. I know the value I want it to hold, so I won’t let that value be watered down.
I know too many writers/authors who will just take the first agent who wants them (or publisher). They think of any agent as being an expert. The reality is they are just like everyone else, doing their job they kind of like and trying to make it to the weekend. Unless that person is seriously pursuing personal and professional growth (like life-long pursuit) than I don’t want to work with them. We would not be a good fit. (Seeing as how life-long growth and evolving is the basis for most of my writing, I want to line up with like minded people.)
I don’t want any agent or publisher. I want to work with people who are intrigued by my work, who really believe in it (and in me) and who will work with me to continuously help me grow professionally and in my writing. I don’t care who you are, if you are going to work with me, the bar is set high.
We see a lot of businesses engage with and bring on just anyone, without confirming that they share similar values and vision for the business. A lot of time and resources are saved if people would just ask some real questions right off the bat.
I’ve read one of your books, and I know you also have a live class on it.
Is it the same exact stuff or will I learn something new by attending one of your workshops?
Here is how I line it all up. The books are the quick, convenient, self-study aspect of my writing and success principles. Anyone who is somewhat interested in what I write will enjoy the books, and they are easy to purchase and travel with.
My online courses are mostly based off of success principles that are not yet published in book format. I created a few mini e-courses for fans to get an idea of what they will learn in my courses, these mini e-courses are free. (You can sign up for them here.)
My online courses are tutorials that walk you step-by-step through the success principles I teach. You can do them at your own pace, I include videos and study guides for them. The courses are for those who are ready to begin creating some change in their life.
The live workshops and conferences I do are much more in depth and more entertaining than the online courses. They are a lot of fun, people really get into it and ask great real life questions that allow me to apply the success principles to their life.
One of the things I love doing is adapting the stories and examples I use to each audience. The principles I teach are the same but I am able to make them applicable to specific audiences.
For example, in It’s Time to Achieve, one of the topics I cover is time management and work/life balance. I can teach this to fellow writers/bloggers, I can teach it to small business owners, and I can teach it in basic form to a general large audience. Whoever is in the crowd, I can explain it in a way that meets their needs and interests. This is part of what makes it fun for me to teach!
A bonus of attending my live workshops is the Q & A session afterwards. People interpret the concepts taught based on their individual reasons for being there, and when people ask questions and hear me explain the concepts in various ways, it helps them develop a much deeper understanding of the principles and gives them several means in which to apply what they learn.
The books are the quick and easy way to learn my principles for achieving, the courses are for those ready for a deeper need for growth and improvement. The conferences and workshops are for those really ready for a big change in their life and wanting to learn as much as they can.
There you have, a few more popular questions answered. Feel free to send me your questions about my books, programs, being a writer etc.
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