How To Write a Book in 30 Days


Module 1. Begin the Writing Habit

Step One: simply begin to write. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling, or even having your ideas in order; just write. The physical and mental act of writing will begin to let your ideas flow to the paper. Although you may be stuck in your conscious mind before you begin, the act of writing will actually start ideas flowing up from your subconscious mind as you continue to write.

“These days writing and not publishing is the equivalent of not writing at all. It doesn’t count. Ideas are not meant to sit in a drawer.” (paraphrased)

Seth Godin

Author, Entrepreneur, Teacher

Develop the habit of writing.

Make your writing a habit that you practice at a certain time on a certain day or days and stick to it.

One writing session, although it felt really good once you began, doesn’t make a book. Writing is a habit, and habits are practiced regularly – that’s why we call ‘em habits. Set aside a time each day or each week when no one or nothing else has a prior bid for your time. Dedicate that time to writing.

Your writing time maybe early in the morning, before the rest of the world is awake, or late at night after the household has gone to bed. Just stick whatever time works best for you. 

Begin the Writing Habit

by Steve Spillman | How to Write a Book in 30 Days

 My Story

When I wrote my first book, How to Contract and Build Your Own House, I traveled across the United States, Canada, and Mexico as a sales executive for a large global company. I wrote my second book, Breaking the Treasure Code: The Hunt for Israel’s Oil, when I was the president of a manufacturing company with sixty employees. The point is that I had a busy life. The only times I could commit to writing were very, very early in the morning, and on some weekends (thanks to my gracious and patient wife). Each manuscript was complete and ready to publish less than a year. But I could never have done the writing if I hadn’t set aside those early mornings and weekend hours. Today I run a publishing and media company. I spend my days, a few nights, and several weekends publishing other authors’ books. But I still take time to write, very early each morning, a few hours before the rest of the world wakes up. When I fall out of the habit, I don’t write. When I stick to the habit I write, it’s as simple as that.

Don’t get lost

This world offers a million distractions, a keystroke, or a ringtone away. Writing time is your time, and it’s for writing, not for checking out something on the Internet (if you’re doing ‘research’ on the Internet during your writing time, you’re not writing; you’re procrastinating – stop it). Don’t allow yourself to get distracted by outside interruptions. Turn off your phone, shut down your e-mail and eliminate all beeps, buzzers, vibes, or tones in your life that signal someone or something else wants your attention. The reason I write super-early in the morning is easy; the rest of the world is asleep. This time is for you, for transforming your thoughts into words on a page. Step number three: Turn off or turn away all distractions.

Read what you’ve written

When you go back to read what you’ve written, you’ll be surprised at how much was in there waiting to get out. Before your next writing session, take a minute or two to read what you wrote during your last writing session. Don’t judge the quality of your writing, and don’t edit what you wrote previously (that comes later); just take a few minutes to see the thoughts you put into words last time. This will help you remember where you left off and squirt a little starter fluid into the carburetor of your ‘thoughts to words’ machine. It will make beginning your current writing session easier and, hopefully, create a flow and continuity between what you wrote last time and what you’re writing this time. Step number four: Read what you wrote the last session before beginning this session.

Stick to the point

A book that has no central idea, that lacks flow and continuity, that doesn’t take the reader from beginning to end in a comprehensible progression is just a diary. It might be good therapy for you, but you’ll have an audience of one. The reason you’re writing is to express an idea to others (your readers). They need a starting point, a clear path, and a finish line. That’s one reason for reading what you wrote last time before beginning your next writing session, so you don’t wander off the path you’re trying to build for your reader. Step number five: Stick to the point; you’re writing a book, not a diary.


  1. Choose a time to write each day when you won’t be interrupted. It could be early in the morning before the world is awake or late in the evening, after the family has gone to bed. The important thing is to develop the habit of writing. Developing the habit is faster and easier when it’s the same time each day.
  2. Choose your writing medium. What are you writing with and on? A laptop? A tablet? Your phone? Legal pad? Journal? I used to write my first drafts on a legal pad. Today I use a bound journal. Bound journals are easier to organize and harder to misplace than legal pads. I was born into an analog world (1958). My native writing medium is pen and paper. If your native medium is digital, go for it. I know a guy who wrote his first book on his smartphone, on his train commute into New York City every morning. Just don’t make your medium something easy to lose and impossible to organize – like a cocktail napkin.
  3. Put your phone on do-not-disturb and close your browser. This time is for writing. Nothing else.

Next, we’ll talk about building a blueprint for the path you want your readers to follow. But that’s the next chapter. Until then – write!

Click here to read Step 2 “Gather Ideas”