Big ProblemMy biggest problem in writing this book was not that it was all that difficult. The book is nonfiction, so a lot of it was just documentation of facts. It was simply a problem of time. I never had any, or so I thought… On average, I spend about 4 hours a day just in transit, either sitting on a train, a bus, a streetcar, or waiting to catch one of them. Much of this time however was spent standing up, shoulder to shoulder in crowded, sweaty, stinking rush hour Deutsche Bahn commuter hell. When I am not in transit, I am either working full time as a consultant, or spending what remaining time I have with my wife and daughter. On busy work days, this family time is often times very limited. My wife and I get up at 5am and are pretty much comatose by about 9pm. Free time to just sit, clear my mind and write is a rare luxury. Luckily, with the help of my 20 year plan and the pressure it put on me to reach my goals, I realized that you can't write a book if you don't start writing. If you decide that you don't have time, you won't have it. Most likely, you never will write your great novel, because the number one problem why most people fail, is because they just never START. It became clear to me that if I were to ever leave any kind of legacy of the thoughts and helpful stuff in my head, much less just reach a life long goal, I needed to start writing and I needed to start NOW.
Lightbulb MomentOne thing you'll notice about people packed in like cattle on trains with nothing else to do, is that they all kill time by messing around on their cell phones. Playing games, texting, listing to music, talking. In my case, it was either checking email, reading ebooks on the Kindle app or taking notes with a program called Evernote. Because of the convenience of cloud computing and applications like Evernote, Dropbox and Google, you are now able to record and access your data virtually anywhere you have an internet connection. Evernote is an awesome program because it allows you to write and organize notes, format text, add photos, and even has a speech to text function, so you can just talk to it if you don't have time to type. I use it a lot for work and recording ideas, so... DUH! why couldn't I use it to write a book? If this was all the time I had to write, then I would have to use it to my advantage, so there the book began. If I was lucky enough to have a seat, some of the book was done on my laptop, but much of it was done via my phone or iPad, in Evernote, standing, and taking advantage of any short bursts of inspiration and optimizing my time.
- Sometimes it was a phrase or a quote.
- Sometimes it was via voice recording and speech recognition.
- Sometimes it was a photo I snapped of something to remember.
- Sometimes it was a clipping from a website, blog or a quote I heard somewhere.
- Sometimes just a sentence.
- Sometimes a paragraph.
- Sometimes a whole chapter.
You can do this!If I can figure out how to write a book using a cell phone, standing up on a train, you can do it too.
- If you are sitting on a plane, a train, a car or stuck in traffic
- If you are sitting on the toilet, or wake up in the middle of the night and can't sleep
- If you are sitting in the coffee shop or standing in the checkout line at the grocery store