If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner, the idea of writing a book can be overwhelming. You have a business to run, so you have precious little time to waste. For many busy people, just getting started and finishing the first draft is hard. The key is to have a plan and start writing as quickly as possible, so you can write your book faster. I’ve uncovered some secrets on how to write a super speedy first draft. I’ve used this technique on my published books, and it saves so much time. No more wasting time on the wrong things or staring at a blank computer screen.
I call it the Note Card Technique. To see it in action, watch my video tutorial below.
To get started, you’ll use 3×5 note cards to flush out your outline for your book topic. You’ll find that breaking the process down into smaller steps will be more doable and a lot less overwhelming.
Table of Contents
- Several packs of 3 by 5 notecards.
- Colored pens (5 or 6 colors)
Step 1: Write One Word Per Card
To begin with, let’s look at how to brainstorm different ideas around the topic of gardening. On each card, write one word that comes to mind about the general topic. For example, you could write the word “soil” on a card. You could then write “seeds,” “tools”, etc. Continue writing each idea that comes to mind on the cards. You’ll just have one word on each card. Keep coming up with ideas and writing the words on the cards. Don’t stop. Don’t edit. This is just brainstorming.
Step 2: Create Subtopics For Each Word
Next, brainstorm subtopics for each of these words. Write each subtopic word on a separate card. Place those cards under the main word card. For instance, you’ll have a pile of cards for soil, a pile for seeds, and a pile for weather. To illustrate, let’s look at the topic, soil. Using a new colored pen, list different ideas about soil: soil for succulents, soil for vegetable gardening, soil for hot weather, soil for winter weather, etc. Write those subtopics on each card in different colors.
Next, take that pile of cards, put it aside. Go to the next pile and start working on a new pile. Eventually you’ll create separate piles of cards that will form your outline. As you move through the process, take each stack of cards and further develop your topic on the cards.
Step 3: Organize Your Ideas
Now, using all of your topics and subtopic cards, you can organize your ideas. You can move the cards around to develop your outline. Move the different subtopics around to organize your thoughts and ideas. In time, the stacks of cards will form the chapters of your book.
Step 4: Write From Your Cards
Meanwhile, grab one of the stacks of cards and move to another location in your room. Start writing out your ideas from those cards. Expand on the topics and subtopics to write each chapter. To make the process go even faster, there are a few ways you can use voice recognition. The first way is to speak everything into your phone using the Rev app, and then have it transcribed. The second way is to transcribe it yourself and speak everything into the voice recognition on your phone. I’ve found that using my phone keeps me from going directly to editing mode on my computer. In the early stages of the first draft, you want to keep the ideas flowing – so try to avoid your computer at this stage.
Step 5: Edit and Polish
Finally, think of the topics as a series of smaller articles assembled into one book. Each article then becomes a chapter. After you’ve organized the structure and expanded on each chapter, copy and paste all your work into a document on your computer. Once you have your first draft complete, you can begin the editing process.
I’ve also put together a cheat sheet that outlines the faster writing tips. Click here to download it for free.