I’ve just finished writing Press Start.
Here’s 13 things I discovered about getting things done whilst writing it.
Nobody is going to tell you what to do
I got the idea for a sequel to Extreme Production suddenly one night. I didn’t know how to structure it, what to do or how to write it. Don’t wait for somebody to tell you how to do it. Just go do it.
Perfect doesn’t exist
Do the best job you can with the tools you have available. Try not to be too harsh of a critic on yourself and understand when it’s “good enough”. It’s hard to do. But if you want to complete you have to release something you’re 85% happy with.
Ask for feedback before you launch
The best thing I did was create the beta testing list for Press Start. I’ve shared the book with about 80 people already and the opportunities have been great. Some of the ideas people have given me have genuinely made the book better.
Include others in your project
I decided early on that I was going to include some @producemore quotes from people I actually know. This has turned out great—those chapters are some of my faves as I collaborated with them.
Keep reminding people you’re making something (they’ll forget)
It’s the oldest marketing play in the book.
- Tell them you’re going to do something.
- Do it.
- Tell them you’ve done it.
It works, because people forget. Keep reminding them.
Get people excited
Related to above—I wanted to get people excited for the book and the way I chose to do that was to let people read it before it was ready. It worked, and it allowed me to build up a list of the nice things that people said about my book.
Ask people to help you
Don’t sit in silence and try to take on a mammoth task by yourself. Ask for help. If you done all of the above you’ll find people are more than willing to help you work through ideas.
Hunt for people to tell you it’s bad
Sharing your work before it’s ready to a beta list is hard. Some people will be nice, some people not so nice. The only way to make something that’s good though is to hunt out the negative feedback.
Small amounts every day
I write (still am now) 350 words per day of Press Start. I worked out how many words I wanted to write then worked out how many words a day I needed to write to finish it. Don’t try and write 3,000 words a day. It’s just too difficult.
Set the bar low to set the focus high
I purposefully made this book small. I could have made it much bigger, which conversely would have been easier. Making it small means I have to be ruthless with my picks.
Set a launch date
I procrastinated initially with the book for one simple reason: I didn’t set a launch date. The further away the date the more you’ll procrastinate. To solve it, I set a ridiculous one. Set a deadline that’s closer to now than makes you comfortable.
You’re good enough already
Just go make your thing. It doesn’t matter if you’ve not made a thing quite like it before, you can still make it. This is a note to self.
Steal your permission
Don’t wait around for somebody to tell you to go make it. They won’t. Go steal your permission.