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Writing a book in 2 weeks: Lessons learned

dbustac profile image Daniel 🍄 ・5 min read

Do you think writing a book in just 2 weeks is possible?

Well, I just finished and launched one. On my own and without any help.

I’ve liked writing since I was a teenager, so I’ve naturally written some stuff. I’ve written some short articles. I’ve written some cheesy poems. A couple of crappy songs too. But I wrote most of it a long time ago. And it was always occasional. I never had a writing habit. I had never written long-form content in my life either.

Yet I pulled it off. I wrote a real, 35-page-long book in just two weeks. And you know what? I think you should do it too.

Why you should consider writing a book

When I started working on my book, Fly On Your Own, my only goal was to help my younger brother. I wanted to teach him a couple of things about making money online. That was it.

Now, I realize that by writing the book I didn’t just help my brother, I helped myself too. A LOT:

  • I created a writing habit
  • My writing is getting better thanks to the feedback I’m getting from people who read the book
  • I have a bunch of content that I can repurpose and post on my blog and social media
  • I learned to do new things
  • I learned a ton about myself *I had a lot of fun

In summary, I gained experience, I gained some skills, and I created something that hopefully will add value to my brother and even other people. And that has already created a lot of value for me.

That’s why I think you should write a book too – it’s a very entertaining and rewarding way to learn and improve yourself. Also, it’s a good way to start making money online. You can sell your book on Gumroad or Amazon and make some money out of it.

The 7 things I learned

As I mentioned before, writing Fly On Your Own was very instructive. It taught me a great deal about myself and about writing. After reflecting on my experience, I think these are the 7 key lessons I got (at least from a writing perspective):

1. You don’t need credentials

There are a lot of myths about writing and publishing a book. The first one is that you need credentials.

You don’t need to be a “professional” writer. You don’t have to be an expert on a particular subject or field.You don’t need a publisher.

The only thing you need is to have something to say or teach. And I’m pretty sure you do.

2. There’s something you know that other people would like to learn

The same way I “knew” some things that my brother didn’t, there are things you know that other people probably don’t and would love to learn about. Maybe you take them for granted. But all your knowledge, skills, and experiences are valuable. They can help other people. Unfortunately, sometimes we don’t realize it.

Even if you’re just starting out and don’t have a lot of baggage, you can still write about other people’s ideas and experiences. You can curate, explain and simplify things from your own perspective. That can be super valuable too.

It doesn’t matter that other people know what you know or have written about the same topic. That will always be the case. So don’t get discouraged by that. Don’t aim to be original, aim to be unique.

3. You don’t need to be a “talented” writer

If you can write a tweet or a text message, you are talented enough to write a book.

What matters is that you’re concise, clear and direct. Make sure you use simple, common words most of the time. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short. Avoid using passive voice.

Your goal is to get people to understand your message as fast and effortlessly as possible. And that’s how you do it.

4. You need a deadline

The only reason why I finished the book in 2 weeks is because I had a public deadline.

I tweeted that I was going to do it the same day I started working on it. I told some close friends too.

Believe it or not, that forced me to stick to my word. I didn’t care that it was only a few people who knew about it. That was enough to make me want to keep my promise.

5. You need to manage your time and your attention

If you want to stick to your word and your deadline, then you’ll need to get in production mode.

You’ll need to reduce your inputs and increase your outputs. Put another way, you’ll need to produce more than you consume.

Set aside time to work, limit your distractions and make sure you actually do the work. Simple as that.

6. You need an outline

An outline is a list of topics or points you want to touch on the book and each chapter. It’s your structure. Your framework.

Although writing an outline will probably feel like hard work at first, it will make the whole process smooth and easy later on.

You won’t spend hours staring at the blank page trying to figure out what to say. You already know what you want to say. Because you already did the heavy lifting.

7. You need immediate feedback

In a way, writing a book is like building a product for a startup.

It’s not a good idea to wait until your book is 100% ready to start getting feedback. You should seek constant feedback from the beginning.

Ask somebody close to you to read all your drafts as you write them. Don’t ask them to judge for aesthetics or style, though. Ask them to judge the clarity of your writing. You want to make sure you’re being concise, clear and direct, remember?

Make sure your message is being delivered quickly and painlessly.

Wrapping up

Thanks to this experience, I realized how much you can get done and learn in very little time when you focus and do the work. Likewise, I realized how powerful and underrated is experimentation as a learning strategy.

There’s a famous Bill Gates’ quote that goes: “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”

But now I see there’s another side to this: Sometimes people underestimate what they can do in two weeks and overestimate what they can do in two months.

I hope this post inspires you to start writing your own book, and that my insights can help make your process easier.

If you have any questions or just want to say hi, reach out to me on Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!

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