7 Methods of Getting Your Rough Draft Done

Are you new to the writing and publishing scene? Does the thought of writing an entire book scare you?

When you’re trying anything new for the first time there’s always some apprehension, but don’t let it stop you from getting your book out there.

When it comes to the writing part, you must start with a rough draft. And because it’ll need some revisions, editing, and formatting, the first draft doesn’t have to be actually “written”. Read on to find out the 7 Methods of Getting Your Rough Draft Done.

(Note: this is a long post, so settle in with a coffee or the beverage of your choice.)

Method #1: Use PLR

PLR is short for Private Label Rights content. When you buy content that comes with PLR rights, the seller is giving you permission to re-brand everything as your own and put it up for sale. You can even add your name and website as though you’re the author!

Sometimes PLR content is referred to as white label content, done-for-you content, or even ready to use content. All of these terms mean the same thing—you can take the content, tweak it for your own use, and claim authorship.

However, before you start using PLR, it’s important that you consider what you plan to do with your book. Some platforms frown on PLR, simply because they do not want their virtual shelves flooded with the same content. I personally suggest if you are going to use PLR, add your own content as well.

No matter how much (or how little) PLR you use, be sure you read the provider’s terms. Some don’t have any restrictions on how you use the content, while others do.

Method #2: Rework Old Content

Some eBook authors are very prolific, churning out book after book. You may see all of their work and wonder how they can write so much while still running their business and having a personal life.

The truth is that some authors already have a huge arsenal of content to pull from. They’re so good with content creation simply because they re-use everything that they make in one form or another.

The good news is that you can use this technique yourself. Maybe you don’t have a website filled with hundreds of older posts’ but look at what you do have. Did you create a small report that was wildly popular with your community? Did you spend years regularly publishing guides and tutorials for your audience?

All of this content can be repurposed into your eBook. But before you copy and paste your old work into your new eBook, take a few minutes to look it over. First, scan the content for any outdated information.

Is your content evergreen, or is it old news? Evergreen content does better over time, simply because the information is always relevant. Yesterday’s news is, well…yesterday’s news.

Besides updating the content, you should also look and see if you want to change any of your previous words. With older content, you wrote it when you had less experience. You probably know things now that you would do differently.

You may have even radically changed your stance on an issue in your industry. Don’t be afraid to talk about that when you create your eBook. These admissions help readers to understand that you’re still growing and learning yourself. It makes you look trust-worthy in their eyes and gives them permission to grow too.

Using old blog posts or reports is a great time hack that can make writing your book a much faster process. But remember to spend a few minutes editing or tweaking any content that needs to be updated.

Method #3: Try Transcription

If you’ve been creating content for your podcast or YouTube channel, you can use all of that hard work for your book. In fact, many smart marketers take the content from their videos and audios and turn it into eBooks they can leverage again and again.

In order to turn audio or video into text, you’ll need to focus on something called “transcription”. This is the process of turning spoken words into text. This can be done in many ways, depending on the amount of time you have available and what your budget looks like.

The first and most obvious transcription method is to do it yourself. This can be a good option if you have a very tiny budget but plenty of time on your hands. You could just select your audio, start playing it, and get to work in your favorite office program.

If you have a budget and you don’t want to transcribe your words yourself, you can use other tools. Otter.ai is a computer-generated transcription service. You upload your video or audio track then the software displays your transcript. The advantage of using this method is that it’s quick and easy to use. There are both free and paid plans available.

An alternative is to hire a freelance transcriptionist to turn your audio or video into text. It is more expensive, but sometimes nothing beats the human ear. You can head on over to Fiverr to find a transcriptionist.

Method #4: Dictate Your Content

If you know exactly what you want to say but you don’t enjoy typing, or find it to be an annoying waste of time, you might enjoy dictation?

Instead of using content you’ve already created, you open an app and speak it into it. As you talk, your words are automatically converted into text.

If you already use office programs regularly, you can open Microsoft Word and look for a microphone button. You have to be signed into the software to see this option. If you’re already logged in, simply click on the button.

Then you can begin speaking and watch as your text appears. Remember that like many programs, you will need to speak punctuation marks at the end of your sentence. So when you’re done with a thought you’ll say: “How will you know which podcasting microphone you should buy question mark First, you should consider cost period next consider…”

This might seem tedious at first but after some time passes, you’ll get used to it. In fact, you may even find that dictation is easy once you’re familiar with how to add punctation.

If you’re not using Microsoft Word, you still have other options for dictation. You can use Google Documents. Simply open a new document and look for “Voice Typing” under the tools menu.

If you use Google’s voice typing feature, you’ll need to speak your punctuation marks just like you do for Microsoft Word and other programs. So don’t forget to do that while you’re dictating.

For many marketers, dictation is a fun way to write their book. It’s often easier to talk about a topic than it is to write down all of your thoughts. If dictation sounds like it might be the answer for you, go ahead and experiment with it!

Method #5: Write It Out

Sometimes, the easiest way to write a book is simply to write the book. If you find yourself spending your days playing with various tools and experimenting with different software, then it might be time to take a step back.

Writing your book doesn’t have to be hard. Break it down into manageable sections. Create an outline and do one section a day. If you have 5 sections, it’ll take 5 days to write. Add one day for the introduction and one day for the conclusion, and you have your rough draft done in 7 days.

Often, it’s helpful to write in short increments. Grab a timer and set a countdown for 15 minutes. Use that time to write as many words as you can. Challenge yourself to keep your fingers moving continuously until the timer dings.

If you’re still having trouble focusing on your book, it might be time to do something drastic. Many writers find it helpful to cut off their internet connection for a specific amount of time.

If a timer just stresses you out or makes it too hard for you to focus, there are other ways to write your book. Consider giving yourself a “reward” for each writing session. This could be something simple like a walk around the neighborhood, a cookie, or fifteen minutes to read your favorite novel.

Whatever the reward, choose one that you like and will motivate you. You can also set up rewards as you hit milestones. For example, you might get a pedicure or massage after finishing a chapter. You could even set up a super special reward for completing your book like a night out on the town or weekend getaway.

Method #6: Hire a Ghostwriter

If you have the budget and you’d rather not write your book yourself, you can always outsource to a ghostwriter. A ghostwriter is someone who writes your book but their name doesn’t go on it. When the project is completed and you’ve paid the ghostwriter in full, all of the rights belong to you. This means that you are free to do what you want with the finished book.

You can look online for a ghostwriter. I have personally used Fiverr to find ghostwriters for my gardening series books. A word of advice: don’t go on price alone. Check ratings as well, and start them off with a smaller project so you know if they’re going to be a good fit.

If you’re nervous about working with a freelance writer, ask around in some of your Facebook groups. Chances are you know someone who has worked with a good ghostwriter, even if they haven’t mentioned it before.

Understand that by asking for a recommendation, you may be sent to ghostwriters who charge more. Writing, like everything in life, comes down to quality and often, you get what you pay for. If you want professional writing, you have to be willing to pay a professional rate.

The more information you can provide your ghostwriter with at the onset, the better. And don’t expect quality work from anyone who claims they can write 30,000 words in three days.

Method #7: Partner with Someone Else

Another way to write your eBook is to bring in a partner. Writing can be an overwhelming task and it helps to have support. However, that doesn’t mean that you should pair up with the next person you see.

As you’re looking for your writing partner, do think about what you’ll both bring to the table. Often, the best partners bring complementing strengths. For example, you might know how to make a great sales funnel but you may struggle with writing the actual book content. By collaborating, you and your partner get the best of both worlds; as does your audience.

This doesn’t mean that you won’t help with the writing but it does mean that you can let your partner take the lead when it comes to that part of the project. Then when it’s time to work on the funnel, you may need to step up and guide your partner.

Take time to read something your partner has written. Or, if they’ll be bringing a different skill like graphic design to the partnership, look at some of their work. Browse their portfolio, buy their products, and look at reviews from others.

During your search, keep in mind that communication is essential during a partnership. You both need to be willing to confront problems and deal with them. If you try to ignore the problem in the hopes that it will go away, the final product will suffer.

It’s a smart idea to approach a writing partner the same you would a business one—with your eyes wide open. The more you know about your writing buddy’s workflow, goals, and ambitions, the more likely you are to enjoy the partnership.

Choose a Method

There are dozens of different ways you can write a book. Don’t get caught up thinking you need to investigate every method before you start writing. Instead, pick one that looks like it might be a good fit for you and dive in.

If you find you’re not enjoying it after two or three days, you can always switch gears and try something different. The more you learn about your writing style and preferences, the easier it will be to work on your book.

Which writing methods have you tried? Do you find one works better than the other for a rough draft? Let me know in the comments below.

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