Michael Hyatt, well-known publishing professional, writer, and leadership guru says, “What gets scheduled, gets done.” He couldn’t be more right, especially as it relates to writing success.
The problem is, often times writers don’t take themselves and their work seriously enough to put it on the calendar. Some with full-time jobs squeeze in writing when there’s free space in the day. Often, it isn’t our first priority.
Time to change that.
Writing success is predicated on—surprise!—writing. You should write every day if you want to produce great writing, get noticed in the crowded world of publishing, and build a name for yourself.
Nothing will hold you to your promise to spend a part of each day in communion with pen and paper (or computer and keyboard) like a firm, unwavering schedule. Perpetual Forward Motion, or PFM, is my scheduling philosophy. You can read about it here, but the gist of it is to do three things every day that push you toward your goals.
One of these things must be writing. It’s okay to ease into it. For the first month, just make a checklist on your calendar and include writing as one of your must-do items. Once it’s done, check it off the list. This seemingly insignificant physical act will go a long way toward forming the habit of a lifetime.
Once you’re in the swing of daily writing you can apply a bit of pressure to strengthen your game. Put a time requirement — say 15 or 30 minutes to start — that you must write each day. When this becomes natural, like brushing your teeth or making your bed, you can increase the time spent writing or even set about exploring different aspects of your writing career. For example, Mondays can be for researching new contests or finding new articles markets; Tuesday can be for writing and sending queries to markets or agents, as the case may be; Wednesday can be for revisions; and so on.
It takes concrete action to bring writing success within reach. The key is to treat your writing career like the job that it is, not like a hobby that you do only if you have time. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Professionals, be they teachers, mechanics, lawyers, or doctors, don’t get to decide whether they “feel” like working. They go to work each day and complete their tasks because that’s what professionals do.
So each day, get up and write like the professional wordsmith you are and writing success will follow.
See you on the next page!