The night is dark and full of terrors, and so is the writing process. But, if you can push through the first draft quickly, it becomes easier to write because you forgo all the existential dread and impostor syndrome. When you know how to write a nonfiction book in 30 days, you simply don’t have time to second guess yourself.

a hand hovering over a MacBook keyboard and an open notebook with the text "How to Write a Nonfiction Book in 30 Days"

Now, I’m not saying all nonfiction books can be written in 30 days. In fact, many cannot. Those 1,000-page text books from college? Absolutely not. Hell, even each individual chapter probably took about six months at least.

But, depending on the kind of nonfiction book you’re working on, you may be able to write it faster than you’d think. And knowing how to write fast can make the process so much more enjoyable.

Nonfiction Writing Challenge

If you want to know how to write a business book in 30 days, the answer is simple. You have to challenge yourself.

Sure, you may not be a huge fan of writing. Maybe you don’t enjoy it the way that others do. But if you want to write a nonfiction book, generally that means you know a topic really well and you want to share your expertise with the world.

So, how do you create a nonfiction writing challenge that enables you to get your book done?

It’s simple. You need to define the conditions that will work for you, and you need to create a deadline.

The conditions are how you’ll set up your days to make the writing happen, and the deadline is what keeps you beholden to the schedule.

And while it really is that simple, we can break it down a little more.

How to Write a Nonfiction Book in 30 Days

It’s not an easy to task to write a nonfiction book in a month. But if you want to take on the challenge, you need to know how to tackle it so you stay as productive as possible. Here are all the steps you need to take to make it happen.

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001: Gather your research.

If you have notes and ideas about your topic, put it all in one place so you can access it easily. Figure out what you need and do some research to fill in the gaps.

The more research you gather up front, the easier it will be to keep writing when the writing time comes. And if you can identify where the holes are before you get started, you don’t have to stall in your writing to find more information.

I think this is something that can feel really tedious and like it’s holding you back. And if you let it go on too long, it absolutely is. But for the most part, getting everything you need together will be a good way to hit the ground running.

That doesn’t mean you won’t find some little detail that needs a little research while you’re writing. But the more you have up front, the less time you waste when you’re actually writing.

002: Create an outline.

Now, take all that research and create an outline. You probably know what you want to say in your book, and you can start with a really direct and straightforward outline. Break it down into the biggest components.

Then, take those big components, and break them down. So, take your book and break it into chapters. Break those chapters into sections.

Now that you have those sections identified, take your research and start plugging it in. Figure out where the information will go so you don’t spend time trying to organize your ideas when you should be writing.

003: Create a writing schedule.

Once your outline is in good shape, you need to take a moment to create a schedule. How often will you write? During which portion of the day will you write?

Mark it on your calendar. Either block off time in Google Calendar or put it on the to do list. Whatever planning method you use, make sure you put your writing sessions in there. And once they’re in there, honor them.

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There is no skipping the writing sessions. Once you skip one session, it gets too easy to keep skipping. Then the skipping has become a habit.

Instead, think about how much time you have to spend on writing regularly, and honor that. Don’t try to block off whole days if you aren’t used to writing for whole days. Honor the writer you are, not the writer you think you may have the potential to become if you put enough pressure on yourself.

004: Start writing and hit your daily goals.

Now, we start writing.

Yep, that’s right. The first three steps happen before your 30 days start. And that is because you need a foundation to build on.

So, after you have done the research and created an outline and a schedule, then you write.

Set yourself a goal for every writing session. Try to hit it. You know how fast you write, so make it so you can hit those goals. You don’t want to assume you can write 5,000 words in an hour (possible, but not probable) when you normally can only hit about 1,000 words in an hour.

If you’re fast and you want to finish big chunks at a time, check out this post on how to write 10,000 words a day.

You’re not a writing machine. You are you. So set writing goals for who you are.

This may mean that 30 days isn’t enough time for you. And that’s okay. Write the book in the time you need.

But if you feel like pushing yourself, make sure you set goals that will allow you finish the book in 30 days.

005: Head down. But in chair. Hands on keyboard.

This isn’t really a step. It’s just how you write.

You know that, though.

Writing isn’t super fun or sexy or even that enjoyable most of the time.

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You’re sitting at a desk while the rest of the world is out and about and having a good time.

But the other writers? We’re also sitting at a desk. So, know that we’re being boring in solidarity with you.

006: Write first. Edit later.

This is also not a step. This is a spiritual discipline. Seriously. Check out this post on why you should write first, edit later.

Not to beat a dead horse, but the writing part of your brain isn’t the same as the editing part of your brain. So let yourself write when you write and edit when you edit.

There is no scenario wherein you are so efficient at editing as you go that you create the perfect draft one. So let go of that idea and just write when you write.

007: Track your progress.

Okay. Back to the steps.

As you’re writing and hitting your daily goals, keep a visual representation of your progress. You can put a sticker on the calendar on days you hit your goal.

You can color in a little box on a sheet of paper that indicates how many words you’ve written. You can print off the pages you’ve written and let them pile up.

Writing can be demoralizing because the document is stored in the computer and you can’t see how big it is. So giving yourself the visual representation of what you’ve accomplished can help you see how far you’ve come.

008: Celebrate what you’ve done.

This is a very important step.

When you’re finished, you need to celebrate. Pop some champagne and order a pizza. You deserve a party.

Writing a book is a big deal. And even if you don’t finish it in 30 days, you’ve still accomplished something, and that deserves a celebration.

Have You Ever Written a Nonfiction Book in 30 Days?

What was the key to finishing in 30 days? Did you gather your research and outline before you began? Are you interested in a 30 day nonfiction book writing challenge?

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