The Right Tools: What do I need to write a book?

I created my first successful product in just 10 days. I realized the creation process is as valuable as the product itself and I want to share it. Welcome to the Making-of The Mini-Guide for Writing a Super Complete Post in 20 Minutes.

This post is part of the new series on my blog, the Making-of The Mini-Guide! (All the chapters are here).

The Right Tools: What do I need to write a book?

To write a book you need pencil and paper. Maybe an eraser. That’s all you need. So if you have that or more, you can write a book.

I think, sometimes, we’re expected to have the best quality in our tools, since it’s our profession, since we’re using them everyday. But, I beg to differ this time, the approach I have with tools is the same I have with audience.

Work with what you have. If it’s not the best tool, but you have the tool, make the most out of it.

You shouldn’t wait to have the best tool to start working.

I must confess there were countless days where I really though my blog would be updated more often if I had a MacBook. Or that my selfies would be greater if I had a Canon. Or that my books would be sold more often if I know more about photoshop or any design program (more about this in the next chapter, I promise).

But guess what? I’ve never had a MacBook and I’m actually updating less. In fact, I had no computer for a month and I had to write from my phone, and that didn’t stop me. And it’s good.

My selfies are not greater with a Canon. I got one. A digital one. But I still took my selfies with my frontal VGA camera. And they’re not greater. And it’s good.

My books were not more sold because of their design (I know, I’m still shocked about this one). And they’re selling. And it’s good.

It is what it is. If you have something now, work with that now. If you don’t have a computer and have a typewriter, well, use that typewriter. From pencil and paper up are the right tools to write a book.

Never think that because you don’t have the tools the cool kids have, your work has less value.

Here’s the thing. When you buy a book, you’re not buying the tool it was made with. You buy the words and what those make you feel.

I had doubts about my tools at first, but then I remembered that my audience wanted to read my knowledge and wanted me to help them to save time writing. They couldn’t care less about the tools I used to write this book.

I have the same feeling about my university tools, I don’t know why sometimes I feel like if I had more recent tools or more expensive tools, my grades would be better. But when I realize what I really use in the hard work, you’ll notice none of that matters. I just need a marker to my books, a pen to draw or calculate stuff, a pencil to make tests. And that’s basically how I get a grade. No need of fancy stuff.

If a tool does the work, then so be it.

You’re not the stuff you use, your work is made of brains. Tools ONLY make it easier, but not get it done. Brains get it done.

I know you may have better tools than mine, or may have worse but done a better job. That’s because our minds work differently because of what we’ve lived, and not because of the tools. Remember, tools are made with one purpose and that purpose is for every tool. Pencils draw lines and that’s their purpose. But you may draw a square and I may draw a circle. The pencil did their work, but it was our brain doing the magic.

The tools that made it easier to create this book were: a 15″ HP laptop, a sketchbook, a Kindle Keyboard, an HP printer, a box of pens and pencils and a Canon camera.

But what created the book was my experience of living at Mexico for several years on my own, the system I created for me to write quickly while living abroad and the time my fingers needed to translate the idea in my mind to a readable text in Google Docs.

This post is part of the new series on my blog, the Making-of The Mini-Guide where I share everything I know about writing books! (If you want to read all the past chapters go here).

The Mini-Guide for Writing a Super Complete Post in 20 Minutes was created under the Small Product Lab July 2015 hosted by Gumroad. I’m forever grateful with Gumroad and Small Product Lab for those 10 days.

If you want to read the next chapter of the Making-of The Mini-Guide when is ready, join here:


MailChimp for Bloggers by MailChimp

Can you imagine being used to deliver your posts through certain service and then knowing that service will shut down in a few days? That’s exactly what happened to me.

I felt anxious, most of my readers were Google Reader users. I needed to find something to deliver my content and, somehow, that led me to MailChimp.

Now that I remember, this is why I started an email newsletter.

MailChimp is a service of email marketing and almost any company who has something to say and somebody to say it to can use it.

I use it to deliver my content in a monthly basis since Google Reader was shutted down. And, as it was a new service, I thought about adding the newsletter to appeal more people and make the moving out/moving in a little bit more interesting.

But I thought about the newsletter until I knew what MailChimp could do for me. I studied first.

I visited the MailChimp Resources and read almost every guide that I thought it was perfect for me.

As I said earlier, almost anybody can use MailChimp but how can a musician can use it? How can a marketer? How can a blogger? How can a company? Eventhough we’re talking about the same platform, the approach is different. And since I’m a writer, a blogger, a content creator and all things about writing… the perfect guide for me to study was MailChimp for Bloggers.

This guide can be read for free. And it’s made for people who have a blog and want to deliver content through email. ❤

MailChimp for Bloggers by MailChimp.

The first two books about MailChimp were about why you need to have an email marketing plan and how to manage an email list. There were super general topics but now is what an email marketing platform can actually do for people who write and how to do it and what it means.

If you ask me, I think a blog cannot live for itself anymore. A blog needs an email list and social media. This is why this guide is so important. Because a blog has a better chance to survive with email and social media.

This guide talks about how to grow a blog, build an audience and a couple of tutorials every blogger needs.

It really doesn’t matter if you’ve been blogging for years or just started. I think you’ll benefit from this.

This time, you’re really lucky because this guide has been updated. Which means IT IS available in the MailChimp Resource and you can download it in more than just .pdf format. It’s available as .pdf, .mobi and .epub ❤

The edition I read talked about increasing audience engagement, build your email list, set up an RSS-To-Email campaign, customize with merge tags, work with templates, socialize your campaigns, track and report. I bet the new edition has more tips and tricks.

This guide is priceless but costs nothing.

Only read it if you’re interested in growing your blog, learn about how to deliver your content through email to your audience for their comfort and develop a relationship with your audience. ❤

Interesting quotes from MailChimp for Bloggers by MailChimp.

  1. You could send exclusive content to your mailing list, like special articles or sales. You could inform them about updates and news that may be outside the scope of your typical blog postings, or new items for sale in your online store.
  2. The bottom line is this: When people sign up to receive updates from you, they’re saying “I’m interested in what you have to say”.
  3. We think email and RSS work beautifully together, and we recommend that bloggers allow their readers to choose how they consume new content.
  4. Social media is great for networking, quick updates, and linking to articles, while email campaigns are better for delivering content and providing in-depth updates.
  5. Social. A lightweight and totally free addition to WordPress, Social handles a lot of the heavy lifting of making your blog seamlessly integrate with Facebook and Twitter. You can associate your accounts with your blog and its users, and when you publish a post, it will broadcast through those channels. Mentions, retweets, and @reply comments are then conveniently aggregated in one place.
  6. You’ll want to check out our Instagram integration. And if you are one of the many folks who “organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web”, our Pinterest integration is worth investigating.

You can read this guide here: MailChimp for Bloggers by MailChimp.

I’m sharing everything I know about writing books here: