Editor’s Note 1: Right now, I’m at Panera listening to a senior citizen book club discuss their latest read. I bring this up because, fortuitously, the one woman just said, “This is where the rubber hits the road,” which is a great way of describing this last installment of Lia Mack’s “3 Things You Need to FINALLY Write That Book.”
3: MAKE WRITING TIME
Just like anything else, you have to do the work to see the results. There’s no magic pill here (unless you hire that ghostwriter, slap your name on the result and call it a day). But that’s not YOU writing a book. And if you’ve read this far, you’re not here to find a quick trick to achieve your goal anyway.
You have a dream.
You have a story.
You have true motivation.
And you have a plan. Now all you need is to find the time and use it well.
This is the sticky point where a lot of my clients need help. They have a goal. They have motivation. Either on their own or with me, they’ve formulated a plan. And when they really looked at how they use their time, eureka! They found plenty of it to use for writing.
Even so, they aren’t consistent enough to make headway in that writing.
Good thing they found me. As an Accountability Coach and Project Manager, I work with people and small businesses who need help maintaining focus and getting things done. On time. On schedule.
It works so much better when you have a real person following up with you to see what you’ve been able to accomplish and what you plan to do the following week.
There are, of course, accountability websites and apps that send text reminders or emails. And most are free and fun. But if you’re anything like me, they’re also easily ignorable. And then what? You’ve just let another day, week, month or year go by with NOTHING written.
Now, at this point, you might be saying, “That’s all good. But I really don’t have any time! Really!”
Okay. Take a deep breath. I get it.
Get out your trusty journal again, and let’s dissect your day. This time, write out all the hours of the day along with what you typically do during each hour block.
For my clients, when they really look at their day, all the excuses deflate. All that precious time bingeing on Netflix or sitting in the bleachers during their kid’s soccer practice is time they could be writing. Or what about the time spent reading countless blog posts (other than this one, of course) and Facebook posts and Twitter posts and Instagram posts…?
You get the idea.
Now, I’m all for cheering my kids on – but during their games. Not practice. They can pay attention to their coach, and I can use that time for myself, right?
And I LOVE Netflix. I’m rewatching Lost with my teenager right now! But – and this is a big but – I make sure I pay my writing-self first. I set aside time elsewhere in the day so I can write. Netflix then becomes my desert for the day: a reward I can indulge in, knowing I’ve done today what I could today.
That’s me though. You can plan out your time any way you like. But in case you need ideas…
When I was a new mom, I didn’t have many, if any, daylight hours to write. So here’s an example of the time I dedicated to writing my first book. Keep in mind that this was what I did to find writing time with two babies. That and stupid, recurring Lyme Disease with its breathing/brain issues.
It was a fight to keep up with my goal, to say the least!
But since I had true motivation and a plan of attack, I used my night-owl/early-bird insomnia to my advantage. Below, you’ll find the pattern I developed. Feel free to use these writing-block times too if you wish!
Weekday A.M. Plan = 5-7: Wake up and write!
*Alternative Weekday A.M. Plan = 4-6: Wake up and write!
Weekday P.M. Plan = 8-10/11: Stay up and write!
Weekend Plan = Downtime? Write!
It will take a while, but with consistent effort, even writing ONE HOUR A DAY is all you need to write a book. I start with that recommendation because you need appropriate time to dive into your mind and story. At least I do. Sure, you could try to stitch together five minutes here, fifteen minutes there. And let me know if you were able to make that work for your book! However, I personally won’t take those wee chunks of time. I insist on finding one-hour increments and build from there.
Of course, finding the time and setting it aside doesn’t always equate to consistent writing. That’s why you have to be really honest with yourself. Are you going to allow other things to take over these new time blocks you’ve discovered?
If you’re really dedicated to writing your book but have fallen short in the past because you can’t keep up with that consistency requirement, maybe it’s time you find yourself an accountability partner.
For me today, my writer friends are my accountability partners. Yet before I had them, I only had myself and my imagined future self to keep myself focused. This taught me the not-so-secret steps (Hint: You’ve already read them.) to reach my goals – and to help others reach their goals too!
That’s why a lot of people hire me to simply insist they follow through – so that they too can realize their dreams. Plus, by doing it successfully one time through, they’re better-equipped to step in and be their own boss the next time around.
That first taste of success is addictive enough to propel them through!
That’s why, when you’re just starting out, you absolutely need someone you trust to hold you accountable in order to succeed. If you’d like to see how I can help you achieve your dreams, feel free to reach out to me any time!
So there you have it.
Find true motivation. Create a plan. Make the time. And write!
Of course, once you have a book written, then you then need to edit it...
But thankfully there are editors to help with that!
Editor’s Note 2: First off, thank you to Lia for the shout-out at the end. I didn’t tell her to do that, but yes, there definitely are editors to help with the once-you-have-a-book-written stages. If you’re there already, let me know!
If not though, and if these last three posts have spoken to you personally, please check out Lia’s site at www.LiaMack.com. If you can’t find the motivational power on your own, it’s well worth exploring…
For your sake and for your book’s.