Doug talks about finding the time to write and using the time you have to write. Authors need to get the words out, but we don’t always follow our own advice.
All right, well, welcome back to the podcast, part two with Doug Lawrence. And we’re going to talk a little bit about some author writing things. So, Doug, with this book that you wrote, what were some things that you learned, and things that you’re going to do different for your second book, you know, the
Doug Lawrence 1:03
biggest thing that I’ve found with writing the first book, the gift of mentoring, and now I’m working on this second one, it’s the whole time factor, and it’s being disciplined enough to carve out so much time a day to actually sit down and write. Because what I find is that it’s very easy. With everything else that’s going on, it’s very easy to get pulled in different directions. And, and then the end of the day comes in the book is you haven’t even cracked, you know, any writing or anything like that. So for me that it’s definitely the discipline that’s required to make sure that you have time allocated on a daily basis to write the book.
And what do you do to make sure you have that time? Do you have any tricks? Or, you know, what are you doing? Or what are your goals? What to you is a good amount of time?
Doug Lawrence 2:01
I think, you know, and actually, I had this conversation earlier this morning was one of my close colleagues said to me, so do you have time carved out in your calendar, to do your writing today, and that’s the big thing that I need to do is, if it’s not in my calendar, then it probably won’t happen. And so, you know, carving out, say, even if it’s just an hour is just putting an hour in the calendar, you know, to be able to say, okay, from 9am to 10am, I’m going to write, and probably earlier in the day is better, because as the day goes on, you know, your creative juice in the tank kind of diminishes. So it’s, it’s being able to hear what’s the optimum time and then how much of that optimum time Do I need to carve out and make sure that I do that on a regular basis. And I’ve, I’ve been negligent in doing that. And all that does is you have people that are, you know, wanting to read the next book, and you just keep pushing the date out, eventually they’re gonna lose interest in, you know, following and waiting for this next book.
And I do that too. I think a lot of authors do finding that time blocking, put your mind in the right mental state. That Okay, at nine o’clock, I’m going to right so Okay, I’ll take care of the dogs get some D and then your brain gets in gear. We were talking a little bit before about like the the flow state. Once you kind of it’s Pavlov’s dog, you know, you train yourself, okay, I’m ringing the bell time to start thinking about writing. And you start salivating words and you go off. And I know a lot of authors say oh, I struggled to write I struggled to write. And it’s like, well, when did you plan to write? Well, I was going to try in the morning or I was going to try after lunch. They don’t actually tell themselves I have to do this. And that I think becomes a big problem.
Doug Lawrence 3:57
Yeah, most definitely. I was just going to say I envy people that can pack up all this stuff and move away to someplace and spend you know two months writing a book. I actually those are the people I really envy that. Just it’s not going to happen that way for me.
So do you write at home Do you write Do you have a computer do you write on like a yellow pad you go to a coffee shop what’s your what’s your way of writing.
Doug Lawrence 4:24
Now for me, it’s I have my laptop computer and I do everything on it and I’ve been writing at home. I’ve taped a kind of take taken over the dining room table and that’s kind of my office so to speak. So I I sit here and I experiment. Sometimes I put a little bit of a nice soft music often in the in the background and just kind of use that to be able to get myself in the right frame of mood sometimes music is the last thing that I need to have playing and I need kind of peace and quiet but I Do I’ve done while the gift a mentoring was written at home? And I’ve also I’ve, like I said, I’m partway through the content and research from a mental health book and it’s all been at home,
do you try and write every single day? Or do you work during the week? And about how much time do you spend every day writing?
Doug Lawrence 5:23
I would, you know, so that, because here’s the thing, I think that if we as writers, if we put too much pressure on us on ourselves to say, Okay, today, you need to write for three hours, chances are, it’s not going to happen. So what I prefer to do is to do bite sized chunks of time. So say, Okay, I’m going to work diligently for an hour from nine to 10. And then I’m going to try and do that on a daily basis. And then I may take a break on, say, on the weekend, where I don’t write so that I can allow my head to clear itself of whatever, guy returning back in around all week, but allow myself to clear that and on top of it all, to be able to still provide, you know, to be of service to people that are counting on you to be their mentor, I want to make sure that I have time set aside for that as well.
It sounds like the writing really fits in with the rest of your life. It’s not a, you know, you’re not like a dog walker, house painter and author, you’re writing really reflects what you’re doing in the rest of your day also. So that probably makes it easier to take the time to write because it’s all you know, similar.
Doug Lawrence 6:38
Well, and and i also in addition to the book, I still write articles to go up on, you know, on LinkedIn or on my blog site. I just had one that was posted with HR Asia. So in, they reached out to me and asked me if I would become one of their authors providing content. So I’ve been right, I wrote one article that just got published in the HR Asia magazine. And they’ve asked me now for a second one, so I’ve no i. So I have other writing things that I’ve been on being asked to do from time to time that at times, if if you don’t schedule properly, you can draw away from the actual book writing time.
For me, I find that if I’m wide open, I don’t put in my time block. And I don’t have a whole lot else to do. I don’t seem to get as much done, I seem to get more done when I’m like, Okay, I have these 10 things I got to do. And I’ve got to prioritize the writing and then just get it done. And I seem to get a lot more done. How’s your experience?
Doug Lawrence 7:46
It’s almost like having a list of things that need to do and exactly like what you’re saying, as prioritize them. And the book writing has to be very, very close to the top. That’s probably the you know, the best way to say is that book writing needs to if I have, like you said 10 things that I want to get accomplished today. One of them has to be book writing not could be but has to be book writing. Right?
So do you spend much time doing marketing for the current book during your day? Or are you mainly just focused on writing the next book,
Doug Lawrence 8:23
I mostly writing the next book, the actual marketing of the gift of mentoring. I’ve, I use the book a lot to obviously spread the word spread the message. So if I go to a conference, I may take half a dozen books and they may become giveaways at the conference. I spoke at a conference in Victoria, British Columbia a couple of years ago, and I took 12 I think it was 12 books. And I gave those away after I was done speaking and I was literally mobbed in the lobby of my people wanting to be one of the 12 people because I said I had luggage space for 12 books. That’s all I brought in first come first serve. And they were lined up waiting for me. And so you know, that’s the kind of marketing that that I like to do rather than you know, promoting the book to any great extent
do you do many talks and speaking engagements
Doug Lawrence 9:22
I’ve been doing not not more webinars so I’ve been doing quite a bit I do quite a few webinars I’m actually work with a couple elearning organizations that have me put on mentoring topic related webinars for them. So I definitely do that. And then the podcast like your show here is going to help immensely in getting the word out about the gift of mentoring. And you know, it’s it’s stuff like that it is is definitely going to help authors to be able to get the exposure that they they want Like
lace. Okay, and do you have any advice for new authors, other people who are struggling to get their first book out
Doug Lawrence 10:09
a date? Well, you know, it comes back to make sure you carve out the time to do your writing. And it needs to be quality time so that you know, it’s not you know, your if your writing kind of like I am writing from home and you throw a load of laundry on and then when the buzzer on the dryer goes, You run to do that. You need to be focused on writing and stay put until you get, you know, you do the hour. And then if you know, then go and do some other chores, if you so wish, but don’t break away from from being disciplined. And you know, making sure that you allocate the time but also use the time wisely.
Good advice. Great advice. I know that’s difficult for me. I live in a house with six kids, most of which are older, but still, that’s a lot of people around to distract you.
Doug Lawrence 10:58
Yeah, it’s it’s so easy for us to get distracted. Right?
Well, great. Yeah. Oh, yeah. And it’s, especially now the weather is starting to get nice, so great. All right. Well, Doug, it was really good to talk to you. I’m glad we got to connect. And this book sounds great. I wish you luck on it and your future.
Doug Lawrence 11:17
Thank you very much. And thank you for the opportunity to talk with you today.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai