How To Stay Motivated and Focused In SchoolAugust 19, 2015
7 Ways to Stop Procrastinating Right NowOctober 21, 2015
You can write a book in 2 weeks or even 30 days if you work hard towards it, nothing is impossible, but the thing is, your everyday life will always have a way of stepping in and giving you a little distraction will you’re trying to accomplish that goal (work, school, kids, gym, kids again lol and more work lol).
Here are a few practical tips/steps that I used and still use to complete my best-selling books:
- Pace yourself. Plan out how much you plan to write each day to meet your goal of 100 pages in 2 weeks. (That’s approximately 7 pages a day, but you’ll probably want some time to revise, so go for 8-10 pages a day (If you have the time.) Listen, this is going to take a lot of dedication, passion, and perseverance. Don’t panic, just work! if it means a lot to you, you’ll find a way.
- Jot down your ideas when you’re not writing. If sudden inspiration strikes and you can’t write at the moment, record them so you don’t forget later. Having a good app is beneficial is crucial to your success as a writer and someone up to date with technology lol
- Don’t worry too much about logistics at first. Just write all your ideas. Keep going and don’t dwell too much on the perfect word or way to phrase something. You can polish all of that during the editing period (thats easy, and you can even pay the an editor to get that done for you, or a very professional friend or professor). Stopping too often to change details will make you lose your train of thought and set you up for procrastination.
- Beat writer’s block. It’s bound to happen (trust me, it will). Find out what works for you (e.g. reading, taking a quick jog, working out, eating lol idk. Every writer has their own preferences.)
How I got through my first manuscript in 30 days and a half.
I suggest a few things to help with this:
- Start with an outline/basic idea of what you want. This will help prevent writers block and major rewrites later on.
- Don’t stop to consider word choice, sentence structure, etc. Just write and keep writing until you’ve blasted through your word count for the day (Set a goal each day). You can always edit later (don’t waste time doing too much at once).
- If you are goal-driven, like I am :), give yourself daily/weekly goals to achieve. This will help keep you motivated and focused on the goal.
- When you’re not writing, keep something with you to take notes on (you phone or a small notepad, I use both, nothing beats handwriting to me). You may get inspiration randomly sitting in a meeting at work, at the doctor’s office, or just walking in the street minding your business. If I’m going somewhere where it’s acceptable, I usually carry my iPad and/or my phone, so I can write straight into the document when I’m away from my computer.
Below are some really good advice from goinswriter.com
- Start small. 300 words per day is plenty. John Grisham began his writing career as a lawyer. He got up early every morning and wrote one page. You can do the same.
- Have an outline. Write up a table of contents to guide you. Then break up each chapter into a few sections. Think of your book in terms of beginning, middle, and end. Anything more complicated will get you lost. If you need help, read Do the Work by Steven Pressfield.
- Have a set time to work on your book every day. If you want to take a day or two off per week, schedule that as time off. Don’t just let the deadline pass. And don’t let yourself off the hook.
- Choose a unique place to write. This needs to be different from where you do other activities. The idea is to make this a special space so that when you enter it, you’re ready to work on your project.
- Staying accountable
- Have a set word count. Think in terms of 10-thousand work increments and break each chapter into roughly equal lengths:
» 10,000 words: a pamphlet
» 20,000 words: short eBook or print book
» 40,000–50,000 words: good-sized nonfiction book
» 60,000–70,000 words: longer nonfiction book
» 80,000 words–100,000 words: typical novel length
- Give yourself weekly deadlines. It can be a word count, percentage of progress, whatever. Just have something to aim for, and someone who will hold you accountable.
- Get early feedback. Nothing stings worse than writing a book and then having to rewrite it, because you didn’t let anyone look at it. Have a few trusted advisers to help you discern what’s worth writing.
- Ship. No matter what, finish the book. Send it to the publisher, release it on Amazon, do whatever you need to do to get it in front of people. Just don’t put it in your drawer.
- Embrace failure. Know that this will be hard and you will mess up. Be okay with it. Give yourself grace. That’s what will sustain you, not your high standards of perfection.
- Write another. Most authors are embarrassed of their first book. But without that first, they never would have learned the lessons they did. So put your work out there, fail early, and try again. This is the only way you get good. You practice.
Every writer started somewhere, and most of them started by squeezing their writing into the cracks of their daily lives. The ones who make it are the ones who show up day after day.
You can do it, too.