Learning to Teach + Book Birthing (what could go wrong, right?)
April 17, 2020
I write pretty often about stuff I learn from other people - writers, podcasters, preachers, friends. When I’m really lucky? Some of the people I learn from are all of these. :-D

Ten years ago, I couldn’t imagine being such good friends with theologians and preachers.

But that, I suppose, is a story for another day.

What I'm going for here is that I enjoy teaching what I learn. I get excited to learn, and even more excited to share.

Most of the time, I actually add some thoughts and ideas to something I’ve learned from someone.

Today, though, I thought I’d share a fascinating video from Jon Acuff - one of my favorite nonfiction authors.

On his new YouTube channel recently, he shared the five steps he uses to write books.

Have a watch and don’t worry about taking notes, because I’ve done that for you.

Happy Friday, friends.

Hope you have big plans for the weekend!

Oh. Wait…


Photo by MILKOVÍ on Unsplash


Acuff's 5 steps for writing a book


1. Find a question I'm willing to spend 2 years answering.

  • Why are some people great at handling transitions and some people aren't? Acuff's book Do Over
  • Why is it easier for me to start projects than it is to finish them? Acuff's book Finish

2. Create an idea notebook.

  • App
  • Physical notebook
  • File folder

Eventually, the big notebook is reduced to note cards

3. Put the ideas on note cards (200 to 500 cards go up on the wall).

  • Look for patterns & connections
  • Assign value and purpose to some - blog post, podcast, potential book, whatever.
  • Note cards = breadcrumbs with just enough words to bring future self back to the thought.

4. Start writing.

  • Dog walk the outline and the writing.
  • Trust the process of "wasting" words.
  • "Write so fast that fear can't keep up."

5. Edit mercilessly.

  • Use a cold, cold heart - and a machete.
  • Invite others to help and trust them.
  • Know there are some sections that are funny or fun to have written but they don't fit the progression you want the reader to take.
  • Editing makes sure the book advances the storyline.
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