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How to Write a Book Using the 100 Words a Day Challenge(!)

For those of you that are regulars to this website, you will know that I have recently published my next book - What Does Good Look Like?

The purpose of this post is to explain how I wrote the book when I was already up to my eyeballs with consulting projects, a busy home life and some voluntary work thrown into the mix. Clients and friends have asked me in the last few weeks "How do you have time to write another book?"

The short answer is that I am the same as pretty much everyone - I don't have time to write a book!
Kaizen improvement strategies
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That's where our good old friend Kaizen comes in. I didn't write a book; I created my own 100 words a day challenge.

Writing a book - I don't have time for that!

Writing 100 words a day - how could I fail?

If you haven't come across the Kaizen method before it is a brilliant approach to break big challenges down into tiny bite size chunks. The real power of Kaizen is to avoid triggering the 'fight or flight' response and particularly the 'flight' element (as this normally translates into procrastination, in my experience).

Writing 100 words, for me, is a little challenge and one that I could squeeze in between meetings, parenting and chores(!).

If you are thinking that writing a book in 100 word intervals would take an incredibly long time then you may be right. You could argue that you would be making some progress rather than no progress, but that isn't the power behind the Kaizen approach. Approaching a task in small steps can help you to build confidence, motivation and momentum. It is a powerful strategy for undertaking change in an organisation and it helped me to write my book.

I would rarely write just the 100 words; once I got started I would get into a flow and end up writing anywhere between 250 and 1000 words. It wasn't the time that was the issue it was the perception of time and the realisation of the rest of the workloads I have that would cause the inertia. Before I knew it I had written a 26000 word book!

Anything that you are looking at, that you are procrastinating with, can be broken down and the Kaizen method applied. Appraisals, continuous improvement projects, report writing, the ironing(!)... Small steps can get your projects off the ground and then accelerate progress until the activity is completed.

I write about applying the Kaizen approach in the book What Does Good Look Like? and show how it can help to implement change and form the new habits that you need in your organisation. I didn't intend to practice what I preach in order to write the book, but after all it is the results that count and I needed a strategy that works!

If you are looking to write your own book, or want to get your continuous improvement projects moving, trying out the Kaizen approach (of tiny steps) would be a great place to start.


All the best,

Giles



About the author Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes. Giles is also the author of Business Process Re-Engineering and creator of the 'Making It Happen' continuous improvement toolkit.


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