If you read my newsletter last week, you’ll know I went to snowy Finland over Christmas with my family. Snowshoeing, cross country skiing, sledging and husky sledding were the order of the week – what a fabulous time we had. But it was only after I’d featured those huskies in my newsletter that I realised what had been so inspiring about them.
We arrived at the husky farm to be greeted by amazingly friendly dogs, all wagging their tales and ready to be petted (my 10 year old daughter was in heaven). These animals, we were told, were the dogs who’d already been out that day and were ready for a rest. It was a different story when we got to the ones who were harnessed up ready to pull our sledges – they were gunning for it. The owner talked us through how to slow the dogs down when we needed to; they were permanently in ‘go’ mode so wouldn’t stop unless we put the brakes on. ‘They’re dogs, they don’t understand words,’ he explained, clearly used to the limitations of tourists’ understanding.
So off we sped through the Finnish winter wonderland, which took our breath away. The hardest part was managing to rein in the panting huskies. Every now and then we’d stop and they’d stand patiently for a couple of minutes, then they were desperate to take off again, barking and jumping until I lifted the break. I have never seen living creatures so keen to get going in my life.
You see, driving a husky sled is a bit like having a car with the accelerator pedal pressed permanently down. It’s the most perfect example of being in ‘go’ mode I can think of.
And now I’m thinking. When am I in ‘go’ mode? Just imagine what I could get done if I had half their energy!
Then it occurred to me – they don’t have that energy all the time, only when they need it. It’s the same for writers. You just want that writing focus for a short burst, then you can get on with other stuff that’s less intense.
So I’ve worked out there are three factors for making like a husky when you’re writing:
How much do you want to write that book? Enough to commit to an hour a day without stopping? Or only enough to do a few minutes before you check Facebook, see what’s come through on your email, and make yet another cup of coffee?
Being unstoppable means harnessing a furry ball of enthusiasm for what you’re going to get at the end of all your work – a published business book. Writing for one hour isn’t so long, is it? You can do it without stopping for that amount of time.
Create a sense of urgency for what you’re doing. Your book fulfills an important need, one that could be met that much sooner if you get on with writing it now.
Those huskies wanted to do one thing, and one thing only – pull that sled. And they loved it. What’s your focus when you’re writing? Are you wondering what point you’re going to make next, thinking about what examples you could use to illustrate it, or pondering the purpose of the chapter you’ve just begun?
You need a plan before you begin. Ideally, you’ll have mapped out all your main points before you write a word of your first draft, so you’re in no doubt about what you’re going to elaborate on next. Then you can focus on getting the words onto the page.
How revved up do you feel when you’re writing your business book? OK, you’re not going to be firing on all cylinders each time, but if the thought of what you’re achieving doesn’t fire you up, is there something wrong? Are you writing the book you truly want to write, or the one you think you ought to? Do you really enjoy the writing at all? If you’re feeling a lack of fire a book coach can motivate you, and a ghostwriter will take away the task altogether.
And remember, those ol’ huskies didn’t run all day every day. They went mad for a bit and then took a rest. You can do the same.
So much for the theory. Here’s the practice, so you can be as productive with your book writing as the huskies are with their sled pulling:
- Create your book outline before you start, plotting out your main points for each chapter.
- Mentally commit to doing the writing for a set period of time, and don’t let anyone (or anything distract you), least of all yourself.
- Get in touch with why you’re writing your business book – you’ll need that to fuel your energy. Then go for it, and take a well deserved break after your session.
So much of this is down to knowing (rather than doubting) that we have time to write our book. To assist you, here’s my free guide: How to Find Time in Your Busy Schedule to Write Your Business Book. Click the link to download and use it to help you work out your best husky writing sessions, so your book gets finished and out there in a big way.