So you’ve taken the plunge and started writing a book? Congratulations on taking the first step. But now you have to find ways to keep yourself motivated to keep going. If you’re like most people that are trying to write a book, you started off strong and very excited and motivated to write-you couldn’t wait to sit down and start plugging away. You finished the outline and maybe even got through the first chapter without a problem. Then life happened.
Work got busy or maybe your family needed you. Maybe you just needed a vacation and your book went into a file on the computer that you haven’t looked at in weeks. It happens to thousands of writers-after the initial motivation wanes, finding time to write gets more and more difficult. But if you don’t want your book to become just used space on your hard drive, you need to stop procrastinating and get motivated to write that book.
If you’re looking for time to write, consider the following strategies.
1. Finding versus Making Time
If you wait until extra time falls into your lap to start writing, your book will never get done. You have to make time to write; otherwise you’ll always have something else to do. You make time to go to the gym don’t you? Writing requires the same kind of commitment and if you want to reach your writing goals, making time to write your book is just as important as making time to exercise.
2. Put Writing on Your Schedule
One of the best ways to get yourself back on track when it comes to writing is to schedule a specific writing time. It doesn’t have to be every day, but at least three times a week set aside an hour or two just for working on the book.
3. Get Away from Distractions
When your writing time comes, try to eliminate as many distractions as possible. Go someplace private and close the door, or head to your favorite coffee shop if that helps your creativity flow. Just make sure you commit to working on the book for that time period. Don’t let work or family or any other interruptions take that time away from you.
4. Give Yourself a Deadline
Another way that you can keep yourself motivated to work on your book is to set realistic deadlines for yourself. If you plan that in six weeks you want to be finishing chapter seven, then you can write that deadline down on the calendar and look at it when you’re writing. Knowing your have a deadline for a specific goal will help motivate you to keep going.
5. Chart Your Progress
Now, writing a date on the calendar and telling yourself that you need to hit that deadline is easy-it’s not always so easy to do it. A great tool that you can use to make blowing off your deadline more difficult is to keep track of your progress. For example, write on one line of your daily calendar: “Worked on my book today.” Each day that you work on the book, take a red pen and put a big X next to it. If you didn’t work on the book, you don’t get an X. Keeping your chain of Xs going is often enough of a visual cue to keep writers going.
Making Your Writing a Priority
Books are written one word at a time, and every little bit of time you spend on your book means progress toward your goal. When you use these tips for making writing a priority, your writing skills and habits will improve, and your book will get done!
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