Monday, 25 May 2015

Tips for Writing a Book or Novel - Stop Procrastinating Now!

Im posting this to update on my writing and also hopefully to help people who are struggling with writing or want to write a book someday. I’ve been writing a book for quite a few years now but like most people I am not a full time author so have just had to work on it when I could.

Im writing a metaphysical book about working with Crystals, I believe this book is quite different to what is already out there. The main body of this text has been written and ill get to how I did this in just a minute. I see myself as technically finished but much of my writing needs better ordering and editing so as to make my book readable and easy to use. I decided that initially I would edit this myself  before I submit to any publishers. I know it may get edited again but I feel I need the best possible book before I let anyone else see it.

Enough is Enough

Ill be 100% honest with you, editing isn’t fun and I don’t enjoy it. In the last few years quite a few things happened in my life which derailed my plans to finish my writing. I realised by the end of 2014 that this has gone on too long and I decided that the only way id get this finished was to set regular time out to work on it.

The thing is there is never going to be a right time, I don’t live in a log cabin on top of a mountain overlooking a lake. It really comes to the crunch of - do I want to finish this book or not? So I looked back at when I got the most of my book written and realised this was when I was regularly working on it each night, not just here and there when I felt like it. I have heard of successful published authors writing for as little as one hour a day. Your mind can come up with all kinds of excuses if your a writer but its all lies, if you don’t have a few hours a week to work on something that you really want to do in your heart  and soul then what have you got? You have to make time.

Say no to common Time-Stealers

If you look at how much time we spend looking at social media sites, our smart phones, watching people chatting about nothing on Youtube, or other ways we distract ourselves daily then consider replacing those mind numbing time-stealers with valuable writing time.

Find the time of day that works best for you, schedule it into your week, make a cup of tea and just do it. I have started with just one hour five times a week, which seems like not allot but as the weeks and months go by and I check the progress I’ve made I’ve got through way more than spending a day on it here and there, which always felt like more work anyway.

When you chip away at a big task you can make huge progress over time. Be realistic and don’t give yourself crazy deadlines. What I’ve also started doing is a review of what I’ve done so far every three months. If you don’t record your progress you will feel like your not getting anywhere when you are. When you see how much you have done you will have the motivation to continue.

Where I am now (and a Revelation)

So I estimate that I’m approaching three quarters of the way through. I’ve also had a major revelation with my writing. It looks like my ever expanding text is actually enough for two books! I should have realised this a long time ago but I just didn’t know enough about the publishing process then. So its likely to become a volume 1 and a volume 2.

Just remember

I’ve made tons of excuses over the years and I know others are in the same boat. What we have to remember is that the books we have inside us need to come out in this lifetime and could literally change peoples lives. It does not matter if there is similar material out there or for free online. What matters is it’s your own unique voice and way of sharing it that someone will need to be able to hear. 

Here are my top tips for writing your book:

Tip 1 – Schedule Your Time
Make a commitment with yourself and your book. Allocate time daily or several times a week from as little as half an hour. Schedule in this time into a wall calendar, personal planner or your phone which will act as a reminder.

Tip 2 – Just Write It

What have you got to lose? Get it out of your system, which is good therapy in itself and just see what happens. There is never going to be a right time. Don’t over think the writing process, this is a draft, it can be tidied up, changed and edited later but you need to start somewhere. You will feel so much better and your writing skills can only improve with practice.

Tip 3 – Filter out Distractions

Ideally close the door, tell family members you do not want to be disturbed for this time. Its a good idea to disconnect from the Wifi network on your computer if possible. For smart phones, set them on silent or for real addicts I recommend you set the phone to airplane mode, which stops all notifications and alerts and place it at the opposite side of the room till after you have finished.

Tip 4 – Track your Progress

Keep a record of your writing or editing. You can do this monthly or quarterly. Record how far you have got, pages and word count and what the date is. Keep it on a document with your writing files and schedule in these reviews into your calendar.

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Thank you

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