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When You Commit To Writing a Book, Other Projects Will Call: How Will You Answer?

Commit to Writing a Book!

book proposal coach Lisa Tener, write a book proposalYou commit to writing a book. You feel jazzed. You’re inspired. The birds seem to sing a little sweeter. There’s a lift in your step. And then…

Soon, you’re tested.

Suddenly, new and exciting opportunities come knocking at your door.

And you may want to answer, but don’t jump in too quickly. Remind yourself  that you committed to writing your book. Ask yourself, “If I say yes to this, what does it mean for my book?” And then decide. Perhaps there’s a way to put the new opportunity off for a few months, or to take something else off your plate (not your book, though)!

These opportunities can be anything from a new client, a new project to an invitation to a party Friday night. Whatever it is, before saying yes, always ask how a yes will affect your book and your commitment to writing a book.

If you are sure you want to accept the invitation and the invitation conflicts with writing time, perhaps you can immediately reschedule your writing time. Or perhaps you want to make the next few months a bit of a writing retreat and be more of a hermit—saying no to any and all distractions! Deeply re-commit to writing a book.

You get to choose. Choose wisely. Either can work, as long as you continue to prioritize your book overall.

6 Strategies to Commit to Writing a Book—and Stick With It

commit to writing a book
Commit to writing a book–and stick with it!

Here 6 strategies to commit to writing a book and keeping it a top priority:

  1.  When someone asks you to do anything (volunteer, help them out, take on a new project), stall with, “I’ll need to think about that. Can I tell you tomorrow/later today/in a few days?” Then ask the question above. “If I say yes to this, how will it affect my book?”
  2. Check your inner GPS: Imagine yourself doing that activity or taking on that project. How does it feel to say yes? How will it impact your book? What does it feel like as you imagine the impact on your book? Now try it the other way. How does it feel to say no? To make your book writing your number one priority?
  3. Schedule your writing sessions in your calendar for specific dates and times. If something comes up, think about whether it’s worth going off schedule. If it is, reschedule for another time immediately and put that in your calendar.
  4. Find a person or group to be accountable to. Check in daily, weekly or at scheduled times. We do this in my writing programs, along with 5 simple questions to stay on track. It works like magic.
  5. Give yourself rewards after you’ve completed your writing commitment for the day—a walk outdoors, a chat with a friend, a show on Netflix.
  6. Join a book writing class! One thing I love about a class is the sense of community. You’re not going it alone. In fact, everyone benefits from the sense of momentum we build up as a group. And I just happen to have a class coming up. How about that?! In fact, it’s not to early to be thinking about my premiere book writing program. While classes begin in February, you can get started on the pre-work any time (including a private book concept consultation with me).  Feel free to email me to explore.

I’ve seen people make that commitment and complete their book, in first draft form, in months, or even weeks. And I’ve seen aspiring authors make that commitment and then get side-tracked my bright and shiny objects. Those two outcomes feel very different inside!

Even new opportunities that look like answered prayer should be evaluated carefully. You don’t have to rush into a “no” either. Take your time to decide and prioritize.

What do you do to keep your commitment to writing? Any suggestions for fellow readers of this blog?

And here are some tips for writing productivity, once you get started.

 

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Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

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