Planning your ebook using sticky notes

stickies If you’re like many writers, you probably have an idea or three for a book floating around in your brain. And if you’re like many writers, you probably have a bit of a difficult time turning those ideas into a book.

No matter how golden those ideas are, until you turn them into a book they’re worthless. To get those ideas out of your head, to turn them into books, requires planning.

But where to begin? When you’re having trouble getting the ideas out of your head and shaping them into a coherent form, going analog can help. Yes, I do mean picking up a pen and paper. Or, in this case, pen and some sticky notes (what some of you call Post It Notes or stickies).

It’s an effective technique for planning any kind of writing, but it works especially well with books. I’ve seen technique in action in a book sprint or two, and have watched how it helped focus book ideas in record time.

Let’s take a quick look at this technique.

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Two books that can help you become a more productive writer

Two books Being productive is a necessity for any writer. You don’t have to be uber- or hyper-productive, but you need to finish what you start. All while dealing with distractions and other forces.

But that can be difficult. Writers are notorious for being the worst (best?) procrastinators. It can be hard to break that cycle, regardless of whether or not you’re staring down the barrel of a deadline.

Productivity starts with having the right tools and techniques at your fingertips. As I continually write elsewhere, those tools and techniques don’t need to be complex. In fact, the simpler the better.

In this post, I’m going to share a couple of books that can help you become more productive. Both explain techniques that you can easily implement and apply to your writing life. Or any part of your life.

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A few links for the end of the week

Plan your writing, the analog way

Uploaded to www.sxc.hu for free use. Writing without a plan is, to put it bluntly, a bad move. You might think that you’re writing fluidly and can adapt to any problems you encounter, but for the most part you’re deluding yourself.

Without a plan, you’ll get lost when things go pear shaped. Without a plan, you might find yourself writing page after page in a work that doesn’t seem to want to (or be able to) end. You wind up with a pile of words that don’t work as well as they need to.

There are any number of tools and techniques that you can use to plan your writing. But have you ever thought about planning your writing the analog way? Yes, by that I mean using venerable pen and paper.

While it’s definitely not for everyone, going analog can help you simply and effectively plan anything that you intend to write.

Let’s take a look at a few ways to plan your writing using pen and paper.

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Learning to type on a tablet

fast_typing Just before Christmas, 2013 I bought myself a 10″ tablet. In some ways it was an impulse buy, but the idea was to use it as a portable writing tool.

While I own a first-generation Nexus 7 tablet and use that to consume and create content, I’ve been wanting to experiment with a 10″ device for a while. The opportunity came up, so I seized it.

I use a folding keyboard with my Nexus 7, but wanted to do away with that with my new tablet. Mainly because I want to try going mobile with a little less hardware. In fact, I’ve been wanting to give an on-screen keyboard a serious try for a while now.

Learning to type on a tablet was an interesting experience. It took a bit of time, but I adapted to typing on screen. Admittedly, I’m not as fast as I am with a full-sized physical keyboard, but my typing speed is now respectable.

Here’s how I did it.

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