On Thursday October 11th, Drew Wilson was having a conversation with his friend and colleague Adam Stacoviak before they recorded their weekly podcast, The Industry. Adam ranted about his frustrations with Paypal (as all of us have at some point), and Drew was inspired to create a solution. Rather than wait, Drew embraced his inspiration and began work immediately (he actually started building the product during the recording).
He was inspired. He executed.
Five days later he launched Space Box.
Flashback to two weeks prior, and I had the privilege of meeting Drew when I was asked to be a guest on The Industry podcast. I was struck by his unconventional ways and his knack for building great products on impulse. I felt I had met a kindred spirit. I’ve been an advocate for years for getting to the point both as an editor for Treehouse and a designer, and felt that our philosophies perfectly mirrored each other.
Too many individuals spend all of their inspiration energy on planning out elements of a product or a campaign that they can’t possibly predict. If we spend the bulk of our creative energy in deciding what to do, or gasp, calling a meeting to discuss an idea, we’ve lost.
After hearing last week that Drew had been inspired to build an app, and that he had shipped it within five days, I knew this was something I needed to write about.
I was inspired. I executed.
On Monday October 22nd, I sent Drew a message. I told him I wanted to give people a book that didn’t talk about lean startups or pie-in-the-sky processes, but rather inspired them to act on inspiration and to document exactly how to execute on their ideas immediately.
We instantly called each other on Skype and throughout our conversation the idea seemed evident… we *had* to write this book.
The world needed it. Creatives needed it. We needed it. You needed it. We all need to embrace our inspiration, our strongest incarnation of energy, and act now.
Once we decided to make it happen, we acted immediately.
A second truth then became evident. As crazy as it seemed, we couldn’t help but feel a conviction to write the book in the same manner as Drew built his app.
We had to make this book in a week too. We had to execute.
The goal was to document every thought process and step that Drew had while building and finishing Space Box. Our mission was to create a website for the book, create a way to take pre-orders, set up a tumblr blog to document things as we went, write the book, edit the book, design the book, get all of the necessities like ISBN numbers to make the book official, and ship the book off to the printer.
All of this with just Drew, myself, and seven days.
We said “go!”, and we set the project in motion. By the next day, we had the website up and taking pre-orders and we were on the blog announcing to the world what we were about to do. That was last Tuesday.
Five days after starting the book, I trashed the whole book at 5am Saturday morning and started over from scratch. If writing a book in seven days wasn’t crazy enough, throwing it away with only a few days left must have been pure lunacy. I couldn’t help it though. Something in my gut was telling me that the book was going in the wrong direction. I was feeling inspired to do something special with the writing so I ran with it.
How to Write a Book in 3 Days
So there I was on Saturday morning at 5am and I absolutely had to write a book in 3 days. We had made a promise and a commitment and were held to it by the fact that we had already pre-sold thousands of dollars worth of books.
Breaking Things Down
I immediately combed through all of the information and ideas that I had written down during my interview with Drew. After thinking through that much information, main ideas start to present themselves to you. Combining those main ideas with the natural progression of Drew’s actions and thoughts while building Space Box, gave me the structure I needed to build out the story.
I literally dissected the entire concept and ideas, and that’s what gave me the four main sections and twenty chapters of the book.
Enter iA Writer
I truly believe that my goal of writing a book in 3 days would have never happened if it weren’t my favorite and trusted app, iA Writer. The pure and premium experience of writing with this app made writing under pressure an absolute joy.
I wrote and I wrote. The ideas were forming as I was going and I was absolutely high on inspiration. I started going through why inspiration was important, where it came from, how we could use it, how we could maintain it, and how it could lead to building an entire app in only 5 days.
My Biggest Ally
Time constraints are a funny thing. Even as early as our school days, we always operate with better focus when we have time constraints. Whether it was procrastinating on a book report or cramming for a test, the fact that it has to be done immediately can be our best friend when it comes to productivity. I finished the book because I had to and I believe the book is better because I was forced to be extremely focused. I broke down the twenty chapters in my head and compared them to the amount of time I had left. That gave me my reference for how long I had to spend on each chapter.
I’m proud to say that I finished writing the book this past Monday and the finished and final designed book was sent to the printer last night. It wasn’t easy but it’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Most people say they want to write a book, and I’ve now successfully written two.
The act of writing this book was a testament to the book itself.
There is no better way to build the things you want to build, then to start building them the moment the inspiration hits.
You can pre-order your copy of Execute by visiting ExecuteBook.com