Update: So I read this book last week. And through no extra effort of my own, I’ve been super motivated to work. I haven’t had any problems getting up at 5 AM and working until 8 AM. I even did a ten hour day last Saturday. The best writing books inspire more than anything else. I’m not sure how long this motivation will last, but the book gets kudos for inspiration. Now on to the post.
It took a while, but I finally finished Write. Publish. Repeat by Sean Platt and Johnny Truant. Overall, it was a good book. The intro was a little bit heavy with their bios, but I was still able to read it. At no point did I want to put it down or skip ahead. For a hundred thousand word book, be it fiction or non-fiction, that’s a high achievement.
Here are the three biggest things I learned from Write. Publish. Repeat.:
1. Social Networking is a Waste of Time (Kindle location 3063)
….In a way that most people use them.
I’ve been using Google+ more than I should have. It’s a pleasant distraction and it has made writing less lonesome. As soon as I’m frustrated, I can log on to Google+ and find other writers who are just as frustrated and/or lonely. And I have made lots of awesome friends.
Honestly, I think I might be a little addicted to Google+. To curve my Google+ addiction, I am going to use the chrome extension Stay Focusd to prevent internet access between 5 am and 7:30 am when I should be writing. Instead, I’ll use the downtime before bed, while watching tv, and on breaks at work to say hi to my homies on the social networks.
Aside: I’m already seeing the benefit of dropping the social networking in the morning!
2. Three Drafts is all you need
-The first draft is where you get it all out. Or in their words “Write for yourself with the door closed. Say it. (Kindle location 1705)
-The second draft is where you “Revise for readers with the door open. Say what you mean.”
–Third draft. Polish. Say it well
In their opinion, if you do too many drafts you lose the essence of your writing. You will lose your voice. I don’t know if that’s true, but damn, too many drafts takes the joy out of writing. So for Book 2 of the Everleaf series, I’m willing to give the three-draft system a chance.
For the three draft approach to work, I think you have to have a great and thorough outline to begin with. Side characters have to be known, motivations have to be clear, the plot has to be thoroughly fleshed out, and escalations have to be drawn out, beat sheets, settings, motifs, themes etc. etc.
I’m thinking out loud because it took me three years to complete Coal, The First Book of the Everleaf Series. Three years. But I work full-time. That is my excuse. Its kinda of a sucky excuse. Really I had no system or self-discipline. I’m better now.
I think part-time writers can achieve the Write, Publish, and Repeat system (I’m not sure if system is the correct word, but I’m going with it). It will just take a little more time, lots of passion, and less social networking.
3. The importance of a Mastermind (Kindle location 310)
The three authors of Writer.Publish.Repeat: Sean Platt, Johnny Truant and Dave, are a part of a “mastermind group”. They work in tandem. It’s either Jonny and Sean, Sean with Dave, or all three (like with this book). One person might create the outline and the other writes the book. They send the drafts back and forth as needed.
They have a tangible, concrete support system. When we work with others, we tend to be stronger and more bold. I wish I had a support system like these guys.
In summary, I hate giving a 100,000 word non-fiction writing manual five stars, but it was a great read and I learned a lot.
Happy reading. If you read it, let me know what you think.
Bonus: The Creative Penn has a good review of the book here.