I get asked a lot how I squeeze in writing books on the side of working a full-time job. It’s certainly not easy, but there are definitely strategies that have worked for me.

First, you ask yourself:

Do I even want to write books?

If no, then you don’t. Instead, you do lots of other fun things like hang out with your family, cook elaborate meals, take exotic vacations, or watch lots of Netflix.

If yes, then you:

  1. List a bunch of possible ideas for your book.
  2. Maybe you share those ideas with others to test them out.
  3. Once you decide on one, you write a detailed proposal about the book you want to write (expect it to take a weekend or two, or more).
  4. If you’re lucky, that gets you a contract.
  5. With a deadline.
  6. So you break the book into smaller pieces. Otherwise, it’s too big and scary.
  7. You procrastinate a little by creating folders for each chapter (digital or paper, or both).
  8. You start to write before you feel ready (à la Robert Boice).
  9. You create a writing schedule.
  10. And then you write based on that schedule… or not.
  11. So maybe you carve out time for a writing retreat, even when you have to use up vacation days to do it.
  12. To make steady progress, you participate in writing challenges, even if you create them yourself.
  13. You talk about your book with the people who might buy it. Or you podcast about it.
  14. Based on your conversions, you incorporate audience feedback into the book as you’re writing.
  15. You also read, but not too much.
  16. If you’re brave, you share your progress publicly. Like on YouTube.
  17. You start to use time constraints to your advantage.
  18. You celebrate small victories because they mean you’re one step closer to your goal.
  19. And, when you’re at your lowest, you imagine your book published. In the hands of others. Helping people.
  20. Or at least that’s how I’m doing it.
  21. Bottom line: we make time for what we want.
  22. Other bottom line: If we want it bad enough, we find a way.

To think on:

  • How do you fit in large projects on the side when you work full-time?
  • What motivates you to complete large projects?