You might read the title and scoff. I’m sure some of you are offended. Outraged. Rolling your eyes.
But do you have a published book?
I do, and it’s available right here.
So maybe hear me out, and I can share all my tricks.
After years of throwing my time away, shelving projects or burning myself out and leaving them in the WIP (work in progress) stage, I finally managed to make my dream come true. I used every excuse in the book to stop myself. I have a day job. I have familial obligations. That laundry needs folding and that bathroom needs scrubbing.
Anything to avoid writing.
I’m a writer, and I hate writing. It’s a complicated relationship. I’m wondering how many times the blank Word document has to beat me up before I finally leave it.
Despite all of this, I received a challenge one month ago.
Write a book in a month.
I scoffed. I said it couldn’t be done. I needed to plan. Prepare. Write and rewrite. Hate the final product and start again. I didn’t even touch the idea of formatting and heavy editing. At best, I thought I could write a book in a few months. Stories require care. Attention to detail. Passion.
Jesus, did I always sound this pretentious?
A story just needs the writing to back it up. I faced a simple choice: nut up or shut up.
I physically can’t shut up, so I truly only had one option.
One of the trickiest parts – obviously – was time management. Admittedly, I struggled. I wanted to fall back into old habits and distract myself. Pull up YouTube and watch cute animals. Go to the kitchen and make a complicated dessert. Take my nephew shopping for toys he absolutely doesn’t need.
Of course, there were rules I set for myself.
- Keep the story 80 pages or less. As much as I hate to admit it, people don’t enjoy reading anymore. They want listicles. Raise your hand if you skipped to this part.
- Only write for ONE hour a day. This part drove me insane. Sometimes, the gears were turning so hard, I would’ve done myself a huge disservice by quitting. On those days, I allowed myself extra time. HOWEVER, I couldn’t exceed four hours. Those were the magic numbers.
- Turn off all distractions. Including music. Personally, one of my favorite parts of writing is having a soundtrack in the background to give me the right vibes. Music tells a story to me, and it helps me invent people and situations of my own. I find ways to relate to the character; getting inside their mind is significantly easier with the correct tunes. But it’s distracting. After writing without music, I don’t know if I’ll ever go back. I wrote more in one hour than I would in a whole day.
Shockingly, that covered everything. When I started this project, I wholeheartedly believed there would be more complications further down the road.
And there were!
But I’ll go into detail in the next post. For now, I suggest trying out the three tricks. Let me know if you start to see improvement!