Writing a Book Using Just Five Rules

Mark’s writing a book using ‘just five rules’ and I’m as pleased as punch.

Why? Well, because he’s following a system.

A system that’s a tested antidote to those ‘mind viruses’ that stop writers with tell-tale symptoms such as:

  • I’m not a writer.
  • No one will read my ramblings.
  • You’re not a writer.
  • You’ll never be a published writer.
  • Self-publishing’s for losers.
  • I’ve no time.
  • You’ve no time.
  • It’s too embarrassing, risky, expensive…. <insert one here>.

I think you get the point? This list could run and run and what’s even crazier is that aspiring writers start believing their pet excuses must be true. The result is that important books never get written

However, help is at hand…

Write Your Book Using Just Five Rules

Rule 1: Take Action
It’s been said many times, in many ways and is even the title of a book: “Nothing happens until something moves”. Yes, taking action is going to bring a book into reality one act at a time.

And what do you suppose an ‘act’ is? Well, in my definition it can be a single sentence, a few words or even a solitary character.
What Mark needs to do is keep turning up for these acts over and over and over again, until the page, and then the chapter, and finally the book are all completed.

Rule 2: Follow a Proven Plan
Many books are written according to a system. Mark’s will follow the somewhat amusingly named “Effortless Authorship System” from famed ghostwriter, Michael Levin. More on him and his system in future posts.

Rule 3: Focus on one thing at a time
Distractions are one of the most annoying drags on a new author’s productivity. Fortunately, the system mentioned in rule #2 above enables writers to be “bloody minded” about getting useful writing tasks done.

A good example of distraction is the tendency of many writers to edit while they write. No! No! No! You must focus on one task at a time and complete the writing first, regardless of how ‘raw’ it may look.

Rule 4: Let Time Go Lightly
Rule #4 can be interpreted in a number of ways that benefit new authors.

One interpretation is a feeling of “effortless authorship”, or of “being in the zone” – similar to peak performance states achieved by sports stars and others at the top of their ‘game’. It might surprise and encourage you to know that this is easier to tune into┬áthan it sounds. As you move forward with creating your book according to rule #1, you’ll discover how rules #2 and #3 will work best for you.

Another view is adopting a willingness to let the book come forth without forcing it too much. This is covered by rule #2’s system but also includes those rest breaks and “mental pit stops” required by the subconscious mind as it processes ideas and plans. This ‘work’ appears to be one of the mind’s ‘background tasks’, carried out while the writer is sleeping, resting or doing anything but writing.

Rule 5: There are just five rules…
There was once a fifth rule that stated “find games worth playing” but I think it’s redundant in this case because Mark’s game is simple: publish that book.

So, we end up with just five rules.

And here’s a mind map of ‘just five rules’:

just five rules mark mcclure








What does this all mean in practice?
I encourage you to watch an incredible five-minute clip on YouTube and then ask yourself three questions:

1) How badly do you want this book?

2) Do you want it (almost) as much as the very air you’re breathing?

3) Would you go without (some) sleep to get your book published?

The video shows a talented footballer practicing his skills. That alone is inspiring.
But the real power and emotion is in watching Giavanni work out to the motivational soundtrack speech by Eric ‘The HipHop Preacher’ Thomas.

After several viewings it began to dawn on Mark how similar this athlete’s physical and psychological preparations are to those performed creatively and intellectually by writers.

Can you see any links?

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