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!
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.
- 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.