The Devil Is in the Distractions

Are you sick of hearing yourself say you’re going to write that book someday?

Someday is not a square on your calendar.

Today is. Yesterday was. Let’s assume your days are full. How do you plan to get the book done? This is not a test. Or, maybe it is. You must choose a time each day to get past someday. Your book only needs one other distinct ingredient: you.

Authors tend to have an unapologetic belief in themselves. Do you?

Finding that belief and the motivation to write are primary to your success. Once you do, you are more likely to keep daily writing appointments. But, if you think setting an unbreakable appointment with yourself is simply a matter of blocking time on a calendar, yeah . . . no. Getting started takes planning.

Ever wonder how prolific authors prevent interruptions from hijacking their writing time? There’s no mystery. They decide.

Thought leaders who write prioritize when, where, what and how writing time happens. They disconnect from distractions that don’t serve them. They sequester themselves. They make choices and distinctions. Like, how writing time integrates with 24/7 distractions at home, at work, at the tips of their typing thumbs. It’s not easy but, during the allotted time, they detach.

You may be reading this because you want to write and know you can write, but you aren’t writing. Why? As with any new venture, be sure to start with a solid foundation and the knowledge you need.

  • Research the publishing process.
  • Devote attention to your book’s business and marketing plans.
  • Understand how to reach your audience on the best platforms.
  • Build a robust network so sales flourish.

If you don’t know how to do these things, connect with reputable sources. Join a writers’ league, for example, or an online group. Read books and websites on writing. Take classes. Analyze the works of authors you admire.

At the other bookend, good writers have bad days. Writing is a messy, vulnerable, time-consuming process. Don’t let bad days break your spirit or push you to delete your drafts. Whatever daily time you set, protect it with a tenacity no one can crush, not even you.

Small Steps
How do you hold onto the inspiration that ignites your passion, the motivation that keeps you committed and the determination that pushes your dream to the finish? Use any one of these triggers to reduce distractions so your book moves from someday to publication day.

  • Listen to motivational speakers. Inspiration is plentiful across every online and social media platform. Post affirmations to keep your determination strong.
  • Meet with energy boosters. Your fans are rejuvenating. Let them remind you why they believe in you. Motivate your trusted circle, too. Mastermind together.
  • Practice “a little, a lot.” Set aside 30 minutes – or half a lunch hour. Short spurts aren’t a burden to block. Over time, a little daily writing adds up to a lot of manuscript pages. Small wins are still wins.
  • Identify a reward. If you increase your productivity this month, enjoy a little victory. Balance in all things will keep you strong.
  • Enlist a willing partner. Delegate tasks so you can secure the time you need to finish your book. Reciprocate the favor once your final draft reaches your editor.
  • Commit to “TODAY I AM” statements: “Today I am writing my TOC and chapter summaries,” “Today I am beginning Chapter 16,” “Today I am meeting with my writing coach.” Text your TIAs to a writing or accountability partner.
  • Beat the clock. Set doable daily goals. If you are driven to win, set a timer and dive into your daily to-dos with the tenacity of a samurai warrior.
  • Stand tall. Please stop beating yourself up when writing sessions don’t go well. Stop editing as you write. Stop deleting drafts. Instead, take a break. Do something unrelated. Let it all percolate for a while.
  • Face your fears. Do you feel like you are busy spinning your wheels and getting nowhere? What you are learning in that process may be good information for your toolbox. Listen to these perspectives on failure. They’ll help.

Today’s Tip: Raise your hand if you look at your phone more than once every 15 minutes. Challenge yourself to leave your phone in another room. Turn that tethering distraction into an hour of writing time. If you just can’t, then get up early. No one needs you at 5:20 a.m., not even the virtual fan club inside your phone. They’re waiting to read your book, remember?

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