Sounds kind of crazy, doesn’t it? I have to admit, I was dragged into my first Book in a Week challenge kicking and screaming and swearing I couldn’t possibly do it. I thought the idea was crazy! Now I believe in the concept with all my heart—even for people who never want to actually write the first draft of a book in one week.
But not as a competition. Not as a way to drive oneself crazy. I believe in Book in a Week as a way to have fun, as a gift we can give ourselves as writers. Why? Because…
For one week, we tell ourselves and those around us that we ARE writers and WRITING MATTERS!
For one week, we ask for support in making writing a priority in our lives. (For years, as a wife and mother, even with contracts in hand, I often felt everyone and everything else should come first.)
For one week, we let ourselves write with total freedom from worrying about “the rules.”
For one week, we dedicate ourselves to writing with joy.
For one week, we write what we want to write, what’s closest to our hearts.
For one week we trust our muse, our subconscious, the Divine working through us—however you want to look at it–we trust what we write. We go with the flow, we DO NOT REWRITE! We trust that whatever we’re writing is what we need to write, at least in that moment.
In one week we know whether or not we love this project.
In one week we know what it is we need to find out to polish and/or finish writing the book.
In one week we know whether or not it’s likely to work.
For one week, we are fully WRITERS.
It’s only one week, so we can take chances and write those things we were told we couldn’t do.
It’s only one week, so we can try new things and PLAY.
It’s only one week, so we can risk trusting ourselves, because after all, how many times have we wasted more than one week not writing simply because we were so afraid we would get it wrong?
It’s only one week, so if it doesn’t work, we can throw it out and take another week and try again.
It’s one week of being who we are at our truest depth.
If we are writers, I truly believe that in writing we tap into something that builds our emotional resilience so that we can better cope with any and all of the non-writing challenges in our lives as well. I can’t explain it, but I have seen the truth of this, over and over and over again.
When we write this way, writing faster than ever, trusting ourselves, we can then step back and look at the experience and see what and when and where and how we wrote best. We begin to know what works for US—not anyone else, but for US. We begin to see our true voice as well as the tropes we are drawn to most. We begin to see what is natural to OUR first draft. We can begin to understand that a first draft only has to be a first draft—nothing else—just a first draft.
You may never want to try to write that fast again, but you will have gained priceless insight into yourself as a writer–your process and what you write.
This is why I teach Book in a Week classes. This is why I believe so whole-heartedly in the process.
People who have tried this have gone on to write award winning books. Some were under contract within a short period of time after taking the class. At least one author had movie rights optioned for her book.
There is power in writing from the heart and writing true to who you are. Your most natural voice emerges. You are more likely to write that unique story that tugs at the heart—because you are being true to your muse. And you are most likely to see clearly the areas in which you may want to learn more about how to write what you want to write.
What I love about teaching Book in a Week workshops and online classes is that I get to share the things it took me years to learn. I get to offer questions and new ways to look at writing. I get to help writers bring joy and FUN back into the process of writing.
What a concept: Fun as a better way to write. Fun as a way to unlock our creativity and get our subconscious to do much of the brainstorming work for us. But research shows that it’s true.
So this is what I hope writers will get out of my Book in a Week workshop—the tools to write better, faster and have more fun while doing so!
Halfway through her career, April Kihlstrom discovered the power of Book in a Week. She is often referred to as the acknowledged mistress of Book in a Week because she both uses it and teaches it as often as she can. She has over 30 published romance novels and she loves coaching and teaching writing as well.
To learn more about our Book in a Week book camp, click here!