Come Up With A Unique Title
This is an important step. If you have an idea for a title, use google and see what pops up. If there is nothing there, congratulations! You just topped the google chart through no skill at all.
You don’t want the book to be too short. Even if you use large font, double spacing, etc. You don’t want the book to seem too short. Not to mention that many self publishing sites have a page count minimum. Find out what the minimum is and set a goal.
Meeting The Page Count
The title page, table of content, a dedication page, a thank you page at the end and maybe three pages dedicated to just one quote by you will get you 7 pages! That means if you want to write a 30 page book of poems, you only need to fill 23 pages of poems!
The Poem Length
If you want to reach your overall page count, then write a lot of multi page poems with skinny stanzas. Nothing eats a page faster than 3-7 word stanzas and it makes you look more deliberate with your word choice. English majors everywhere will wonder why you use such unique enjambment. Don’t be afraid to have a few short, one stanza poems. They get their own page and if you actually focus on writing one as quickly as possible, you can knock it out in about two minutes.
The Writing Process
So you want to write about 20 poems in one night? No problem. When you first start, you will have a lot of momentum (hopefully a little caffeine too). That’s when you want to write the longest poems. By the end of the night you will be too tired to focus on writing anything long.
Cliche Is Okay
So you won’t win an award. You hit a bit of a rough patch and are feeling a little writers block. Think of your influences. Write like how they would. Or quote one of your icons (music is fine too. I have a few raps in my book!).
Write as many poems as you can before taking your first break. If you’re trying to write 20 poems in one night (or less but 20 pages) aim for 7 poems before your first break. Because you will end up taking breaks more periodically after that first one. Use that time to recharge in a way that fits you best. You can work out, or watch youtube. You can go for a walk. Eat some food. Maybe make some more coffee. Just do what you need to. AVOID TAKING NAPS!
When in doubt write about what you’re looking at. “The white screen blinked once and the world seemed to follow. Through its absence, the night sky growled its displeasure.” Yeah, total BS line I just thought of because I was worried my computer screen was about to go to sleep.
If you are an artist have fun with this one. It can be a bit of an active break for you. Even if you aren’t an artist, you can use a paint program on your computer and just go crazy with it. Make it stand out! If you want to use a picture you have on your computer (that you own) use it! Also if you use an online self publisher, they have stock photos you can play with.
You are so close! Just power through. You have to really focus and type those last words. Don’t be afraid to throw in a couple short poems if you need to. And if you want to add a few extra pages, throw in a couple quotes that inspire you (or a couple quote you make up on the spot).
As you can see, the end result may not be pretty. But if you follow these steps, you will still have a book done by the end of the night. Think about that! An entire collection of poetry done. You can publish it and start sending the link off to your friends. If you’re a musician you can throw some of your verses in there and sell the book at your shows. The point is, quality is subjective. Have fans that love you and push your work. The quantity can’t be debated. Write a book in one night, and it won’t matter if it’s brilliant, terrible, funny, pathetic, you still will have written a book. Let’s hear what your haters have done.