If you started 2018 with the goal to finish writing a book, you’re not alone; thousands of would-be authors make that goal every January. Many fail – barely getting started, getting themselves bogged down in world building, or they instead write a book with so many tangents and unneeded filler/fluff content, that no agent would take on the project.
So what can you do differently?
There’s two things:
- Set a manageable goal that you break down into smaller pieces.
- Read something that fires you up and makes you want to write.
Setting a manageable goal
Since 2014, I’ve used the goal system explained in Peter Voogd’s Six Months to Six Figures to hit my goals consistently every year. In short, it goes like this:
- Pick your must-achieve Top Five goals (eg: write a book, get published, have sales, build a supportive fanbase, etc).
- Decide what needs to happen to get there. Going with the first goal – writing a book, you need to plot, plan and write the book to completion.
- With that in mind, you set yourself 3 90 day goals, such as: plan the world, conflict, plot and characters (yes, that’s one), write 65,000 words and edit those words in 30 days.
- Then you further break that down into three tasks to do every month and put these first in your life as priorities. For example, if I was working to complete a book, I’d want the first month to be plotting AND writing with a minimum goal of 70,000 words to keep me working towards it and if I was new to writing novels, I would check out the advice on writing authors that are published give on their websites that write in your genre and are well-known (or I’d email them three specific questions and hope they answer). Then, the second month I’d move those goals on to get me a bit closer to the 90 day goals.
For a more detailed explanation, I recommend reading and planning your goals using Peter Voogd’s book.
But what if you lack the motivation to get started?
That’s where reading something that fires you up and makes you yearn to write comes in. This can include bestsellers but it can also include such things as a daily creativity prompt or a writing-related quote.
Jo Linsdell releases a new book for writers today – 365 Days of Quotes for Writers – and was kind enough to send me an ARC, I took a few hours last night to check it out so I could review it and see if it could help those of you with a difficulty in getting started.
365 Days of Quotes for Writers by Jo Linsdell
This particular ebook is designed to help those with difficulty starting, continuing or looking to be inspired to get on with the art of writing and a little of the process writers go through afterwards. It’s split into different sections, including those such as Living a Creative Life, Ideas and Inspiration and Book Marketing. Here are a few favourites from those sections:
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein
“Writing is a job, a talent, but it’s also a place to go in your head. It is the imaginary friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon.” – Ann Patchett
“Publicity is like the little waves you make when you toss pebbles into a lake. The waves travel, travel, travel and eventually come back to you. If you stop lobbing stones, you lose momentum.” – Carolyn Howard-Johnson
It’s not a book that is educational – there’s almost no fluff, just the author bio, preface and a few backmatter plugs at the end. The main content is just the 365 quotes, and the quotes chosen are great for providing you with some support or comfort in an area where you might not have a lot of confidence. Because of that, this book could help you dig down deep into yourself to power through, whether it’s the writing, approaching agents or publishing.