Making Book Writing a 2023 Resolution
by Michael Heath / selfpublishingUS.com
We have all made New Year’s resolutions that we eventually broke. Richard Wiseman of the University of Bristol did a study finding that 88 percent of these personal promises are never completed successfully. Why is that? Some say their resolution was too hard while others claim they lose track or simply forget the commitment. Others state they fail due to making too many resolutions. Intimidation, discouragement and even apathy can easily trip up a pledge if no plan is set in place.
Writing a Book
Network at a cocktail party and you will find many, if not the majority, of the guests assert that they want to write a book. Saying and doing are certainly two different things. Completing a manuscript may seem insurmountable. Even beginning one can be difficult. There is a particularly funny scene in an episode of The Office where vain Michael Scott believes he can write a bestseller about management, only to fail to come up with the first sentence. Once research is completed, translating thoughts into writing that people want to read is no easy task. But that is no reason not to do it.
Getting Out of the Gate
Pick a date that you will start the writing and just do it. You won’t finish the book in one sitting. It all takes time. And do not worry too much about what is going on the page. A beginning is a beginning. There is now energy to the project. You have a manuscript you can return to.
Consistency Is Key
I have written six books and am often asked about the completion process. How did you write a whole manuscript? How long did it take? My answer is that once started, I write every day. For some that may seem logical while others may find it impossible. There is a method that I use to keep me on track. It has to do with reducing resistance by making the daily writing responsibilities easier.
My son Christopher is a personal trainer who says that for most people the workouts are not the hard part, it is getting to the gym that keeps them from getting fit. In an age where our lives are quite scheduled, it is easy to come up with excuses for skipping a workout or putting off writing our book. Missing a day is not the end of the world, but those days can easily turn into weeks and even months. That is why it is so important to stay consistent. My rule is to write three sentences every day. That’s it! When those three sentences are completed, I can walk away and do other stuff without feeling a tinge of guilt. Mission accomplished. At least for that one day. But what happens more times than not is that three sentences turn to four and five sentences and even more. Remember what Christopher says about most people’s resistance is in getting to the gym? Once a writer is typing the keys they often let loose. That is the magic of this little system.
Write Every Day
With an obligation of only three sentences, it becomes easy to sit in front of the computer to work on the manuscript. Doing so becomes a habit not unlike brushing one’s teeth. The writer is encouraged when he/she sees real progress. It is even more exciting to be in the 12 percent group that did not break their New Year’s resolution.