Let’s face it – it’s easy to do nothing. The label we give that is procrastination. It’s so easy to remember ‘other’ things that need to be done or caught-up on . . . that tomorrow will be a better time to settle down and write. Yet tomorrow we have the same problem . . . and so it goes. You do everything – but write.
How can you change that pattern around? Why don’t you launch a writing quota? There are several kinds; number of words a day or a block of time each day, or even pages a day . . . or week, whichever you feel will get your butt in the chair writing. Make it reasonable and don’t start by setting the expectations so high – you know you’ll never reach them. Always tell yourself – you can do more, this is your minimum.
A habit I’ve gotten into is to review the last few pages of where I left off the day before . . . this gets me right into the mood and flow of my story. Don’t procrastinate by fixing it over and over – I do correct small typos or sentences that aren’t working, but, I move into writing as quickly as I can.
Each writer has a different style, a process that works for them. Find yours. That starts with choosing the best time for you to write. Some authors swear by the four am burst of energy . . . that would kill me! I’m the late night – early morning writer – that would kill some other writers. You see, we all know when we’re most creative. If you don’t, then I suggest you try writing at different times and find out when you’re the most creative. You’d be surprised at how much a difference this makes.
Never worry about whether the book is going to be or not be great! Worrying about such things is only destructive. Start your book and write it through until you type ‘the end.’ You can worry about fixing problems later. Get the story done first . . . ignore that inner critic.
If you don’t believe you can write a great, gripping, compelling, moving story – who will? Don’t create fears that will only keep you from writing or stifle your creativity.
Believe me; every author is aware he/she might look foolish, vulnerable, or even unsuccessful. Why would you dwell on such things? It’ll only keep you from writing the stories that are inside you fighting to get out.
That brings me to a pitfall I had to learn the hard way myself. You see when I started writing, like every beginner, I knew absolutely nothing about the rules of writing. So I thought the best thing I could do was get feedback from loveable family, trusted and objective friends, and the oh-so-helpful and caring critique group. There was also the endearing writer friend who reviewed, judged, assessed, and commented on every sentence I wrote.
Can you think of a few reasons why this just doesn’t work? I can – only because I lived it. Yep, everyone had an opinion – and none of them were the same. I finally came to the conclusion that in order to please everyone, I’d have to write at least ten different books. And although the one-on-one critique was wonderful, the book became ‘our voice’ instead of mine. This is something to consider when writing your story. In the end the story must be your voice and the book you want to write.
But, that’s not to say you shouldn’t listen to advice and learn from it. Arrogance and defiance are two things that can stop you from cultivating, refining, and absorbing the process of writing.
Rejection is a word we often hear associated with writing. It’s not easy to get a rejection letter saying your book isn’t ‘good enough’ for a particular publisher. Say what? This is not a personal insult. If you’re lucky you might find the publisher took time to tell you ‘why’ they didn’t find your book ready for their house. This is a great way to learn what the marketplace is looking for, and you should pay great attention to these comments. Don’t be insulted if you receive the ‘form letter’ either. Can you imagine the thousands of manuscripts they must peruse in a week? Again, it’s not personal.
Never slam your back against a wall and start bashing a publisher for not wanting your perfect manuscript on social media. This is writer’s suicide if you ask me.
Tomorrow let’s continue talking about being serious about writing your book and how does rejection fit into the picture?