For years you’ve had this dream of finally writing the book of your dreams, getting it published, and becoming the next New York Times Bestseller. You sit down to write, make some real progress this time, but you can’t move forward? Sound like you?
This feeling of being stuck and not getting the book written is a story most writer’s tell me. Truth to tell, I’ve had writers tell me they’re shocked at how many words I write a year. I write over 100,000 words a year, just on this blog. That isn’t counting what I do for other organizations or my own books.
If you’re feeling stuck, or you don’t know where to take your story, I have 3 reasons why you’re not writing your book.
1. You haven’t defined why you’re writing your book.
Before I sit down to write, understanding my motivation for the book is paramount. We make so many excuses for not getting the job done. It’s okay to be excited and ambitious, but asking why do I want to write this book, will determine if it’s worth your time.
Before I sit down to write, I ask myself, ‘what’s it’s purpose?’ For my book Divine Providence, I had the Scripture verse from Proverbs 3:5-6; “Trust in the Lord with your whole heart, lean not on your own understanding…”. This was the defining reason I wrote this book, to teach people how to trust God amidst tragedy.
This was the books why. This is the reason I wrote it. You need to find out the reason, message, and your motivation for writing the book. Otherwise, you’ll never have a clear goal to aim for.
2. You don’t know where to start, and you don’t know where to end.
I often hear writer’s say, ‘I write and see where the story goes.’ In my opinion, this is the worst way to write a book. If you don’t have direction or a clear roadmap, you should stop writing.
The first thing I do when writing my books, I figure out the big problem I want to face in the story. This is birthed out of discovering the why I’m writing. Once you know your big problem, you have to set up the story. Never begin at the start of the story, begin in the middle. That’s your books true beginning.
Once you know that, begin crafting where you want the characters to end up. If you’re writing non-fiction, what’s the desired transformation? Now, write the first and last chapters.
This will give you a framework to write within. There’s nothing wrong with being a pantser writer, but not having a clear understanding of your final destination will doom your book before you begin.
The second part of this would be to do an outline of your book. I know, it’s an evil work, and everyone hates it. But this will be your turn-by-turn directions as you write. I’ve developed a perfect outlining tool for you. It’s called the Storyboard Template.
It’s a graph you can use to write a simple outline using a storyboard. The best part, it’s an Evernote download, so you’ll never lose it.
3. You haven’t broken your book into bite-sized chunks.
Anyone who’s written a book will tell you it’s hard, daunting work. But you have this goal of writing a book but it’s going to take effort and time to accomplish. If you find yourself stuck writing, here’s some advice I wish I learned when I started writing.
If you want to reach your final destination of having a first-draft you have to find manageable chunks to get there. The trick of writing a 70,000-word book is cutting it into enough pieces that it seems easy to do. This blog post is nearing 700 words, and I’ve been writing for seventeen minutes. That’s because I had an outline to work from.
I suggest writing 1,000 words a day. If that’s too hard, write 4,000 words a week. That’s under 600 words a day. If I can write 700 words in seventeen minutes, you can do 600 a day. If you do that 7-days a week, you’ll have a 50,000-word book in just 90 days.
Writing doesn’t have to be hard. Writing a book doesn’t have to take years. It takes setting a goal, getting clear on your roadmap, and breaking your book into bite-sized chunks. You can do it. I have faith in you. Let your ambitions become realistic goals. Find your target and shoot for it. At the end of the day, you’ll have a book to be proud of on paper that’s no longer a dream but a reality.
SIDE NOTE: This blog post is 800 words, I wrote that in 25 minutes because I had an outline. 😀
Question: Where have you procrastinated on your book? Leave a comment by clicking here!
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