There’s Earth Day, Grandparents Day, National Pancake Day—but did you know that today happens to be National Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day? What does this have to do with writing a book? Spilled milk: accidents happen—no need to stress. And as a writer, I’m sure you have your share of days where you feel you’ve made writing mistakes:
- My editor told me I have the wrong target audience…”
- My outline is too short…
- My book has already been written…
- I wrote the wrong book…
- After all that polishing, this chapter doesn’t fit in the book anymore…
The good news is that every time you sit down and write—or even just sit down at your desk and think about your book—you’re exercising your writing muscles. You’re practicing writing. Even if you have to write a whole new chapter, the one you wrote contributed to your growth as a writer.
Writing is not a linear process. So trust in your process. And don’t cry, even if you spill your milk.
Now, having said that, you can cut down on your mistakes by working with a professional editor or book writing coach, or just getting some good advice and guidance up front. Here are three tips for avoiding the more common mistakes.
Lisa’s Preventative Medicine for Authors:
1. Get clear on your vision, goals, audience and book concept before writing the book: You’ll save tons of time if you do this before you start writing. And my Quick Start to Kick Start Self-study Program will help you do all of that, if you’d like to be guided through the process, step-by-step.
2. Work from an outline rather than lots of rough writing that you will have to find a place for later. Aha, again the Quick Start self-study program will help you.
3. Get Support: Rather than work in a bubble, get support to a) be accountable b) help you when you’re feeling unsure of yourself c) give you feedback on the writing d) guide you throughout the way. While it’s always good to work with a professional at some point in your writing process, much of this support can be in the way of supportive friends, colleagues or even clients who will read some chapters of your book and give you feedback.
So–taking a few liberties with the old saying–don’t cry over your writing mistakes. Every writer faces accidents now and then. Take the time to celebrate your victories and forgive yourself any trespasses. Thanks to Rachel Horwitz and Geri Lafferty for today’s theme and blog support!
Please add any of your own “spilled milk” lessons–either how to prevent or how to recover from the spill.