The 10,000 league Journey of writing a book.

You know the old saying;

A journey of ten thousand leagues begins with a single step.

           Wear good shoes.

That’s good advice. If you get massive blisters before you finish your first hundred miles you may not finish the next 100 miles let alone make it to the end of the journey.

What are good shoes for a writer?

1. A pen that you don’t have to bear down on and will not skip. Pilot G2 is favored by many screenwriters. If you have an old ball point that you have to bear down on to get it to write you’ll end up with a sore wrist if you write a lot with it.

2. A computer. You don’t need a GAMING computer. Dell is going to have a black Friday sale on computers with one for about $130.00. It’s not the fastest, and the hard drive is tiny, but on a computer you can put words down faster than with a pen. You can also make corrections faster. And there will be corrections, it’s called editing and rewriting. Check out the keyboard before you buy. Never buy a computer that doesn’t feel right or you have to fight.

If you can’t afford a computer then go to a public library and use theirs. Get a Dropbox or Evernote account with free storage to save your writing on.

Don’t use Google Docs, the small print says Google can publish anything you write in Google Docs any time they want to. You want to publish your writing for money and/or credit, not to have someone else publish it for free.

3. A quite place. Anything that distracts your brain or mind is slowing down your writing. A distractions can even stop you from writing. Writing is hard enough, don’t make it harder by multitasking. Studies prove that multitasking slows you down. A multitask-er trying to do two jobs at once takes longer to finish both job than if he did one job, took a break and then did the other job. No distractions, no music, no TV, nothing (pets, children, objects) moving around you.

Put your cell phone in another room and put a thick folded blanket or folded towel over it. A study showed that people having a cell phone in the same area when taking an intelligent test made them dumber. (from David Burkus at the Super Connector Summit of 2017)

4. A good chair helps. You’re going to spend a lot of time in it. I’ve seen several writers take seat cushions to the coffee shop because the chairs where you can type get very hard after an hour or more.

The journey of ten thousand leagues begins with a single step.

                  Get a map.

Your not going to want to hear this, but if you’re going to make your living writing books you’re going to have to know where you’re going. That means you need an outline. Outlines make book writing easier and faster. Go buy a copy of 2,000 to 10,000 How to Write Faster by Rachel Aaron or 5,000 Words Per Hour by Chris Fox. To put 5,000 words per hour on paper on in the computer you’re going to have to type 84 words per minute. Can you think about a plot line and type that fast? That’s why you need an outline.

People like Stephen King (who does not outline) only has to write one book every so often. You are not him.

Writing a first draft in 21 days is doable, if you have written books before and have the outline done. People doing Nanowrimo (a writing challenge where you write a 50,000 word rough, first draft, manuscript in November) spend all Oct doing their outline. They only have to do 1667 words a day. An outline makes that a lot easier to do. If you only write on week days that’s 2273 words a weekday. Many people competing in Nanowrimo do not get 50,000 words done in 30 days, and they try very hard to do it. Some try year after year. And some have written and published books and they still can’t meet the Nanowrimo challenge.

If you write faster than someone who will not outline then your book will be out there for the hungry reader to buy before the writer who won’t outline (the wandering writer) can get her book done. You get the sale first and you’re started on your next book before she has finished her book.

Writing a book may take longer than you want it to, but you can do it, outline or no outline.

The journey of ten thousands leagues begins with a single step.

               Pack a good lunch.

What I mean is take care of yourself.

Get a timer and set it for an hour or no more than two hours. When it goes off get up and move around. Your body needs to move or you will make yourself sick.

Eat well. You’re doing a lot of sitting. Don’t eat and type, that’s the worst type of multitasking. It will also jam up your keyboard. Don’t over eat.

Sleep well. No sleep equals no think.

The journey of ten thousands leagues begins with a single step.

Talk to someone who’s been down that road.

Join a critique group. Get a mentor. Take classes. Go to conferences. They are a lot of people on the same journey you’re on, support and share with those fellow travelers.

Stay strong, write on, and take that first step. Professor Hyram Voltage

The journey of ten thousands leagues begins with a single step.

               Get a Fitbit

Just how long is a league? 1 League = 14763.7795 Feet or 2.79617037 Miles.

You got to pace yourself. Don’t burn out going to fast at first. Your on a journey of 27,962 miles. It will take time. There will be set backs. Still while you’re fresh and strong you should go faster than an even pace through out the process. I subscribe to not setting goals but have a process. You can go over or under the process limits with no penalty and not feel bad.

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