Want to be an Author? Write Every Day!

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Many years back, after editing other people’s works for so long, I decided I wanted to become a published author, too. I figured if I could rewrite other people’s books, maybe I had the stuff to write at least one of my own.   

This was the early 1990s and I had just moved from the upper east side of Manhattan to the suburbs of Chicago. I was single then and other than my full time job as editor, I had the time to put into a book project.  I knew myself well enough to know that I do my best work at the crack of dawn (around 5 a.m.), but also knew I could put in an hour or two at night as well.

I intuitively knew that the key to ever getting published—and becoming a successful business book author—would depend on my ability to write every day. It was that self-imposed discipline, I figured, which would make the difference.  And, as luck would have it, I was right. For more than a decade I wrote every day. Even on vacations. If it wasn’t a book I was working on, it would be an Op Ed for The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal. Keep in mind, however, that book writing requires its own unique skill set. An article is not a book. That is why so many talented magazine authors struggle with their first book or two.

How did my daily writings work out? I now have written seven books in all, including a “private printing” biography of a mogul-esque figure, written exclusively for his family and employees (not for outside sales).  I know for a fact that without the discipline to face that blank page every day I would still be working on book number one.

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