It’s New Year’s again and people who wanted to write a book last year are now thinking about writing one next year. Many of them will decide they’ll get a book done next year if they just “try harder” or “do better.” I call those “run faster” goals.
Doing the things you’ve always done, but better, won’t change much
Many of the people I talk to who want to write a book, but haven’t, think that if they just try a little harder, that book will get done. They’re usually wrong.
Most of the time, doing the same things you’ve always done, even “faster” will get you the results you’ve always gotten. To get a real change in results, you usually have to do things differently, not just a little better. Here are some ideas about what you can change based on what’s worked for my clients, my friends, and me.
Set aside sacred writing time
When you plan your week, set aside a block of time to work on your book. Think of it as an appointment with yourself.
Change the time you write
Many people try to work writing into a regular work day. If that hasn’t worked for you, try setting aside Saturday morning, or a vacation day every week, or flight time for writing
Change where you write
Try writing in a different place. I prefer one with a door that can be closed.
Change your workflow
Try fitting your research and planning into the cracks in your day. You can usually do that in small bits of time. That way you can start writing right away when it’s time to write.
You can hire someone like me, of course, but there are other ways you can hire help so you can write more and more effectively. Hire a research assistant. I’ve had good luck with library science students. Hire someone to do some of your admin work so you can free up more time for writing.
If you wanted to write a book last year, but didn’t, make some basic changes that will help you get the book done next year.