I meet people all the time who tell me they’ve wanted to write a book for many years–five, ten, seventeen…but they haven’t gotten to it yet.
And yet, I work with people every day who write their books and publish them. In fact, I just got an e-mail from a Bring Your Book to Life® Program graduate who is ready to write her next book, after the award-winning success of her first one.
The secret, of course, is in your writing habit and how committed you are. And that means showing up every day. Sometimes we get caught up in the reasons we’re not showing up. That doesn’t work.
Here’s what I’m doing to commit to my writing and reinforce the writing habit:
1. Scheduling writing time with two friends–we meet; we write. I love the sense of community and camaraderie as a counterbalance to the solitariness of writing itself. And I love bringing the accountability into it. Can you bring a friend into your writing commitment? Or is there another way to support your accountability?
2. Writing in the mornings before beginning work: this is a way to claim writing as a priority. Am I perfect? No. In fact, today I didn’t write until evening. But the morning writing has definitely improved my productivity and commitment overall to the “writing habit.” Do you have a specific time of day to write?
3. Attending the Ocean State Summer Writing Conference or other writing conferences. This year, I will not be presenting. Instead, I’m using it as an opportunity to go back to school, learn, experiment. I signed up for a session with an editor, as well. Conferences offer a great opportunity to immerse oneself. Can you find a conference near you? Or travel to a conference in a place you’ve always wanted to visit? Rhode Island is especially beautiful this time of year and the line up of speakers and workshop leaders is phenomenal.
4. I’ve been working with a writing coach for a year now. I even taught her my meet-your-muse exercise, so she can do for me what I do for my clients. I love having a champion who believes in me. I share some of my rawest writing with her and love that I can do that. Stuff I’m unsure about.
5. Experimenting. I’m not 100% sure which project to pursue so I’ve given myself permission to experiment with several and see where it takes me. Sometimes the path is linear, but it’s okay when you’re meandering and exploring. Writing, after all, is a creative act. Do you need to give yourself some freedom, space and flexibility around your writing so you can get more clarity?
Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that my Stevie award-winning Bring Your Book to Life® Program beings tomorrow night. If you’re looking for accountability, guidance, support and community to finally get that first draft started and completed, do check it out! I have space for two more people max.
So, what works for you to in committing to your writing habit? Is there something new you want to try? I”d love to hear from you–please comment below.