January is a time for renewal, a time to take an introspective review of our successes and failures of the previous year. For many of us, that starts with a new commitment to diet and working out… for, oh, about a week to 10 days.
But you… You have a greater charge. You are finally going to sit down and Write. That. Book.
Congratulations. You’ve taken the first step. You’ve given thought to writing a book. The key for you now is to insure that unlike that new juicer or elliptical machine, your book doesn’t get shoved into another corner of your life.
Writers have numerous ways of motivating themselves to write every day. Stephen King? He bluntly suggests: “Turn the TV off and close your door.” He shuts himself off from the rest of the world to concentrate on his writing. (He amends this, by suggesting to “open the door” when working on your second draft – which I take to mean allowing for input from an outside editor.) King’s On Writing is a valuable book for all writers.
Motivation should not be a problem for SoulCycle Senior Master Instructor, Stacey Griffith, who teaches 800-900 high intensity Spin classes a year. But writing? Her students inspired Two Turns From Zero (available for pre-order now), with the suggestion to write a book coming after almost every class. “I must say, it takes a lot of rigorous truth to write a book. You have to be willing to expose yourself to the world, admit your faults (believe me, I have many) and be ready to spend countless hours living eating and breathing the process. When I’m writing I usually like it quiet believe it or not.”
The key is to start. When you’ve got a spark of an idea, so sit down (or if you prefer Mark Twain’s style, stand up) and write. Many writers opine that the first line is the hardest. After that, your thoughts will flow and words will erupt from your fingers.
If you’re one for a practical list of tips, to get you motivated to start (or continue!) the writing process, here you go:
7 Tips to Motivate Yourself to Write Your First Book
1. Set a designated time every day to write
2. Experiment and find the best place for you to write (i.e. kitchen table, basement, library, coffee shop, back porch, etc.)
3. Music? Silence? (There are links to music with subliminal messages that could help.)
4. Set a daily word count goal.
5. Find your passion: are you writing to entertain? To teach?
6. Start writing. Get the first sentence on paper (or in pixels).
7. Keep writing. Get the second sentence written and keep at it.
King also gives this piece of advice: “An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this.”
Glenda Winders is a three-time self-published novelist (coming “this close” to be signed by one of the “Big 5 publishers”). Her latest book, The Nine Assignments, was just released last month. She writes because she loves writing:
My goal when I write is always five pages, although I usually get engrossed and go beyond that. It doesn’t work for me to write for a certain amount of time because I can fill up that time doodling, answering email and all the other things writers do before they settle down. Once I start, I don’t end the day without at least five pages finished. Then I always quit in the middle of a sentence, even when I know exactly what will come next. That way I don’t spend any time the next day wondering where to start. I finish the sentence, and then I’m off and running.
And if that doesn’t get you going, there’s always this statement from a Reddit commenter: “Every day, (there are) another 10,000 people thinking “I want to write”, so if I ease up, get lazy or complacent, someone will overtake me. I haven’t made it yet, so I need to put in that work, or someone else will.”
What are YOUR writing habits? Share them on our Facebook page?
And about those 5 pounds… start with throwing away all those leftover holiday cookies!
About the author: David Thalberg is the co-founder of BrandStand Communications, a branding and public relations firm. With more than 30 years experience working with authors and national product launches, David focuses efforts to build and increase brand awareness leading to increased revenue and sales for his clients. And he loves authors!
Featured image courtesy of http://bit.ly/2idsWqn.