Write Until You’re Done

Write until your done

On January 4, the chapter 1 draft came back from my editor. I sent it to her just before the holidays. There were minor changes and suggestions. One great suggestion was on paragraphs.

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Each paragraph should be shortened to three or four sentences and contain one idea. Each sentence should have one thought. If you add more ideas, create a new paragraph. I like this suggestion so much that I’ve begun using it everywhere.

Chapter 1 turned out to be a good first attempt. After following my editor’s suggestions, I sent the second revision back. That one came back to me on January 7.

From this second draft, I now have a template to follow for future chapters. From here on, it’s time to write nonstop. There won’t be much in the way of editing by my editor during this period. Basically, I’ll write the book then send the first draft to my editor. There will be questions and conversations with my editor along the way but not likely any full edits.

I’m setting a goal of 2000 words per week. That’s approximately 286 words per day, or close to a page per day. This is do-able with my current schedule. Although I didn’t get any writing done last week (you can see I’m still at 1600 words) because it is our first week of the Spring term.

We have three classes per term. Each class last six weeks. This first week of this class (supply chain management) is the heaviest, from what I understand.

As I produce more pages, I’ll get a better idea on total word count for the book. I’ll update the progress meter as the target count changes.

I’m also happy to say that mbaover30.com has agreed to do an interview for the book. His journey of acceptance into Chicago Booth and Wharton are journaled on his website. I’m looking forward to some of the very practical questions of moving to a new city, taking on debt, and two years of full-time school that most people aren’t able to do.

I’ll be updating the word count each week as I progress through the pages. In the mean time, I’m still working on a title for the book. An initial subtitle might be ‘How To Choose An MBA Program That Works Best For You’. It will likely change but not by much.

After discussing titles with my editor, there are four key points the title should encompass:

  • To grab people’s attention
  • To identify a problem the reader has
  • To promise a new or improved solution
  • To create a sense of urgency

Any great hook will have the above characteristics. By hook, I’m referring to the combination of title and subtitle. It is difficult to put all four components into just the title or subtitle.

A few questions for you to ponder until next time:

  • Given your schedule, how many words per day or per week do you target?
  • Are you able to keep that schedule? If not, what gets in your way?
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