I love a clean slate. There’s something powerful about the chance to begin again, to reboot our systems and relaunch goals that we’ve failed to meet. This year mine revolve around finishing book two and curbing my love of sugar (um, yeah right). So to those who have always wanted to write a book, this is your chance. A fresh start. Renewed enthusiasm and strength! But how should you get started?
CLEAR THE CLUTTER
Start with physical clutter. Organize your work space. Next, clear the mental clutter. Lock the door and put on whatever music helps you GET IN THE ZONE. Jot down a rough outline (bullet points will do) of what you’d like to accomplish in the next scene or two, or even the next few chapters if you’re feeling up to it. I find it’s best to stick to those you’re about to work on.
JUST 100 WORDS
Having trouble starting? JUST PUT SOMETHING DOWN. You can, and likely will change it. That’s okay, but you have to start somewhere. Give yourself a goal of just 100 words. More often than not you’ll find yourself flying way beyond that tiny goal. Other days, you’ll just barely make it, but word by word, you will reach THE END!
FIND A PARTNER
Misery loves company, or something like that. Find a critique partner or bring together a small group or large group–whatever suits you–and help each other. Set goals. Cheer each other on. There’s not only safety in numbers, but STRENGTH! Surround yourself with others on a similar path so you may propel each other toward your goals.
SET HARD GOALS
While it’s good to aim for the stars, doing so can often shut us down before we begin. Set goals you can accomplish. Then complete them NO MATTER WHAT. Consider them hard deadlines, the kind of deadlines that will invoke serious consequences if not met. I will not get to watch the next episode of Scandal if I don’t finish these 100 words. I will eat collard greens instead of pizza if I don’t finish these 100 words! I will not sleep, if I don’t finish these 100 words!
No whining. No making excuses. There is almost never the perfect time to write. And that book ain’t gonna write itself. You are the ONLY ONE who will write it. You are the ONLY ONE who has this story swimming around in your brain tormenting you. If you want to call yourself a writer, you MUST WRITE and be accountable for the days you AREN’T writing. So make a set schedule, swallow the hundreds of reasons why you don’t have time, and DO IT!
Happy Writing New Year, all!