Write Your Damn Book, Already

Set a goal/tell the world/walk your talk

This post previously appeared on Happy by Design

Writing on Happy by Design? Delightful!

Writing content for my employer? Easy peezy.

Writing a book? Terrifying.

So I’m going to keep this post short and sweet because it truly scares me to death to say this out loud (but I fully realize it’s a very important part of the goal-setting process).

I’m setting out on a journey to write a book. All I know at this point is that I have a word count goal. Jeff Goins broke it down nicely in his post, “10 Ridiculously Simple Tips for Writing a Book”:

» 10,000 words: a pamphlet

» 20,000 words: short eBook or print book

» 40,000–50,000 words: good-sized nonfiction book

» 60,000–70,000 words: longer nonfiction book

» 80,000 words–100,000 words: typical novel length

For what I want to write, nothing short of 100,000 words will do. So that is my quest.

It starts today.

Today my “Write your damn book” plan begins. Much like other training plans I’ve used in the past, I broke down the writing into a gradual step-up system. The first few weeks I build up, then there’s an easier week, then I build up even more, and then another rest week and so on, for 16 weeks of total writing (four days a week). By the end of 16 weeks, I should have 50,000 words completed.


Say what? Yes, that’s correct. NaNoWriMo. Or for the unfamiliar – National Novel Writing Month. This is an annual challenge that takes place every November for any writer who dares to write a book. The sole purpose of this challenge is to write 50,000 words by the end of November. So therein lies the completion of my “Write your damn book” plan. Yes that means I’ll have just over four weeks in which to write the same amount of words as I previously wrote over 16 weeks. That’s writing almost 1,700 words per day…every day of the month. But I’ll be in good company.

What happens after 100,000 words?

Great question. One that I can’t answer yet. I’m just going to focus on completing this plan. Would I consider what race to enter before even training and completing the one I just started training for? No. So I’m not going to do that here.

I guess all I’m asking is for a little encouragement. Thanks!


Also, If you’re interested in writing a book, you should read another inspiring Jeff Goins post, “Why Everyone Should Write a Book.”


Note: In case my family is reading this…to answer your question, no, I am not writing a tell-all memoir about growing up as a Nelson.

…not yet, at least. 

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