Make your first book finished.

That’s it. That’s your goal.

How do you do that? You’d think I might say something like, well, maybe, Write Every Day or even Write Every Single Day. But I’m not going to. My advice is to do whatever it takes to get your first book finished. However you need to make it happen. It’s simple. It might even be easy.

I might even go so far as to take the Not Chapter One strategy and even shoot for a “bad” book that you’re not planning to publish–but then you publish anyway.

  1. Lessen the pressure.
  2. Decrease the internal demand.
  3. Reduce the external expectations.
  4. Make bulleted lists to help calm your A-type personality.

But just get it done.

In case you’re not crystal clear as to why you need to just Get It Done and not shoot for that bestseller status, here you go:

Because if you’re a perfectionist (like most writers are), your “bestselling” book will never get written.

It will collect dust while you “just tweak the characters a little more.” It will wither away in your mind as it sits on the digital shelf while you “take a break from it to let it settle.” It will rest untouched because “it’s just not the right time for the market.”

In fact, if you have more excuses, please feel free to add them. I’m sure other writers could use them in case they are running low on them while they search for excuses to not write their first book and continue to not write their first book.

As you might guess, this is all easier said than done. In fact, I’m guilty of it right now. I’m “working away” on my “Every Single Day” book, but I know that I’m just prancing around the edges and not getting down and dirty with the heart of the matter: words on the page.

  1. But I have all of the content already! It’s just a matter of putting it together!
  2. I could honestly just write the whole thing in a weekend. It’s all in my head anyway.
  3. If I could just do one more interview for the case studies, it’ll be ready to really take off.

Uh huh.

There’s this little guy on our shoulders who knows what’s really going on here. There’s another little guy on the other shoulder who’s a cheerleader and is thrilled with every effort you’re making towards the book (let’s see, how about: The ESD Avatar — Who is the Every Single Day reader persona? or maybe Sneak Peak: Every Single Day Table of Contents — I swear, those are critical to my progress!).

OK fine. Here’s a tip.

Make a deadline. Then stick to it as if a professional hitman was going to come take out your kneecaps if you don’t deliver. Do make the threat a bit gruesome like that so you cringe. Don’t make it wimpy like, “If I don’t hit my deadline, I’ll eat almonds every day for a month–and I hate almonds!” No, scary threatening. You know yourself. You know what you need to do.

The Real Reason your first book doesn’t matter.

Because it’s not your last book.

It’s the first. Of many. If you’re reading this and you’re not doing whatever you’re doing as a player in The Long Game, then you can just disregard all of the excellent advice on this page. Just toss it all and go back to not building your future, return to pretending to be heading towards the person you’d kind of like to become, just stick with what you’re doing. It’s gotten you this far.

But what got you to this point won’t necessarily get you to the next point.

That is, if you’d like your next point to be anything different than your current point.

Which is why you need to finish your first book.

Make it bad. Make it terrible, unreadable, an abomination. I dare you to even try to start writing as poorly as you can.

But get it done.

There. I convinced myself. How did that go for you?