5 Reasons You Should Write Down Your 2017 Goals.

Moving yearly goals forward with clear focus.

We have a problem as humans. Each year we desire to set New Year Resolutions and two weeks later, we quit. There are so many ways we can track our goals. And seeing true accomplishment is easier than you think.

When we begin taking the time to follow through our goals, we can actually achieve them. But if we don’t, the likelihood of seeing them come to fruition lessens.

How To Take The Headache Out Of Writing a Novel.

Winning Tactics For Starting your Book

I love to write. It’s fun to sit down and watch the cursor put words onto the screen. However, if you’ve ever sat down to write a book, after a few pages you wonder if you’ll ever get your book written.

Writing a novel is a daunting task, but with the right tools and gumption, you can accomplish this monumental task.

I began working on a novel in college. It didn’t take me long to realize I fulfilled my entire plot by page 10. What was I doing wrong, and why couldn’t I finish my story?

Flash-forward to 2008 and I was knee deep into writing a novel that I was proud of–albiet a different story altogether. I carefully finished the last chapter, did a self-edit and had the book bound. That Christmas, I gave out copies of them to my family and a few close friends.

That first draft was nowhere complete, and it certainly needed work. But the principles I put in place have guided me on writing any book. Now, with two books under my belt–with a third in the works–and a few short ebooks, I know what it takes to see success and finish my novel’s first draft.

So how do you write a novel without all the headache that goes along with it? Four ways.

1. Begin with an idea.

No great book just happens. I’ve been reading Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. It’s the much-awaited sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird. What I learned, Go Set a Watchman was written before the famous latter. Her editor found To Kill a Mockingbird hidden away as a flashback scene, and told her to write that instead.

Your novel is not too dissimilar. Every story needs a beginning. Every book is birthed out a portion of that story.

When you’re beginning to flesh out the idea, write down anything and everything that comes to mind. I use Workflowy.

2. Write a simple outline.

Once you have your idea, it’s time to begin fleshing out the details. This is where the rubber meets the road. Every great book needs to know where it’s going before you begin.

This is where outlining comes in handy. Now, if you’re a pantser (someone who writes by the seat of their pants) pay attention. I’m not saying you need to be detailed, but I am saying you need to know where your story is headed, what the major plot is before you begin.

Without this, your book will fail. I know this because I have several failed manuscripts on my computer right now.

Be as detailed as you need to be to begin. But here’s my caution, don’t let outlining keep you from beginning to write your first chapter. I’ve met several people who are forever in the outlining stage, they never start writing.

A simple outline could entail writing your chapters and giving them titles with a simple paragraph description. The goal is to begin fleshing out your idea.

3. Write your last chapter.

This is probably the most critical part of writing. Planning your novel. If you don’t know where you’ll end up, you’ll never arrive at your intended destination.

Think of Google Maps. When you’re planning your trip, you enter your final destination, then your starting point. Writing a novel is very similar. If you begin writing your end result, when you begin, you know how you’re going to end the story.

If you’ve not tried this approach to writing a novel, I recommend giving it a try. Beginning your writing adventure with the final destination will help you stay on target and finish your story strong, instead of falling into your ending.

No one likes a cobbled together ending.

4. Write your first 3 chapters.

As with writing your last chapter, you need to know how you’re going to begin writing your story. My suggestion is to begin writing your first three chapters. This step will enable you to start with a strong beginning.

When I’m working on a novel, the first few chapters gives me a sense of where the story is headed and where my first major conflict will happen. Without these key chapters, I cannot verify where I want my story to begin.

These first few chapters will not, typically be, the start of your novel, but are used as a catapult to finding your beginning. I will typically delete most of what I write in these first chapters. But what I look for is a golden nugget that I will use as my first chapter.

My rule–and there are a lot of people who will agree or disagree with me–is to begin a book with some kind of mystery or conflict. Use a heightened moment of action or suspense to pull your readers into the narrative of your story. Once you find that, delete the rest and begin your book.

These four areas; idea forming, outlining, writing an ending and beginning gives new writers a lot of headaches. Don’t let fear hold you back from writing your novel. But if you can use these headache crushing steps, you can begin writing a novel you and your readers will be proud of.

Question: Where have you struggled in getting your book off the ground? What other steps have you tried? Leave a comment by clicking here!

5 Distraction-Crushing Ways to Get More Done in Less Time.

The Huffington Post
September 21, 2016
Click the above link to read the article.

Hello friends,

I’m so excited to be sharing with everyone, my first Huffington Post article. I had it published on Wednesday.

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Our lives are filled with distractions. They keep us from remaining focused on everything we have to accomplish. Distractions come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and without the proper tools, they’ll take over our daily productivity.

In this article I tackle how we can become more productive by eliminating those pesky distractions. Give it a read, share with your friends. I believe this article will help you accomplish more as you write and as you lead.

Warmly,

Jason Sisam

058: Recharge Your Day Using These 6 Techniques. [Podcast]

Focusing your efforts on what matters most.

Do you find yourself running tired. You get your eight hours of sleep, but you still find your efforts falling short? When we learn to focus our efforts on what matters most, we’ll find ourselves recharged and energized to continue the fight one more day.

In today’s episode, I want to walk you through 6 techniques I use daily to recharge and focus on what I need to accomplish. With Facebook, Twitter, hundreds of emails, it’s hard to keep up with the demand. But if you take these things to heart, I guarantee you’ll find freedom in the areas you need it most.

Listen to the Audio:

[smart_track_player url=”https://soundcloud.com/jbsisam/jbss-058″ title=”058: Recharge Your Day Using These 6 Techniques.” artist=”The J. B. Sisam Show” ]

How Do I Remain Focused While Living Distracted?

5 Distraction-Crushing Ways to Get more Done and Live a Productive Life.

Our lives are filled with distractions. They keep us from remaining focused on everything we have to accomplish. Distractions come in all sorts of shapes and sizes; and without the proper tools, they’ll take over our daily productivity.

Let’s say you have deadline looming for a large project, but an impromptu meeting interrupts your day. Maybe you have that family vacation planned and work calls you in the day you’re supposed to leave. You get sucked in by a video on Youtube and forget all about that project with little time to complete it.

Do you need more focus in your life?

6 techniques you can do to succeed at work.

We live in a world where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to remain focused. We find more on television than we can keep up with. We have Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and more to keep us preoccupied for hours on end. We have so much that that vies for our attention.

There comes a time when we know we need to remain focused on what truly matters. We all have to get work done. We all have to spend quality time with our families.

7 Powerful habits of great bloggers!

Have you ever found yourself connected to people on the blogs you read? As bloggers, we are in the relationship business. This is the power of blogging, we have the ability to impact someone’s life. But what does it take to be a great blogger. I’ve been asked by people what it takes to run a blog and I want to give you my advice – now some might disagree with me, and that’s okay.

When I began blogging in 2009, I really had no idea what I was doing. In-fact, my blog was mainly a devotional blog for the young adult ministry I led. As I began taking my blogging to the next level, I began noticing more and more success.

The Importance of a Proven Blogging Template

Blogging is the one thing I look forward to each week. It doesn’t matter if I’m putting together a Podcast episode for CrossTALK, or if I’m writing a post such as this. One thing is consistent, the way I produce and write my content.

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If you’re a beginner blogger, you may not have found your proven workflow. But if you follow this method, you will become faster and more efficient.

Testing Out a New App

4 quick reasons I love this app!

Testing! This is what I love to do. If we don’t activly test new software, we won’t know what works well for us and what doesn’t.

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I recently purchased a new piece of software for my Mac. It’s a little text-edit program called, Desk PM. This is a simple, no frills program where I can focus my energy on writing, not styling my blog posts.

Downspiral of Negativity: 4 Ways Pessimism Kills Productivity

One of the most favorite books is Your Best Life Now by Joel Osteen. His whole concept in the book deals with losing a negative mindset and replacing it with positivity. But one thing is certain, we are killing our productivity with negative thinking.

Image courtesy flickr / ryan melaugh

Image courtesy flickr / ryan melaugh

As a pastor, I deal with negative people. Now, I’m not saying I deal with negative people daily. However, there’s an individual who has come into my office with nothing good to say.