“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” –Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
That’s the day when all writers decide to start working on their “best seller.” The problem is “some day” never comes because of other obligations or because it becomes a lost dream.
Let’s be completely honest. If you want the world to read your words, your story, you have to do something before you can even dream of getting published. You have to start writing and keep writing every day.
You can’t write a book if you aren’t writing. Getting a publisher or cracking the code of marketing on Amazon isn’t going to change anything if you aren’t already putting in the work.
Being published,getting a book on the market, having your work noticed – these things don’t make your writing life easier. They’ll make it harder. These things create anxiety, not confidence. They put pressure on you, and if you aren’t in the creative habit already, you’re doomed.
So, what does this look like? How can you form a creative habit that will help you write each day. Here are six ingredients that will help you really succeed and move beyond the “some day.” These include:
- A Space. Not just any space will do. You must have a place that is quiet and allows you to think, uninterruptedly. My writing space is affectionately called the “Bat Cave” by my wife. It is a place I can retreat to think,write, and review my work.
- A Time. After you determine your space, you need to set aside an hour or two (part-time writers) or longer (full time writers) to devote to your story. To be effective, it needs to be the same time each day. Spending one hour on one day, 30 minutes on the next two and 20 minutes on the other days will not get those stories done. Be diligent and spend at least an hour a day on your writing at the same time each day.
- A Goal. Once you have established a space and a time, you can make goals. These goals should be long and short term. For example, a long term goal may be to finish ¼ or ½ of the story in six months or to finish the manuscript of a picture book in three months. A short term goal might be to complete one chapter of a chapter book in a month or, for picture book authors, to finish the entire manuscript in two months.There are no rules to the size of these goals. They should be based on your lifestyle.
- A Reason. Don’t just write as an exercise in vanity. Write with intent. Write with purpose. Create something you plan to publish, something that must be said.
- A Plan. If you don’t block out time to write, it’ll never get done. But you also need a plan for what you’re going to write – an outline. Otherwise, you’ll waste your time thinking about writing but not actually doing it.
- A Community. Writing, in spite of what we hear, is not a solitary effort.The best creativity often happens in collaboration with others. Without Community, you’ll never do your best work.
Most people miss these things. They say they want to write a book some day. They believe they have something to say – and probably do – but without a regular writing habit, it just won’t matter.
The bottom–line. You won’t publish a book if you aren’t writing daily. It’s just that simple.
So, if you’re waiting for some day. It is finally here. Start writing.
Have you ever thought of writing a book? Share in the comments.