Can procrastination (and your blog) help you get your book written?

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By Tom Collins

Blog writing and book publishing have always scored at the top of our surveys for topics pet bloggers want to learn about. So here are some quick thoughts on those themes, inspired by two blog posts that hit my inbox this morning.

Share of Mind, Share of Heart: Marketing Tools of Engagement for Nonprofits, link to details page
Confessions of a Reluctant Business Author
came from friend and book client, Sybil Stershic, who wrote about some lessons she's learned after completing her second book. (Disclosure: Yvonne and I have published both of Sybil's books via our WME Books service.)

And a few minutes later, another "confessions" post came in from Dr. Coates' "Fully Vetted" blog on PedMD, with an alternate title of Procrastinating All the Way to Reno, in which she describes the concept of "structured procrastination."

How do these confessions connect?

Both posts are worth your time to read in full. But Sybil's lesson #2 for why her second book took her only 25% of the time she spent on the first struck me:

"More consistent writing experience as a business blogger (since 2005) with some ideas and content that I could build upon, instead of starting totally from scratch."

Though that may sound like my own preaching, I didn't tell her to say that!

But what's that got to do with procrastination? Well, "structured procrastination" as Dr. Coates describes it, is all about how some of us (definitely including me!) will do just about anything to avoid taking on those really big projects we know we should be working on! And the truth is, we often accomplish a lot of really great "little" things along the way.

So instead of writing your book, just do a simple blog post on a regular basis. Use the category feature of blogging to organize posts into topic areas you know about. (Note: if it's too scary, don't think of the categories as chapters … yet). Find other people's blogs on your topics and engage in their comment conversations. Maybe write a post now and then about how their ideas have inspired you … like this one!

If you avoid writing your book in this "structured procrastination" way, you'll have most of it written in a year or so! And you'll acquire an audience for it, too.

In case that sounds too much like magic, or you're not ready to confess you're a member of the procrastinator's club, here's another post with some more tips for more purposefully using your blog to get that book written.

Oh, and one more observation about Sybil's lessons: If you like her idea about getting eoncouragement and feedback from fellow writers, check out the BlogPaws Community Writers Group.

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