UPDATE: When this journal started, I set out to write three books in a month. On Day 4, I decided this trilogy should instead be consolidated into a single book, Overlap, containing all three parts.

Days 1–3 have me talking about the three parts as separate books, but I have left things unedited for archival purposes.

You can continue reading the story as it happened, or skip to the journal entry on Day 4 to read what happened.

It’s the day before my month-long journey of writing three books.

In October of 2015, I publicly committed to three books in 2016.

At the end of the year, I met with my team to map the entirety of 2016. I scheduled the entire month of July to write the three books. I am taking off from all of my other normal commitments.

During the entire month of June, I doubled up on all of my podcast recordings. All of the episodes for July are recorded and my team is scheduling them out for the month so there will still be podcasts coming out during my absence.

Daily Journal Entries:

Learn more about the book: OverlapBook.com


  • Based on: The Overlap Technique: A Crash Course
  • Topic: A practical guide to going from the life you have to the life you want.
  • Why Book #1: This is the starting point. Build a solid foundation, cover your bills, find your passion, and intentionally overlap to where you want to be.


  • Based on: They’re Going to Put You in a Box
  • Topic: Selectively projecting a single, focused thing and becoming known for it to quickly and effectively build an audience.
  • Why Book #2: Now that you’ve overlapped, niche down and focus your efforts. People are cognitively limited to a few close relationships. They must simplify you out of necessity. They’re going to put you in a box—you might as well define the box you’ll already be put in. Become known for something specific, build an audience, then scale outward.


  • Based on: Relationship Marketing 101
  • Topic: Give value, then ask. Solve problems for your audience and build trust and loyalty to create a sustainable long-term business.
  • Why Book #3: Now that’ve you’ve curated your output to become known by an audience for something specific, you need to invest in those people. Give them value first, then ask. Help them with their struggles and then sell quality products that over-deliver and create lifetime customers.

The Writing Process

My goal for this month is to write roughly 8,000 words a day for 30 days. This would give me 240,000 words or 80,000 words per book.

I’ve done 10,000-word days before. When I was writing for the Supercharge Your Writing course, I had a number of productive days in a row where I was writing between 8,000–11,000 words a day. This was also on top of a full-time day’s work.

I know I can do it even on top of full-time work, so while sustaining this pace for 30 days is a daunting challenge, I think taking off from everything completely is what will make it possible.

This is a big goal. I know that.

But you don’t accomplish big things by setting small goals.

I am very passionate about these topics. I’ve talked about them often on my podcast and video show for many years now, so I have no doubt the words will flow.

My greatest challenge will be maintaining consistency in routine. That’s the only way this project will be successful. I’ve been preparing for months in advance for this.

Chaining Habits

To write 8,000 or 10,000 words a day, you have to be disciplined. Discipline is doing something consistently and doing it well even when you don’t want to. That is made easier by habits. Habits are most easily built when you chain them together.

In anticipation of this challenge, I’ve been chaining habits for the past several months. I knew I’d have to wake up early because it’s the best time to write. To wake up early, you have to go to bed early.

A productive morning routine starts the night before.

You have to work backwards. To go to bed early, you have to be ready to go to bed early. That means you have to have already eaten your dinner and done whatever else you do in the evenings.

For me, a morning routine must start at 6pm the night before.

We set two strict rules in our house:

1. Dinner must be at 6pm.
2. Everything shuts down at 9pm.

If you’re on the computer, watching Netflix, whatever—it stops at 9pm. That’s when it’s wind down time. Brush your teeth, whatever else you need to do. In bed by 10pm (preferably a little bit earlier). If there’s time, you can read in bed (preferably a physical book).

1. Fall asleep by 10:30pm.
2. Wake up at 4:30am.
3. Run.
4. Shower.
5. Start writing by 6am.

This did not happen all at once. It’s too much to change all at once. Many months ago, I started with the earlier night time routine—shutting down at 9pm, getting in bed by 10pm, etc.

It didn’t feel natural at first. I’m a night owl at heart. I don’t particularly like waking up early.

I don’t wake up early because I enjoy it.

I wake up early because I like who I am when I do.

Defining Success

First, I started defining success by when I went to bed.

As long as we shut things down by 9pm and were in bed by 10pm, it was a success. It didn’t matter if I woke up early. At first I didn’t. It’s hard at first when you’re not used to waking up early. Success is first defined by going to bed early.

Fast forward a week or two. Now we’re consistently going to bed early, so it’s time to move forward a step and redefine success:

Then, I started defining success by when I wake up.

At first it was 6am. I did that for about a week. Then I worked my way back to 4:30am. I do really well with 6 hours of sleep. It’s my sweet spot. I spent about 6–8 months out of the year in 2015 and 2016 getting 8 hours of sleep and didn’t really feel as good. I like how I feel with 6 hours of sleep.

Once I started getting up early, I continued chaining my habits. I began running. I’ve long known I need to be active. My fast metabolism masks the fact that I haven’t been good about staying physically active. I know that’s something that will catch up with my later and I want to preempt that.

So for some weeks now, I’ve been running every morning.

All of this has been to leading up to the book-writing month.

I’ve already chained my daily writing habit to the morning routine. The next step is simply to use the entire day I’ve cleared out for myself to get all of these ideas in my head out onto the page by cranking out a ton of words.

Now, I will define success by how much I write each day.

Daily Blogging Too?

Now you know the preparation that has gone into readying myself for writing three books in a month.

But neither of us know what it’s actually going to look like!

That’s the part I’m excited about and—I’ll be honest—a little bit scared about.

The unknown is scary. I’m stretching myself. I don’t know how it’s going to go. But that’s interesting to me. Maybe it’s interesting to you too?

I want to share the journey of writing three books in a month.

I decided to keep a daily journal and a log for each day of this month. I wanted this for myself to keep myself accountable and also see how my sleep and exercise affected word count.

I was going to keep my journaling private. But I decided instead to post it publicly here on the blog.

What concerns me is I think it is already going to be hard enough to write this much each day without the added stress of a public commitment to daily blogging. So, I’m not going to stress about it or promise anything. If I do journal, I’ll post it here. I hope it helps you and maybe gives you some inspiration.

Wish me luck!

Add me on Snapchat to see behind-the-scenes: 👻 seanwestv

Daily Journal Entries:

Learn more about the book: OverlapBook.com