Want a writing process that will get your book written fast?
Don’t we all. And there are plenty of suggestions, programs, methods, and systems that claim to help you do this. But what if there was a simple way to get your book done that has actually been right in front of your nose all along? There is. And I’m gonna let you in on the secret.
The primary reason writers never get that book started is because many of us are held back by a (sometimes subconscious) fear of success. Or we are procrastinators. Or we think our writing can’t possibly be good enough. Or (fill in your reason here).
But there’s a cure:
In order to gather the courage to begin a daunting task, you need to prove to yourself that you can do it. Sometimes your logical mind says “Yes, I can,” but your subconscious editor says, “Oh no, you can’t.” What makes this little problem so difficult to overcome is the fact that half the time we don’t even recognize that we’re derailing ourselves this way.
Luckily, it’s easy to tweak your writing process to get the upper hand on this kind of self-defeating thinking. It’s easy. It works. It’s…
Here it is in a nutshell, and promise me, please, that you won’t get angry with me when you realize how darn easy and obvious this is:
If you want to write a book, write a page first. Even if that page sucks, it will prove to you (and your inner editor) that it can be done.
This is just the thing you need to propel you forward. No more whinging about needing creative inspiration. No more procrastinating until you have the perfect word processing software, the right number of minutes in the day to write, or an ergonomically correct desk chair.
What you really need to keep your writing flowing is not another writing process, but a boost of confidence. A goal like “writing a novel” is a daunting task, but the goal of “writing a page” is easily done, even by my son, who is as allergic to English as many children are to nuts. Once you have that page written, it’s easy to imagine yourself writing another. And another. And even more. The more pages you get written, the more easily you can see yourself with that rough draft, ready for editing, then a polished manuscript, nicely formatted and ready to present to agents, publishers, or the general public.
So then next time you find yourself in a procrastinating mood, stop and challenge yourself to write that page. Don’t worry about making it good — that’s not part of the protocol. Just get it written. Get it written, and more words will follow. Editing is so much easier than writing, so once you have a chapter or two written, give yourself a rest from writing if you wish and work on polishing your prose.
All of these tasks will help reinforce your ability to do all the things good writers do: write, edit, repeat. Once you get “in the flow” the flow will get in you, encouraging that inner editor to reach higher and higher goals.
So what are you waiting for? Write that page!
See you on the next page!