Thursday, January 19, 2012

Start Writing Your Book Today

Many aspiring writers have the greatest stories that have never been told, but won’t take the initiative to pick up a pen or sit before a computer screen to get started. Some put writing off because they do not think they have the time; others don’t know where to start. Writing a book may seem like a challenging project to take on, but with a little time, effort, and discipline, you can be on your way to completing your first manuscript.

Just Start! 
Stop looking at the daunting task of writing a 300-page book and focus on one sentence at a time. The greatest story ever told began with a single word. That word coupled with several other words made a sentence that got together with several other sentences to make the first paragraph. Start your first page and eventually you will finish your first chapter.

Forget about Mistakes
Focus on writing the story and don't worry about whether or not everything is right. Stopping to review your work and editing prematurely can deter you from what your primary focus should be: writing. Ever wonder how writers finish 300-page manuscripts in thirty days or less? Their initial focus  is on getting the story out and increasing the page/word count--not grammar or how things sound. Edit only after you have finished writing the first draft. 

Set Goals
Start small. Devote 30 minutes a day to writing. Dedicate your time to a set number of paragraphs, pages, or word count. My word count goal for a completed manuscript is 70,000, so I commit myself to at least 1000 words per day. But this is what works for me. Make small, realistic goals, follow your plan, and as you see the progress, you will become more and more motivated to push on. 

Make Writing a Priority
We may feel that there is not enough time in the day to squeeze in 30 minutes of writing, but we make time for what is important to us. If writing a book is something you have always wanted to do, make writing a priority over some of the things you do day-to-day. I was forced to ask myself: "Which is more important? TV or writing?" Now, I substitute my evening television time working on a manuscript.

Turn Writing into a Habit
After doing something over and over again, that ritual will become a habit. This goes for brushing your teeth, working out, and even writing. Stay committed to the time you set aside for writing and be consistent. You might have to force yourself to stick with the plan for the first few days or even weeks, but eventually writing will become more of a habit than a chore.

Find Ways to Stay Motivated
Even a full-time writer does not always stay in the mood to write, gets stuck, and does not know what to write. Be creative and find ways to motivate yourself. If I reach a block, I like to study books on writing effectively or read fiction that inspires me. Sometimes watching a television show that goes with my style of writing helps. Pull from other sources to give yourself direction, but whatever you do, don't give up.

Several people put writing off because they do not think they have the time or don’t know where to start, but a person must write until writing becomes a habit. If writing a book is something you desire, you must prioritize what is important to you and take the time to write. An aspiring writer can easily allow excuses, doubts, and fears to hold him back. Years will have passed and he will look back with regret that he had never accomplished their dream. 

"Each day that you do nothing at all, you are one day further from where you want to be." (--Unknown)

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