Tag Archives: procrastination

When You Write A Book, Should You Write Every Day?

When You Write A Book, Should You Write Every Day?

You want to write a book. It’s a commitment. Authors worry about this commitment. They wonder whether they “should” write every day. Or even if they can.

In the post, Write A Book, Grow Your Blog, I suggested that you blog while writing your book, and said:

“… blogging helps me to write. Over the years (16 to date), blogging’s been my default setting; it helps me to explore ideas, and think about readers. And that’s a good thing.”

Writing is a muscle: have fun building those muscles

I’ve been writing every day for many years. I couldn’t imagine a day without writing. It’s the first thing I do every day, and the last thing I do every night, and I don’t think about it. It’s just what I do.

Blogging helped me to write every day — it’s helped me to build my writing muscles.

I still procrastinate on projects however, especially short projects. 🙂

The Atlantic published an article on procrastination, and concluded:

“… procrastinators are more likely to complete a piece of work if they’re persuaded that it’s not actually work.”

Writing a book is HARD if you consider it work.

Why not have fun, instead?

I always emphasize the FUN part of writing for my students, because having fun is essential. You can’t be creative if you’re not having fun. If you try to force yourself to write, your creative self shuts down.

Now researchers have found that if you look on something as fun, you won’t procrastinate on doing it. And Albert Einstein said: “Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

Have fun: it’s vital

Try looking at writing a novel or nonfiction book as having fun. You’re not working, you’re playing.

One student was scandalized at this: writing a book is serious business, he believed. 😉

The problem with that mindset that is that if you look on writing a book as something that’s hard, and that you need to slave over, you may not complete your book. You’ll poison your creativity and will end up blocked, or burned out.

What can you do to make writing a book fun?

Instead of asking whether you should write every day, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I want to write?
  • What would be fun to write?
  • How can I make writing huge fun, so that I can’t wait to start writing?

Answer the questions. They’re vital. You must find a way of making writing fun. My way is blogging…

And then, once you know how to make writing fun for yourself, remember Heinlein’s business habits for writers:

  1. You must write.
  2. You must finish what you start.

You must write. Make it fun, and you won’t be able to stop yourself from writing. 🙂

Write Fast, Write Well: How To Be Prolific, and Sell – Powerful tips to increase your writing income

Write Fast, Write Well: How To Be Prolific, and Sell – Powerful tips to increase your writing income

$4.99

What If You Were Twice As Successful, Or Even THREE Times More Successful Than You Are Today?

There's No Ceiling On A Writer's Income... You Just Need To Be Prolific.

More info →
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Apple Books
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Yes, You’re Creative: How To Unlock Your Imagination And Build The Writing Career Of Your Dreams

Yes, You’re Creative: How To Unlock Your Imagination And Build The Writing Career Of Your Dreams

eBook: $5.99

In this book we'll aim to increase your creativity to unlock your imagination and build the writing career of your dreams.

More info →
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Apple Books
Buy from Amazon Kindle

Resources to build your writing career

Get daily writing news and tips on the blog’s Facebook page.

Need help with your writing? Visit our online store, or check out Angela’s books for writers.

Write a Book: Complete Your Book by Staying Organized

I’m running a poll on my writing blog (please vote) asking writers about their greatest writing challenge.

To date, 40 per cent have chosen “completing projects I start”.

My theory is that it’s hard for writers to complete projects (especially long projects like books) because it’s hard to manage all their material. Their research, notes, ideas and multiple drafts, can lead to confusion. And this confusion leads to procrastination. I give you a wonderful writing process to follow in my Easy-Write Process, which eliminates procrastination because you always know what you should be doing next.

But how do you manage all the bits and pieces you need for even the smallest writing project?

My solution, and that of many other writers, is Scrivener.

There’s an excellent case study on managing lots of drafts and information here. This article, Literature and Latte – Scrivener Case Studies, describes novelist Monica McCarty’s process. She keep’s her series’ Bible in a separate Scrivener file:

“McCarty’s Series Bible is divided into three folders: ideas, proposals and books one through to 12. ‘When I transferred the information from Word it consisted of about four different folders containing some thirty plus documents from all over the place,’ she says. ‘Now, if I suddenly have an idea for book 8 I can go straight in to the right place and add it rather than having to scroll down an entire document and look around all night for it.”

If you don’t want to splash out for Scrivener, I suggest you keep a project journal.

John Steinbeck’s journal for East of Eden, kept as a series of letters, has been published: Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters, of course. 🙂

Your aim in writing your book’s journal shouldn’t be to have it published; it’s to keep you “in” the book as you’re writing it, and to keep track of all your materials.

Before Scrivener, I kept all my project journals in MS Word documents. If I misplaced a piece of research, a simple search helped me to locate the section of the document in which I linked to the research on my computer, or on the Web. It wasn’t an ideal solution, but it proved effective.

Big tip: do keep all your thinking about the book in Scrivener, or in your book journal too. Get all your complaints and angst out of your head, and onto your computer screen. (Don’t delete these.) Making your thought processes conscious in this way keeps you writing: your negative thoughts don’t get a chance to fester.

Writing a book is a long project. You’ll complete your book if you stay organized.