Today is day 18 of my 30 day challenge.
I wish I could say that I was as far along as I’d like to be with writing my book but what’s more important to me is knowing that I’m making progress.
The two biggest parts when undertaking a task like this is i) to start and ii) to keep going.
What about finishing? The truth be told, I don’t think there is ever a point when you finish. There’s always room for improvement but it’s just deciding when to finish for the moment. It’s something I’ve learned through doing stand-up comedy. A routine is never truly finished, you just keep making it better and edit as you go.
The problem with a book is that once it hits the printing press it’s a lot harder to amend.
To start is not the hardest part. Most people can usually begin a task okay, but then they stall because the gravity of the task pulls them down, and they eventually let the endeavour fall to the wayside.
There are two reasons for that; i) it was an endeavour that truly wasn’t for them, or, ii) once the reality sank in, laziness, procrastination or the need for perfection stopped the momentum in it’s tracks.
Procrastination and laziness are just poor habits but the last part, the need to perfect from the beginning, is a much more subtle force.
Whilst I’ve been writing, the need to perfect as I’m going along has been slowing me down. I realised that when I was stuck at 6000 words for a few days. I was just editing rather than writing.
The editing can always come later. You just have to start and keep going. Even if what you’re writing is absolute pants! It doesn’t matter, what matters is you write and get the content on paper. Get your ideas down no matter how rough it may be, just get them down.
How To Start
Start! Just Start! If you’ve always wanted to write a book, start right now!
It doesn’t matter if you don’t know the exact direction of the book, or what it’s going to be called, or how sexy you’ll look on the back cover, or how rich you’ll become! Just get a pen and paper, or for those of you living in 2012, grab your iPad or Laptop and just begin!
Go and do a 1000 words, or write for 30 minutes; whichever comes first.
How To Keep Going
Keep Going! Don’t be tempted to constantly reread what you’ve already written. Even if you duplicate your work you can always amend it at a much later stage. Once you’ve written a 1000 words, take a short break, stretch your legs, have some water and then start again or repeat the next day.
Yes, YOU DO HAVE THE TIME! If you don’t you must make the time. If you let one thing get in the way you’ve started a new habit of letting excuses get the better of you. And each time you do it the habit gets stronger.
Keep going, and going, and going. As you write more and more, the more you’ll want to write. More will emerge from your mind than you ever thought possible. If you say you’re going to write a 50,000 word book you might think that you don’t have the ability to pull it off. Keep going and before you know it you’ll be at 10,000 words, then 20,000 and so on.
Don’t focus too much on how much you’ve written. At this stage it’s more about cultivating the gorgeous and sexy habit of starting something and keeping it going.
Have you ever wanted to start something. Did you let small excuses and poor habits of laziness get in the way? You can start right now, this very second! Go on…and let me know how you’re getting on.
P.S. This article was written in just 22 minutes; the fastest I’ve ever written a post in. It may not be perfect; it may have one or two errors. Who cares?! I started and I kept going. I can always perfect it later. 😀