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This Week’s Focus: Next week my new book, First & Fast, is published. This is my second book – my first, The CEO’s Strategy Handbook is still available to buy here! – and still I find it fascinating that so many people think that writing a book is akin to some kind of amazing magical act that only  people with a special talent could possibly pull off.

Let me tell you, it isn’t. Anyone can write a book. But whoever said that art was 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration was absolutely correct. I’ve found the hard way that the key to writing is structure and discipline.

First, the structure: (1) Create a concept; (2) Identify 8-10 chapter titles within the concept; (3) Identify 3-4 sub-sections for each chapter. Second, the discipline: put aside two hours in your calendar three or four times a week, commit to that time and aim to write a minimum of 1,000 words (about half a sub-section) in each writing session. Simple!

Well, simple but hard. It’s the same with any important project, though, isn’t it? The key to success is to break the work down into manageable chunks and then set aside sufficient, regular time to get each of those chunks done, and drive over any lingering procrastination.

Too often, however, we fail to chunk the work down, only to feel overwhelmed by the level of work still to do, and then fail to commit the time, allowing the urgent to overwhelm the important and letting procrastination win the day.

How are you creating structure and discipline around your most important projects so that you can amaze your customers, colleagues, friends and family with the results of your work?

Off The Record: Everyday I Write The Book by Elvis Costello & The Attractions

Don’t tell me you don’t know the difference

Between a lover and a fighter

With my pen and my electric typewriter

Even in a perfect world, where everyone was equal

I’d still own the film rights and be working on the sequel

© Stuart Cross 2016. All rights reserved.