“I want to write a book…” I’ve heard those words many times. The writer is motivated, but writing a book takes time, and real life gets in the way, so the motivation doesn’t last.
Suddenly you find that you have no time, because your day job is more demanding. Or something happens at home. You can’t work on your book for a week or two, and gradually you forget all about it. Six months later, you feel guilty because you gave up on your dream.
Change is uncomfortable. Your life changes when you write a book — it starts changing as soon as you start writing.
When you write a book, it takes time and motivation
I discussed how to create a writing habit here. The big benefit of turning writing into a habit is that you no longer need to rely on motivation.
Now let’s look at three tips which will help you to find the motivation to write a book.
1. Give yourself reasons to write: write down the benefits of writing a book
Your motivation is strong when you begin writing. You’re inspired, and words flow. You tell yourself that you can do this, and wonder why you ever imagined that writing was hard. Sooner, rather than later, you hit speed bumps. Then road blocks, and you tell yourself that you will write “tomorrow.”
You can avoid that by creating a list of reasons to write before you start writing.
How will your life change for the better once you’ve published your book?
You list may include benefits like: pride and satisfaction, the money you could make, and the opportunities a published book would bring you.
Writing a list of the benefits is vital. If you try to keep the reasons in your head, you’ll forget them as soon as your dream collides with reality. As we’ve said, your writing brings change. That change affects everything in your life.
Review your list of benefits at least once a week.
2. Drop your expectations: allow yourself to write rubbish
You can’t write a book in a day, or even a week. You have weeks, if not months, of writing ahead. Then, after your first draft is done, you need to do an initial edit of your book yourself, so that you can revise it.
You’ll hire an editor later, but firstly, you need edit it yourself, to make sure that your book achieves what you set out to do. In the heat of creation, all book projects morph.
When writing fiction, you bring in new characters. A main character takes on a life of his own. With nonfiction, you intended writing A, B, and C. After your first draft, you realize that you need to cover D and E as well.
Books are messy.
Important: expect messes while you write.
Please drop your expectations before you start writing. You can fix messes later, but unless you’re a true unicorn author, your writing will never go as expected. Be happy to make messes, and to write “rubbish”. The rubbish helps you to realize what you need to write.
Which brings us to…
3. As long as you’re writing, you’re writing a book correctly
No book you write is the same as another. No matter how many books you’ve written before, each and every book is a new adventure.
Take heart, because as long as you write, and keep going, you’ll finish your book. You’re doing it “right” — all you ned to do is keep writing.
Challenges which seem unsolvable will magically clear themselves up, either tomorrow, or next week, so keep writing. 🙂
Your motivation to write a book develops while you write
I’m usually working on six to eight book projects at any one time; my own, and clients’ projects. Some books are in the outlining stage, others in various drafts, and a couple are in the revision and editing phases.
If nothing else, I know this: motivation happens while you’re writing.
Often, I’ll think about a couple of my projects when I wake up in the morning, and realize that I truly, deeply, do not want to look at them today. I write those projects at their scheduled time anyway, because I know that my motivation will develop while I’m writing.
Yours will too.
Have fun with your books. 🙂
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