I wrote a complete book within 2.5 days on a quick trip to Hawaii…
That sounds crazy, right? But, thanks to Angela Lauria and her program, Author Incubator, I will soon cross “publish a book!” off my bucket list!
So, this 20-minute episode of the podcast is all about:
- How I wrote a book in 2-hour time chunks over a few days
- The pre-planning that made it possible,
- And the advice I’d give anyone with a book-writing dream!
That’s the behind-the-scenes everyone loves to hear – but I also had some MEGA takeaways about the importance of organizing my time for creative work inside my business.
Because, if I’m not using my time to CREATE what I’m here to create, I’m not serving myself, my company, or my clients well (and P.S. this applies to you, too!).
Tune into this behind-the-scenes episode for an inspiring look at fulfilling long-held dreams + reorganizing life and business for the sake of creativity! And then hop over to Instagram (@emilyhirsh) and tell me, what did you learn about yourself from this episode? How will you schedule more time for creating, a.s.a.p.?
[5:08] First, I spent more than a month preparing content to write
[7:03] The book-writing process is actually quite similar to what I know about marketing
[10:01] Here’s how I wrote every chapter within 1-2 hours
[11:07] “The better you plan ahead, the more effective your time can be.”
[13:13] And I realized, THIS is what I should be doing with my time!
[16:44] P.S. Listen in for all the details on my new book, coming out in December!
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Emily Hirsh: I’m Emily Hirsh, and this is the Hirsh Marketing Underground Podcast. Attention innovators, influencers, creators, and game-changing entrepreneurs: your internet domination begins right here. We are the powerhouse marketers that you’ve been looking for. You’re already making waves in your industry, and we’re here to help amplify those waves of change by creating a connection that cuts through the noise. We take everything you’ve built inside your zone of genius and find its audience.
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Hello my friends, happy fall. This episode will be coming out at the end of October. It’s October now [when] I’m recording this. It’s been actually a couple of weeks since I recorded. I batched a ton of episodes, because I had a lot of travel in September, but I’m so happy to be back recording, and also that it’s fall, and also that it is not 95 degrees every day in Texas anymore! So excited about that, so excited that we could actually go for a walk at 4:00 or 5:00 PM as a family and not die.
It’s amazing. And I have right now this pumpkin candle burning at my desk, and I’m living it. I’m loving fall. This is one of my favorite seasons, if not my favorite season. One of the reasons I was traveling so much in September and into early October was because I was writing my book. I did this really cool thing where I pre-planned an entire book and outlined all of the content and everything, and then I went to Hawaii with my really good friend, Lindsey Padilla. We are both doing this program and this process together.
We both went to Hawaii, and we wrote our books in Hawaii. We wrote our books for about half the time we were there and then had fun the rest of the time we were there. I thought it would be fun to talk about how I did it, because I’ve gotten a lot of questions [from] people who were following along [with] my Instastory and just as I rolled out the book, and so I thought it would be fun to just share that with you guys and tell you about that journey. I’m really excited for the book to come out.
It will be a marketing focused book. It will be about how to grow your audience, how to grow your profit with Facebook ads, with a really amazing marketing strategy. It was really fun to write. It just felt really natural, it just came out of me, because I’ve taught this so many times. Whether it was podcasts or speaking or trainings, whatever it is, I’ve taught our process and our strategy so many times that it felt really easy to write.
I’m really excited for that book to come out, and it comes out December 12th, it launches. There will be lots around that, but get ready, and I’m so excited. The process that we did… What I love about this is it actually opened my eyes to not just writing a book, but also how you could handle content creation, and the importance of me, the CEO and the visionary, spending most of my time in activities like this. It was a cool learning experience for me to see like, “Wow, I could implement this process in other ways.”
I plan on doing that in my business. A lot of people were like, “How the heck did you write a book in and two and a half days?” How we did it was the planning that went into it beforehand so that we were super productive when it came time to actually write, that once we were writing, it just came down to how fast can you write? Literally, because we had everything planned. So leading up to the book…
I have to give credit to Angela Lauria at the Author Incubator. I’m in her program. She’s put together this process and takes people through it. It is amazing. I really enjoyed going through the process, because not only did I write a book and accomplish that, but also, I love the way she sets up her programs and the way that she walks people through so that they get success. She has 98%, I think, of people who go through her program actually do finish their book, which is amazing, because how many people have this dream of writing a book?
I know I had [it] forever… and don’t finish or don’t even start it. She’s really helping people do that. It was really amazing. I loved not only the experience so that I could write my book, but also the experience so I could take some of those strategies and implement it for my own students in my own courses, of how you just really focus on student completion and getting people to actually do the work. It’s so important. I really enjoyed that. I was in her program.
Beforehand, I spent at least a month and a half in various different chunks of time prepping for this trip so that I was ready to write when it came time. I had to do things like make sure I… So okay, this is funny. It’s like exactly what we do in the marketing sense. I had to really define who the ideal reader was, what their problems were, what their dreams were, so that when I was writing, I was picturing an actual person that I was writing to, one single person, and I could be very specific to talk to that person. Which, how many times have you guys heard me talk about this with marketing?
The first step is you have to know your messaging before you can run ads, because you have to be able to talk to that person in the newsfeed. Same with writing your book. You have to know who you’re talking to. I did work on defining who my ideal reader was and their problems. Then I basically started planning out the chapters that I was going to write. The chapters are based on our process, and all of our strategies packed into the five-step process, so all the different values and marketing tricks and strategies I have, but also overall big picture things.
I planned every chapter, and then within that, I had a promise for every chapter – “By the end of this chapter, my reader will be able to do this or will understand this,” so that I knew the goal of that chapter, I knew what it was. Then I had bullet points of everything I was going to talk about in that chapter listed out. I have 11 chapters. Every one of my chapters was planned out, and every one of my chapters had that outcome planned out. Then I had that going into Hawaii.
Her program is amazing, because she has people giving you feedback, so you turn this in and then they say, “Yes, it’s good,” or “No, it’s not good. You need to do more work here or more detail here.” Going into Hawaii, I had that ideal reader vision. I would sit down before I’d write and picture that person or reread what I wrote so I knew, “Okay, I’m talking to that person.” The mistake we sometimes make in anything we do in marketing, whether it’s our content or our actual paid ads or our emails is, we try to talk to too many people and then nobody ends up listening.
If you can get really focused and talk to that one person… and other people will listen. I know that other people outside of that group are going to buy my book, [people other] than that one person that I wrote it for. But if I can talk to that one person, I will resonate the most with them, and it will be more powerful. I would picture that person before I’d write, and then I’d just pull up my chapter, and we’d write a chapter. We started in the middle of the book. We didn’t start with number one.
We actually started with all the content pieces. Then we did the end, and then we did the beginning. The beginning was the last one. No, the end was the last one. We did all the content. Then we did the beginning. Then we did the end, the conclusion chapters. What my friend Lindsay and I would do… we went to Hawaii. We got all these snacks, literally so many snacks, at Whole Foods. We would just set two hour time chunks. We had a… you know me, like, the crazy planner.
I had this agenda for us. It was like, “Okay, day one, from this time to this time, we’re going to write. Then we’re going to take a break. Then we’re going to write. Then we’re going to have lunch.” I had a whole schedule, so we knew if we were on schedule or not. We actually were ahead of schedule some days, so that was awesome. We’d set our timer for two hours, because that’s really the max I could focus is an hour and a half to two hours. Then I had to take a break.
We’d literally set a timer. It was mentally really helpful, because I knew once that timer was done, then I could take a break. It wasn’t like, “Oh, I have to finish this,” or “I have to do this.” It was like, “When the timer goes off, you get to have a good snack, something to drink, and take a break, go outside in Hawaii.” That’s what we did. We set a timer. We’d write the chapter, just really focused. We had our bullet points. I would just write, read it through.
Every chapter, I was able to write in about an hour and a half to two hours max. Some of the really shorter ones, I was able to do in an hour, because it was so planned, because it was just a matter of like, “Here’s what I’m talking about. Okay. Now, say all these. Just go.” It’s loose. I obviously turned in the manuscript to be edited, to get feedback. I knew it wasn’t perfect, and that was helpful. I did personally read through all of mine before I completed it and checked it off.
Lindsay didn’t. So, our personalities… But I had to read through and edit mine a little bit, because I was like, “It’s too messy.” I had enough time to do that, hour and a half to two hours. It took me two and a half days. We just did that. By the end of the day… So we were getting up at 4:00 AM, because Hawaii time was so early for me. It’s a five-hour time difference to Texas. We’d get up at 4:00 AM, and by 9:00 AM, we had like, two chapters done. That was super awesome, because by the afternoon, I was like fried. Like that last chapter, I was done.
Getting up early, getting it done, worked really well for me. We changed locations, too. One time, we went literally to the beach and brought like these chairs and our laptops, and we just sat there and wrote on the beach. It was pretty awesome. But I was joking like, it must look so funny, because it’s like, if you saw a random person on the beach and then they have their laptops, typing away, you’d be like, “Wow, they can’t even take a vacation,” but there we were writing our books. It was funny.
Two and a half days, we turned in the manuscript, and now from here, we get to start working on the marketing campaigns for the launch. That’s what my team’s going to go into planning, and getting the book edited. It will be up for pre-order on Amazon, and getting it edited and published December 12th. That was the process. During that process, my biggest takeaways from it were how important… no matter what you’re doing… and so if it’s podcast recording or creating videos or writing blogs or, I don’t know, any type of content creation, or let’s say you’re having an offsite entire day meeting with your team.
The more you plan that agenda, and everybody’s clear on the outcomes and what you’re going to talk about and what you’re going to do, then the more effective your time is. That was one of my biggest takeaways, because I was like, “Wow, imagine if I got here and I hadn’t done this work in terms of figuring out who I’m writing this book for, all of the chapters, the content that’s going to go in, and I just sat down and was like, ‘Okay. Write.'” It would have been extremely frustrating.
I would not have been able to finish in maybe like a week, even, of time, straight writing like that. The reason it was successful is the pre-work. Now, I’m really going to try and implement more of that into my podcast planning or if I’m going to create videos. Having that very planned down to every detail possible is so helpful. I think that’s why I’m also so obsessed with planning my day in the morning. I can’t start my day without planning it, because same thing, if you just jump into your day, you’re just reacting.
You’re just doing whatever comes up, but if you have a schedule, and it’s really rigid, mine is to the hour almost. Some people, it’s not for them, but still in some form of pre-planning your day, you’re going to get so much more done, because you’ve done that thinking of the order and the priority and how you’re going to do it, and how do you know when you’re on schedule. One thing Angela says is like, “If four hours go by and you’re not done with your chapter, just turn in what you have.”
We didn’t ever get close to that, but it was like… It shouldn’t take you longer than that much time or you’re totally overthinking it. You just need to write. You just need to get it out. This is a draft. I think it was just a really great experience for me to go through that. The other big takeaway I had from it was how powerful it was when I was writing, and I was just like in momentum with my writing, and I was like, “This is so good. I know this content. It’s so amazing what I’m writing.”
I actually just got goosebumps saying that, because I really feel like there’s nothing else out there that brings together the Hirsh methods and the ways that we believe in connection and knowing your numbers and playing the long game with marketing and all those things I talk about into one place that’s going to help a lot of people. When I was writing it, I realized, this is what I should be doing, and this is where almost all of my time needs to go, because nobody else can do this.
This is my zone of genius. Creating this, creating content that can then go out impact thousands and hopefully millions someday of people is something only Emily Hirsh can do. If I’m doing things in my company and in my day-to-day and when I’m working at home and in my regular schedule, that other people can do, I’m almost doing a disservice to myself and my company and my team and my audience, because I’m not putting all my time into that zone of genius. For me, it was like, “How do I make more time for this creativity and this content creation in my schedule?”
Because I think unless you preplan it, unless you commit to it, unless you put the time in your calendar for it, you don’t do it. We get so busy. There’s always something I can work on in my business. I can always create a project. I can always create something. Even if it is visionary, I can always create something and avoid the content creation or not know where to go with the content creation. One takeaway I had was, I’m going to have time where I am able to write more, because I do feel like I’m a good writer. I enjoy it, and just also have more time to create content, to create…
When I say ‘create content,’ too, one thing is… organizing what you teach into processes or steps. There was one part of the book where I was talking about the different industry averages for your conversion rates and what you should do to guess if you don’t have any data. I was building out this process for people as I went a little bit, because I’m like, “I haven’t even thought this deep about it,” but when you have to explain it in a book, like you don’t have a video or voice or anything, you have to really think about how you’re going to explain it.
I haven’t created it yet, but I’m going to insert it in there, but a table for choosing your industry and like, “Okay, here’s my average cost per lead, and here’s how I create my projections” … but nobody else can really do that for me. Nobody else has that ability in my company to be that visionary and to take all the information and our process, and even create our process and be the inspiration for that. If I’m not spending the majority of my time doing that, I am not doing my job.
That was super eye opening for me and also just a really overall great experience to realize, while I was doing this, my company was running. I’m going to do a separate podcast episode about that, because I had some takeaways from that, too, but for the whole week, my company was running, and I was doing what only I can do, which is this content creation during those three days. That was cool for me to see like, “I could make this a reality more often.” I don’t have to go to Hawaii every time to make it a reality, but I could.
That was my other really big takeaway. That is how I wrote a book in two and a half days. Launch is in December. I’ll keep all of you guys posted if you want to get it. It’s going to be a, I think, really action-packed, strategy-filled book that people will love. I feel really good about it. I was so excited writing it. I was like, “I’ve never put it together in this way.” Just putting it together in a book is so different than video. You just retain information different. You take it in different.
You have to describe things different, and so it’s really cool. It was a cool process to do. Thanks for those of you who followed along on my Instastories. It was fun. We had a great time on the beach and in Hawaii and just making a fun trip out of it. If anyone wants to write a book, follow this process or hire Angela’s team, because I highly recommend it. It got me to write my book that fast, and it’s done, and it feels like this amazing accomplishment. All right guys, I will catch you all next time.
Thanks for listening to the Hirsh Marketing Underground Podcast. Go behind the scenes of multimillion dollar ad campaigns and strategies, dive deep into The Hirsh Process, and listen to our most popular episodes over at HirshMarketingUnderground.com. If you loved this episode of the podcast, do me a favor and head over to iTunes to subscribe and leave a review, so we can reach more people and change more lives with this content. That’s all for now, and I’ll catch you next time.