Successful writers have the discipline to sit down and write regularly with or without the luxury of creative inspiration. A study of just a few esteemed writers and their processes quickly reveals that routine and discipline run rampant in this creative industry. Three of Henry Miller’s 11 Commandments of Writing deal specifically with this topic. They are:
- Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop (…and I might add start) at the appointed time!
- When you can’t create you can work.
- Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.
I’ll admit that as a writer discipline is a struggle for me. I often fail to sit down and do the work using a lack of inspiration as my excuse. Perhaps that’s why my encounter with Seth and Chandler Bolt was so inspirational.
When it came to writing their new book “Breaking Out of a Broken System” these disciplined millennial leaders didn’t wait around for a muse to tap them on the shoulder and whisper every sentence into their ear. They felt a call, took action and created something with the power to change lives.
Seth and Chandler Bolt were inspired to write “Breaking Out of a Broken System” when the pair realized what a gift their parents gave them. Both have successful careers (Seth is a musician, producer, and bassist for NEEDTOBREATHE and Chandler is an author, speaker and entrepreneur) and recognize they owe much of this success to the fifteen unique lessons their parents shared with them during childhood. Seth explains, “The lessons are things you don’t learn in school and things a lot of kids don’t learn at home. We wanted to capture them to give them to our kids one day.” They recognized though, that others could benefit from the lessons in the mean time.
Knowing they each lead very busy lives, the brothers set aside seven days together to get the first draft of the book completed.
Chandler explains, “A book is something a lot of people think about doing but it’s always on the back burner. It becomes an ongoing project that lasts for several years.” They wondered how to keep “Breaking Out of a Broken System” from becoming a project like that. Chandler continues, “We carved out 7 days over Christmas and really committed to getting after it and writing as much as we could. It was a crazy week of writing and more writing and more writing. We wrote our hearts out knowing that we could always go back to edit and tweak.” Making time to get the first draft complete was the biggest hurdle.
Rest assured the brothers knew writing a book in seven days was a herculean task. Planning was required and cell phones were turned off. They went in ready to work. According to Seth, “We had a strategy that helped a lot. It had dedicated time to write, dedicated time to brainstorm, dedicated time to throw a football, be brothers and let our brains rest.”
The plan even included two days alone at the end of the stretch in a secluded cabin. It was a fail safe just in case they veered off track earlier in the week. Seth adds, “The theme of the week was fearlessness. We told ourselves, ‘We are going to do this no matter what. We’re not going to let anything stand in our way. We’re on a mission, not only to get the book written, but also to raise money for charity.’”
In the end the writing strategy worked. The book got written and now the brothers can focus on their second goal of raising money for Palmetto Medical Initiative (PMI). One hundred percent of the profits from “Breaking Out of a Broken System” will support the organization’s work.
3 Ideas to Give You Momentum
- Death from a Curable Disease can be Prevented with a $4 Pill
- Get the First Draft Written – There’s Always Time to Tweak & Improve it
- Rebellion (Against a Broken System) Is a Good Thing
Did you know that 1.2 million people die every year from malaria? It’s a particularly difficult truth to swallow knowing that malaria can be treated with a $4 pill. Enter “Breaking Out of a Broken System.” For each book sold, $4 is donated to PMI. One book = One Life. The Bolt brothers are on a mission to provide 10,000 malaria pills to people dying from this curable disease.
They’re also hoping this book and their process will inspire others to act. Seth explains another way he hopes “Breaking Out of a Broken System” will make an impact,
We want to offer inspiration to young people out there that feel like I felt in the 11th grade. I heard about problems in the world and wondered, ‘What can we do?’ The answer back then was, ‘Get good grades and talk the adults into changing policies.’ That didn’t empower me. I thought, ‘So maybe I’ll have success in 20 years?’ I felt hopeless. But I feel like we live in a different age now. Artists can use the Internet to sell a book or a song. Once it’s digitized there are no production costs. If you can sell it on Amazon or ITunes that cuts shipping costs and allows for much more profit. That profit can then be passed on to charity.
Their generous hearts, confident spirits and disciplined work ethic are impressive. By carving out a few days and making a point to sit down and write, these brothers are accomplishing fantastic things. Oh, and by the way, the book is good! Though intended primarily for a young audience, it’s packed with great stories and practical life lessons readers of all ages will find valuable. Plus, its creative design and unique structure make it really enjoyable to read.
Will you join the Bolt brothers’ mission? Please purchase your copy of “Breaking Out of a Broken System” and provide one life saving pill for those who need it most. Then join the discussion on Twitter and Instagram using #1Book1Life.
And if you need me, I’ll be carving out time in my schedule to write.
Check out Chandler Bolt’s latest – “How to Self-Publish a Book in 2018,” a free resource for new authors.