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Susan MacDonald had already written and published one book when she emailed me for support to answer the question, “How do I finish my book?”
Susan needed to complete her second book by the December deadline set by her publisher, Gryphon House (an imprint of Kaplan), which had published her first book, Inspiring Early Childhood Leadership, which she had worked on in my Bring Your Book to Life(R) Program.
Beyond “How do I finish my book?” Susan wanted help with strategies, to “create a clear focused plan to get the writing done by December.” She knew that she tends to “dive into the research, which I could do for months and not get focused on the writing.” And Susan remembered that one of my fond suggestions is to write from what you know and bring the research in later. It saves time and saves you from procrastinating with the writing, so you can meet your deadlines.
Susan mentioned being inspired by the movie, I Can Only Imagine, about country singer Bart Millard. As Susan recalls it, Christian music producer, Scott Brickell, tells Millard, “There’s something more in you,” after hearing his songs. “You didn’t write that song in ten minutes, you’ve been working on it your whole life.”
Susan realized the same goes for her book.
“I don’t have to write my book in 22 weeks. I’ve been working on it my whole career.
“I have stories, powerpoints, material I taught, all my workshop handouts, my research notes and I speak to this all the time. I just haven’t put it in writing. Today, I went through all my handout materials and content presentation notes. I have so much!”
In fact, Susan had just returned from teaching a leadership retreat in Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy based on the material for her second book: Inspiring Professional Growth, which will be published by Gryphon House, as was her first book. The new book focuses on creating deliberately developmental organizations. The audience is people leading early childhood programs. Her retreat included principals, the leader of international schools in Brazil, someone from the US Navy childcare organization and early childhood directors and owners.
Susan and I were both struck by the consistent confirmation she’s received internationally that this book is sorely needed.
I encourage you to try the writing productivity tips I shared above. And as an update to this post, I was contacted by “Daily Writing Tips” a few months after writing this to share some of their list of 20 excellent productivity tips, including, “Keep a notebook” and “Don’t wait for inspiration.” You can read all their 20 tips here.
Feel free to share your writing productivity tips as a comment below. What do you do to cultivate a state of creative flow?
In addition, look for confirmation in your daily life that you are on the right path. Use this to motivate you and inspire you to move forward.
Lastly, think about material you’ve already gathered. You’re likely not starting at square one but finding ways to use all the strategies, material, stories, research and other information you have already put together.
Make a plan and enjoy the writing, resting easy in your plan.