AskPat 613 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 613 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week.
We have a great question today from Travis, but before we get to that, I do want to thank today's awesome sponsor which is FreshBooks, which makes super simple Cloud accounting software for small business owners like you, and it makes it easy to use, and it's just a joy to use, actually. As soon as you try it, you're going to realize just how much time you can save dealing with your day-to-day paperwork. For instance with invoicing, you can create and send perfectly crafted invoices and it literally takes about 30 seconds. Online payments, your clients can pay you online which can really improve how quickly you get paid, and there's automated expense tracking so you can link your FreshBooks account to your credit and debit cards, so the next time you spend something it, boom, shows up in your account, which is great.
If you want to check out FreshBooks for 30 days for free, seriously, check it out. It's going to change everything in terms of accounting for you. Go to FreshBooks.com/askpat and enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Again, FreshBooks.com/askpat, enter “Ask Pat”.
All right. Now, here's today's question from Travis.
Travis: Hi, Pat. This is Travis from [inaudible]. I have a question about your upcoming book, Will It Fly? How did you write it? Did you write it on paper? Did you write it with a program? Did you write it in a coffee shop? How did you write it and everything about that? Thanks so much, Pat. Love the show, keep up the great work.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Travis, what's up? Thank you so much for the question. As many of you know, by the time this episode comes out the book, Will It Fly?, will have already been out for a few months now, so this question was actually asked months ago. Saw it in the archive of questions, and I wanted to pull this out because it's definitely an important question.
Writing is very important for many reasons, obviously. It helps us get our thoughts onto paper or onto the web or into books, but interestingly enough, the way that I wrote Will It Fly? was very similar to how I write my blog posts. Now, it wasn't like that at first. When I started to write Will It Fly?, I was using a tool called Scrivener, and Scrivener is a tool that many people use. Many people. Michael Hyatt, Joseph Michael, I believe Jeff Goins uses it, and a number of other people have written amazing books using Scrivener, so I figured that's what I should learn how to use first, and I learned how to use it. There's a great tutorial, you can also learn from ScrivenerCoach.com if you wanted to, and it's just great because it helps you organize your content, see what's coming next, and really just make sure that you have all things organized, which is really important when it comes to a book which is a lot bigger than just a blog post.
That reason, because it's much bigger than a blog post, that's why Scrivener actually didn't work for me personally. Because the first thing I do when I write or have some big project, no matter what it is, is I outline it. I usually do a mind map exercise of some kind, just get all those topics down, and then I begin to put them in a specific order, group things, create hierarchies and groups, and all those kinds of things. I did that, and I put the outline that was eventually created as a result of that mind mapping exercise for the book into Scrivener and I could see the chapters that I had to write.
They were blank of course because I hadn't written them yet, but I could see them there, so I could see the path to the end, but because there were so many different pieces and a lot of things I wanted to cover, some of it that I didn't know exactly how I was going to approach it yet, it just became very intimidating.
It got to a point where I was just scared to get into Scrivener and begin working because I knew I was so far away from the end. I actually took about a month or a month and a half off from writing because I just didn't have any energy for it, and it was just very frustrating. Sometimes I would force myself to write, and I would only come out two hours later with an extra paragraph, and it wasn't even something I was very happy with.
In terms of the first draft, however, one of the first things I did after the outline, which helped a little bit, was to quickly get that first draft out by actually dictating it. I shared this process in Episode 1 of SPI TV, which you can find on YouTube.com/smartpassiveincome. Just go to the SPI TV playlist, it's Episode number one, one of the most popular ones, where I show you the mind mapping exercise and how I do that using post-it notes, but then I show you how I take each of those post-it notes or each one particular segment of what eventually becomes that outline, and I dictate my thoughts about it.
Now, that was easier for me to do than write out whatever was in my head, because I've been doing this all the time with my podcasts. This is what I'm doing right now, and so it was easy for me to just stream-of-consciousness talk about these things and record them. What I did was I recorded them using an app called Rev, R-E-V, you can find it at Rev.com. You can also find it in your App Store, and what you can do is you can record audio, just like any audio recorder, except the beauty of this is you can press a button to have a human person who works for that company actually transcribe it for you. I would record and dictate my thoughts about a particular part of the book, I would transcribe it, and then I would copy that transcription and paste it right into that particular outline in Scrivener, and that's how I was able to create about 80 to 90,000 words up front, I believe.
Most of those words because I was dictating it, and because the dictation is much different than what you would actually have in a book in terms of the way the content is written, most of it was just junk, but through that junk, there was a lot of gold. Not a lot of gold. I would say maybe 10 to 15,000 words were stuff that I actually kept and then ended up expanding on in the actual book when I wrote the way that I'm going to tell you how I wrote it, where things started to finally flow, but again, that process was really helpful. Just to kind of brain dump everything and dictating it was very smart for me, at least. If you're struggling with your first draft, that's how you could potentially get a first draft out much quicker.
In terms of where I did all this, I personally like to work in my home office. I built my home office in a way, that's actually Episode Two, I think, or Three, of SPI TV. You can get a tour of my home office and see what it looks like, but I built it in a way that it looks much different than the rest of the house, and that allows me to really transform into work mode when I get into the office. Also when I get back into the home right outside those two double doors in my office, I'm just turned off from work, and so it's a way for me to hack having that nine-to-five, where you go into a job and that's all you can do there, and then when you get out, you are done. I try to mimic that here at home and try to be a much different space than any other space in the home.
I'm just more comfortable here. I like the privacy, I like the quiet, I cannot do writing at a coffee shop. I'm great at writing emails in coffee shops, but when it comes to content in blog posts or in books, I just can't do coffee shop.
It is on a computer, typically on my desktop, if not on a laptop, and I like to move around to different places. Sometimes I just don't feel it in one spot and I'll move to another spot, and sometimes that helps too.
The last thing I want to talk about, Travis, is when things started to flow for me. After that month or month and a half of just frustration, I worked with an accountability coach, and somebody who had written books before and helped many other people write books too. What he told me to do was to actually, actually he asked me, “Well, Pat, how do you write your blog posts? You write a lot of blog posts, you're very consistent, they're great, they sound just like you.” I said, “Well, I write them in a Google Doc.”
Then Azul asked me, “Okay, well, how are you writing your book?” I said, “Well, I'm writing it in Scrivener, I'm trying to.” He said, “Why don't we just break up your content and put each particular part of the outline in a Google Doc and you can treat it just like a blog post? Open it up the same way, treat it the same way, use your own voice in the same way, it won't even feel like it's a part of the book anymore, but at the end we'll put it all together and it'll become an amazing book.”
When we transitioned to that workflow, everything started to flow and it was amazing how quickly I was able to get into the rhythm. I was just busting out part after part after part, and then I could get a sense for just how much closer I was getting to the end. That second draft which was done in that way was so, so good, and it just flowed really nicely. I felt very confident going through it. It took me a little bit of time to find my stride and find the rhythm and find a way that actually worked for me. I think that's a big lesson there. What works for others might not work for you, so you have to experiment. You have to try other things and see what works, because if you don't, you're just going to be frustrated if you just didn't land on that way that actually works for you properly first.
Travis, that's how I wrote the book, and if you want to read the book, you can go to willitflybook.com, that's for everybody obviously. You can actually listen to the book, too, which was a lot of fun to record. I recorded it in my own voice, the voice that you're hearing right now. You can find that on Audible too. Not Audible Two, like part two of Audible, but Audible also, so Audible.com. You can actually get it for free if you are not an Audible subscriber yet and you want to download it. You subscribe to Audible for the first time, you can download your first book for free, and it could be Will It Fly?. Thank you again so much, that's willitflybook.com.
Travis, thank you so much for the question, I really appreciate it. I love talking about the process of writing the book. It was definitely a struggle but, man, I'm just so proud of the work that I did. You should always be proud of the work that you did, especially when you know that you've struggled. If you're proud of it, other people will be proud of it too, so hopefully those of you who have read it, you're proud of the work that I've done. Let me know about it.
Hashtag “AskPat613”. If you've read Will It Fly? and you are proud that I was able to finish it, and I don't ask this because I just want comments, I ask this because I think we should all just appreciate those who put in hard work, and I put in a lot of hard work. I'm not going to deny that, and this isn't a vanity thing, this is just, “Hey, let's give props.”
I give all of you props for all the hard work you've been doing too. I know I can't just focus on every single person here who's working hard, but I know. You're listening to this, you've listened all the way through to this episode, to the end of this episode, you're working hard, and so keep going. I appreciate you, proud of you, keep going.
Thank you, again, to all of you who are asking questions. Head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask questions right there on that page, and like Travis if you get your question featured, I'm going to send you an Ask Pat t-shirt free of charge. We're going to send it your way.
I also want to thank today's sponsor, FreshBooks. If you want to check it out for 30 days for free, just go to freshbooks.com/askpat, and enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Yeah, check it out.
Thank you so much, I appreciate you, and here's a quote to finish off the day by Steward Davidson. He said, “Make sure you're always testing. Never be satisfied with your marketing funnel, even if it's exceeding expectations.” ABT, always be testing.
Cheers, take care, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.
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