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How to Get the Writing Done: A Non-Fiction Book-Writing Strategy for Excuse-Makers

Laura Di Franco, MPT
8 min readOct 12, 2022


“I just can’t get it done!”

“I never have enough time to finish it.”

“Something always gets in the way of this!”

Have you uttered any of these excuses when it comes to getting your book done?

The time has come to drop the excuses and finish your shitty first draft so that you can send this to your editor for fine-tuning and start changing the world with your brave words.

Cuz, your excuses are preventing someone from a life-changing moment.

Seriously, get over your excuses, prioritize and protect your time, and figure this out! Someone’s waiting for you to share your message in the way only you can uniquely share it.

It’s that easy. And sometimes, a strategy helps. Everyone loves a secret roadmap for getting things done in the easiest, most efficient, practical, and speediest way.

I have that for you.

But first, a confession.

I’ve never had issues with procrastination or excuses. “You have a weird amount of willpower,” said Kristi, my Human Design expert coach. “You know when people say, if I can do it, you can do it? Well, you shouldn’t say that; not everyone can do what you do.”

Okay, fine. Maybe you won’t, like me, write your signature book in two weeks and get it published in thirty days; however, you can do this much faster than you think if you get into action with some basic steps.

There’s someone out there waiting for you to get this book done!

The Brave Healer 10-Step Strategy for Getting Your Book Written!

Step One:

What’s your book title and subtitle?

Start with a working title and subtitle. What’s the theme of your book that can be communicated clearly? Clear, not clever, people! Also, you’re branding yourself. Be smart about keywords and choosing titles that help the world know it’s your book.

The subtitle should be a results-oriented takeaway for the reader. It’s about what they want, not what you know they need. What they need is the magic in the interior of the book.

Step Two:

Who is the ideal reader?

If you pause and focus anywhere, make it here.

Don’t guess about what book you should be writing. If you’re smart, you already know what book you’re writing because you’ve paid attention when your readers are telling you what book you should be writing. You’ve heard it through their complaints, expression of their problems, and the things they desire for their life. Pay attention to your social posts, the platforms you hang out on, where they’re commenting, and especially what they’re saying to you directly.

Writing your book becomes easy when you know your ideal reader at the next level. Don’t try to write for everyone. Write to one person. And then, your book will resonate with so many more people that you’ll be surprised.

If you feel like you’re always guessing, or need to understand your ideal client at another level, I have a bonus masterclass workbook for you. Grab it HERE.

Step Three:

What’s your word count or page goal?

Are you writing your 100-page signature book for your business? Or are you writing your 300-page legacy book? Is this more of a funnel to your business? Or is this book the ultimate work of your business that will be a one-time shot? Is this 15,000 words? Or is this 75,000?

Set a page and word count goal — now. You can always change your mind later.

Step Four:

Start Your Book Document

Open up your computer. Start a brand new document. Title it “My Book.” And type the working main title of your book on the first page. Then type your name: By [First name, Last name].

You have now officially started writing your book! Congratulations!

Keep reading. . .

Step Five:

Outline Your Table of Contents — Chapter Titles

The outline for your book will be the thing that makes this whole process exciting and easy. Take some time to work on your outline.

Start thinking about the journey you’re taking that ideal reader on, from chapter one to chapter ten. You can always add chapters or change the structure at a later date. Start with ten.

What’s the foundational message of chapter one? Write that down as the Chapter One title.

What’s the ultimate result of the book? Write that down as the Chapter Ten title.

Now, fill in the blanks in the middle with the steps you want to take the reader on. What do they need to do after they finish the foundational message? Then what? And, then, what?

You can always change your mind, re-organize, and fine-tune your chapter titles. For now, get the steps down and finish writing something for each chapter title.

Step Six:

Complete your outline

Go to your chapter one title and create a bullet list of stories and teachings that you want to write about that illustrate the theme and message of that chapter.

Complete a bullet list for every chapter.

A meaty outline will make the writing easy. Spending time creating a comprehensive bullet list of the scenes, stories, and teachings you want to express will allow you to just sit your butt in the seat and start writing those out for each chapter.

Step Seven:

Do the math

Doing the math will help you organize your writing time. The first math to do is to time your writing. Pick a topic or story you could write about for hours, and set a timer for 20 minutes. Type continuously for 20 minutes. When the timer goes off, look at your word count. Multiply that number times three, and you’ll have the approximate amount of words you can write in an hour.

What was your word count for the hour? A typical 100-page book is going to be in the 15,000-word range. So, how many hours will it take to complete your book?

Now that you know the number of hours it will take to write your book, you can open up your calendar and make it real. If it’s not scheduled, it’s not real. You must schedule your writing like a VIP appointment. How many sessions (hours) will you need to complete this goal? Get it all scheduled!

Lastly, protect the time. Nothing gets priority over this! And schedule a celebration date for the end!

Step Eight:

Write your dedication and introduction

There is seriously nothing more inspiring than your why. So open up your book document and write your dedication on page two. Why are you writing this? Who are you writing this for? Take a peek at some of your favorite books for inspiration for writing your dedication.

Next, start writing the introduction to your book. This is you stepping on the stage and grabbing the microphone to introduce the “show” to your ideal reader. The intro should be like a love letter to them. Why are you writing this? What is it about the topic that matters to you? Why are you so invested in this? Why do you do what you do? What is your greatest hope for the reader? What do you want the reader to know? What do you want them to feel?

When you finish the introduction, you can use snippets of it for Step Nine!

Step Nine:

Tell someone about your project.

When it’s out loud, it’s real. If you don’t tell anyone you’re writing a book, and you keep it all to yourself, all stuffed up in that little mind of yours, it’s not real. Tell a friend you’re writing a book. Even better, post a note on social media and share some of that introduction with them to begin building the buzz for your book! You’ll be surprised just how much support you get. And that will keep you inspired to keep writing!

Step Ten:

Write until you’re done.

You have a schedule of writing dates, and the only thing left to do is write. Some people are fine with the schedule. Others need to get away from their ordinary environment and take a weekend writing retreat at a mountain cabin to finish their books. Whatever it takes, write until you’re done.

Remember, you’re not trying to get it perfect. You’re just getting it done. Getting it perfect is what your editor is for. Your only job right now is to move the words from your heart to your fingertips and get them out onto the page.

Follow your outline and sit and write each story, scene, teaching, or lesson. Once one chapter is finished, you can go back and fill in some blanks. Or you can wait until you’re finished with all the chapters to do that.

Do not get stuck in self-editing mode while writing this first draft. Let the words flow and get it all out. The next step is editing.


Read it out loud to yourself

The most powerful self-editing tool you can use is to read your work out loud. This will allow you to catch mistakes, robotic writing, or things you missed. If you allow a friend to read it out loud to you, that will be even more powerful and effective. But even after this step, do not be paralyzed by trying to get it perfect. A professional editor is the next step. They will do three levels of editing on your manuscript: developmental edit, copy edit, and proofreading. Make sure you interview editors and ask them what levels of editing they will be completing. Know what you’re paying for.

Can’t stay accountable your dream of finishing your book? Then writing your book isn’t important enough to you. It’s tough love. But it’s true. We prioritize what matters to us.

So, if you’re struggling, get to your why. Get to the understanding that your purpose has a face and a name. This isn’t about you. It’s about the person whose life you’ll change with your brave words. This doesn’t have to be perfect. This only has to get done.

The editor is going to get it perfect.

The designer will help you bring the vision to life.

The publisher will make sure you get the eyes on it that you deserve.

And the world will be changed when you get over your excuses and inner critic BS and get your brave words into the world.

Need more help? Reach out to us in The Write Habit writing group on Facebook, or visit

Photo by Melissa Demple Photography, Washington D.C.

Laura Di Franco, CEO of Brave Healer Productions, specializes in publishing and business strategy for holistic health and wellness professionals. She has a 30-year background in holistic physical therapy, 14 years training in the martial arts, and has published over 40 Amazon bestselling books, including 9 of her own. She’s a spoken-word poet, lover of dark chocolate, and has a contagious passion for helping you share brave words build your business.



Laura Di Franco, MPT

Your words will change the world when you’re brave enough to share them!