Both seasoned and aspiring authors typically have a “goals” list in mind—if not on paper:
—Increase credibility and expand my influence.
—Earn the respect of clients and colleagues with a bestselling book.
—Get media attention for my ideas and work.
—Gain visibility for myself and the organization.
—Build a business that revolves around my book.
—Grow revenue with passive royalty income.
—Leave a legacy.
Understanding the benefits of publishing a bestselling book is NOT the problem. But finishing the book often is! So consider these tips to motivate yourself to sit down and do serious writing this year!
When you’re scrolling on social media, two minutes quickly turns into twenty minutes, and then an hour. Do this twice a day and before you know it, you’ve wasted serious time and energy. Look at the analytics to determine when your target readers are online, then set your alarm to post so they see your wit and wisdom in your once-a-day post or tweet.
Having an open email program with emails popping in like popcorn every few minutes breaks your focus and disrupts your thinking even if you don’t stop to reply. Check email only twice a day: before or after lunch and after your workday ends. Such a schedule still allows you to respond in a timely manner. If someone emails you as they start their workday, you’ll have a response to them within 4-5 hours. If they email you in early afternoon, your response will be waiting in their inbox early the next morning.
If the intrinsic motivation of seeing those finished pages completed doesn’t rev your engine to race faster and faster, reward yourself with more tangible payoffs for completing X pages in a day. For example, put $5 in a jar toward buying new golf clubs or new shoes.
As an example negative motivator, compete with a writer colleague by setting up penalties for not accomplishing the week’s page count: Put $10 in a box every time you fall short on your daily word count. The person finished first wins the whole pot.
Of course, with an agreed-upon deadline in your publisher’s contract, you have a legal reason to push ahead. But self-published authors have no one and nothing to spur them to completion. After all, they’re calling the shots themselves, and it’s tempting to let long-range projects like writing a book languish while dealing with the short-term urgent.
Thus, the need for accountability. Accountability works in the job market, in academia, and in the voting booth. To put accountability to work for yourself as an author, tell friends, family, and colleagues when you plan to have your book finished. Ask them to email, text, or phone you on that date to congratulate you. (If you suggest that they simply ask if you’re finished, some will hesitate to “nag” you when they know you’ve had “issues” crop up.)
If you’re finished by the projected date, you’ll feel wonderfully happy and eager to respond with a “Thanks. Actually, I finished a couple of days ago.” If your book is still in progress, you’ll write even faster because excuses will sound lame to your own ears.
Even thinking about telling all those people that you’ve procrastinated will motivate you to push a little harder to “The End.”
Whatever routine works for you, capitalize on it!
Learn more ways to finish your book—sign up for Dianna’s Booher Book Camp at BooherBookCamp.com