There are basically two types of writers. There are those who can’t get enough of it—who are so motivated to write that they miss appointments, avoid household chores, and forget to feed their cats because they’d rather be writing. Others struggle to finish a manuscript. Butt in chair is a difficult concept for them to embrace. They arrive early for appointments to avoid writing. They have a wonderfully organized office and their cats are not only fed, but groomed, manicured, and trained.
Do you struggle to complete a piece of writing you’ve agreed to do…that you really want to do? Does life get in the way of the writing you’d like to complete? Are you torn between outside tasks/activities and writing a chapter or article? Try bribery and reward. Yes, bribe yourself to write and reward yourself for doing it.
What are the things you love, love, love doing? What do you really want to accomplish around your house with your job? What obligations mean a lot to you? Use these to bribe yourself to get some writing done. Think about it, don’t you feel good when you finish a chapter or a page of your book? After all, you’ve decided to write it because you want to, right? It’s something you truly want to do. But you’re discouraged because it’s going so slow—because you can’t discipline yourself to sit at the computer long enough without playing games and sending emails to make much headway.
So, do something different. You know the drill, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. If you don’t like the way something is going, stop using the same methods. Here are some of the things I and other writers have done in order to complete a writing project.
- Sacrifice an hour or more of sleep to work on your project.
- Give up something (TV, clubbing, a nap, etc.)
- Create a schedule and stick to it.
- Determine that after an hour of strict writing, you get to check your email, take a walk, have a rootbeer float, do some gardening, run an errand or…
- Make your work area pleasant—decorate it to inspire and delight.
- Surround yourself with confidence-building items—pictures of family and yourself involved in interesting activities, awards you’ve won, etc.
I’ve been writing full time for decades and I still follow most of these practices. I just looked them over again and I have to say, I follow all of them. I recently remodeled my office (after 25 years). It’s lovely. I love being in here. I have framed many of my published book covers attractively and they hang on my walls. I have photos of family and my kitties around me, and some of the wonderful photography I’ve done (a pair of eagles, a wild horse, etc.) I’ve displayed a large ribbon I won at the county fair for one of my photographs and some of my awards for public speaking are tucked in here and there. Until I did the remodel, I also had a photo of me modeling with my granddaughter for a fashion show, one of me swimming with stingrays, and some memorabilia from my trip to Dubai for a speaking engagement.
It’s going to be hot today—into the triple digits—again…and I want to finish some writing work I started earlier in the week. I also want to get a good walk in. I got up this morning at 4:30 with plans to write for two hours. Then I’ll take my walk while it’s still cool before returning to my office to finish writing.
At some point today I plan to tackle a rather difficult (for me) challenge. I’ve been writing fiction for only 3 years—cozy mystery books. I’ve decided I’d like to try writing a short story. I’m a little apprehensive and a bit nervous. As is human nature, I would typically procrastinate—work on what I know, instead—what is familiar to me and within my comfort zone. So I will be using some of the tactics above today in order to nudge myself to start the short story. I’ll let you know how it goes.
In the meantime, we’re close to completing the work on my first Christmas story in the Klepto Cat Mystery series. I’ve scheduled it for publication October 15. Although, we’re ahead of schedule and I might jump the gun with it. I will be making the announcement soon. Check out all 12 of the Klepto Cat Mystery series here: http://amzn.to/1kAI8I2
And if you are writing a book—no matter where you are in the process—be sure to check out my brand new book, Propose Your Book, How to Craft Persuasive Proposals for Nonfiction, Fiction, and Children’s Books. http://www.amazon.com/Propose-Your-Book-Persuasive-Nonfiction/dp/1621534677