I get asked quite frequently- by people wanting to write their book – what helped me write “Get your groove back.” Here are some tips that might help you if you are thinking about getting started on your book or e-book:
1) Passion helps! Write what you have passion for, what you are excited about and what gives you a buzz and or sense of meaning and purpose. Write what you feel is inside of you that needs to come out.
2) Commit your thoughts to writing. If you feel you have a story or message to share, don’t leave it in an amorphous thought phase only. Translate it into written words – whether you commit it to paper, word document, whatever.
3) Have a draft working structure. Start your book along the lines of this draft structure knowing that this will change as your thoughts, story and message evolves.
4) Download first, perfectionism later. Don’t be too concerned about getting it perfect from day one. The key thing is to write and write regularly. If you do this, you will be pleasantly surprised at how things evolve.
5) Work out what facilitates your writing best. Everyone is different and people have their own methods. For example, I know of authors who have a regular writing time which they commit to and stick to no matter what. For me I grabbed times whenever I could – some days – yes – I would wake up 5am when it was peace and quiet, other days it would be the end of the day and sometimes, I would just block a whole morning or day and call it my “writing time” fueled by endless cups of great coffee from my local cafes!
6) Capture your thoughts. Ideas don’t just come to you when you are writing…..they can come anytime….when you are in the shower, driving a car, walking, waking up in the middle of the night or talking to someone who stimulates your thinking. What you have to do is grab these ideas as they come.
7) Deadlines help. Having a deadline whether self-imposed or contractually bound with a publisher definitely ensures that the production factory (you!) keeps rolling over. On the other hand, don’t be too hard on yourself, if you have a fallow period as your ideas could just be gestating then.
8) Make writing fun. After a period of writing, I would reward myself by going to meet a friend for a coffee or lunch, go for a nice walk or movies or take my loved ones for dinner.
9) Celebrate milestones. Have mini-pauses along the way and celebrate the journey as you achieve milestones along the way
10) Doubt, confusion, questioning are all part of the landscape. Yes – you will have times when you will wonder if it is worth the time, energy and effort you are putting into the writing and whether your offering has much value at all. This is all part of the process and just about every writer I know goes through this. Do what you need to get beyond this – talk to “respected” others, do some reflection on what may be bugging you and if you can make your work even better. But you just have to keep going.
11) Stay inspired. Have a regular meetings and connection with other writers, speakers, people you can bounce ideas of with and those who inspire you. They become the significant others who joyfully track you through your journey as they act as your sounding board and give you moral support.
12) Get feedback. Share you work at various phases along the writing journey. The questions and feedback you get will help make your work only better. Your work will benefit from this rigour.
13) Don’t do it for making buckets of money. Okay – you could be the next JK Rowling but majority of authors don’t get rich writing books. Find another purpose. If you make the money – that is an extra bonus.
Jasbindar Singh is a business psychologist, leadership coach, author and speaker. www.sqconsulting.co.nz