Many speakers, consultants, and small business owners alike feel confident with communicating their message orally. They can spout their message in an elevator speech with the accuracy of a scientist. But when it comes to putting it on paper, some grown men & women end up crying like a baby. Through speaking and writing, I have discovered 9 myths that often block others from writing their best book now. I promise. It’s not hard once you know exactly what to do.
Successful writers set up a system of writing. Destroy these myths and setup your system of writing with nine easy solutions.
Myth # 1 It’s too hard.
Too many of us for too long have hid behind the words, “It’s too hard.” Now is the time to take charge of our fears and conquer them. First things first, to overcome procrastination -the fear of failure- is to act now. Most times the bottom line of procrastination is fear of failure.
Solution: Act now. Select step one of an easy writing program and begin today. Or choose to sign-up for an easy 7 lesson ecourse “Jumpstart Writing Your Best Book Now. “ Send any email to mailto:iscribe.writetowin.org Action will destroy fear. Each successful step of your system will deal a death blow to fear.
Myth #2 I have to get away from everything to write a successful book.
No you don’t. I know several novelist and non-fiction book writers who had to write during a long commute to get their best book written and out to the world. They accomplished it because they systematically worked on their book until it was done.
Solution: Avoid marathon writing. In the midst of your busy life, designate your time to write (work on your book) with a goal to completion. (Reasonable time to completion)
Myth #3 I can’t keep up with where I am after interruptions of life.
It is a common challenge to find your place after being interrupted with family, work and daily life. After all that’s why many think you must get away to get it done effectively. Yet, there’s hope for those who can’t get away or choose not to. Successful writers all over the world use the tracking approach. They succeed because they commit to doing a little each day.
Solution: Set yourself up for success use the tracking approach. There are 2 methods you could use for your tracking. Time is the method where you commit to a writing a certain amount of time each day. With the cumulative factor involved your commitment doesn’t have to be that much.
For example, to accomplish my book writing goals I commit to writing one hour a day in my most productive time. For me it is right after my meditation and reading time. With this method don’t be overly concerned about how much you write, just keep the time commitment.
The other method is focused on output. Commit to writing a certain number of words or pages a day, perhaps 750-1,000 words or approximately three and a half pages double-spaced text. The key factor is to stick to it until completion.
Winner’s Note: You may ask how do I get started after interruptions or even in my daily allotted slot so that I don’t spend a lot of time re-locating where I stopped? Start your daily writing session by re-reading the last words you wrote the day before. This will get you back in the flow. The continued cycle of review will create a momentum that will keep you going to completion. Another piece of advice is to create a support system that will help isolate you from telephone calls and interruptions during your daily Tracking Session.
Myth #4 I have to complete each chapter in order.
It’s called linear writing when you complete each chapter in order. You don’t have to write each chapter one after the other. If you happen to get stuck on chapter two, you could be stuck a very long time. I think this type of thinking comes from grade school where we are ritually taught to do everything in order.
If you have been thinking that way stop right now, no need to raise your hand. You have my permission to work on whatever chapter moves you or you feel passion bubbling for at the moment. Feeling stuck on a chapter, try another. There you have it now go with the flow.
Solution: Don’t become chained to writing in order. Jump around and fill in the blanks. Review your chapters and whatever subject or topic you most drawn to, begin there.
Myth #5 I am stuck. I have to stop writing until I feel it again.
Unseasoned writers may play the martyr and push through just to put something on paper or give up and try again another day. We would never get it done like that. When you get stuck simply close that chapter and pull out your chapter outline and choose another chapter. If you have been following this program, you have listed main points for each chapter. Select a topic from that chapter and begin there.
Solution: To maintain your momentum keep your writing commitments. Go around writer’s block by working on another chapter. For example, while writing this book in one of my writing sessions, I wanted to finish my fourth chapter on titles but I ran into a writer’s block. Instead of breaking my momentum, I came down to chapter eight about easy writing and began there. I was able to complete my time commitment of one hour and keep my momentum.
Myth #6 I just write whatever comes to my head and there’s no need to re-write.
My editor will handle all that. It’s o.k. to free write when you are working on your first draft. The idea is go get the thoughts out of your head onto paper. For no one can express it quite like you. Oh sure, there are some better or worse writers but not exactly like you.
I know this may not feel good to some but its smacks of plain ole laziness if you don’t work on making your copy the best it can be. Don’t leave all the dirty work for your editor unless you really can’t do any better.
Solution: Successful authors rewrite and organize their ideas for the most impact. Avoid re-writing during your first draft. Concentrate on finishing each chapter then you’re your tracking time to self-edit: Check your ideas for flow, grammar, spelling, and chapter endings. Work on your chapter titles and lead in introductions.
Myth #7 I have to do it all myself.
Do your research and reading time apart from your writing sessions. You may be able to ask your spouse, a teen-aged son or daughter, a friend to help with your research. Know when to let go of your chapters and book. Don’t self-edit and pick your book apart word by word. Learn to use your skills at the highest level possible. Some of the mechanical tasks of proofreading ask a family member, part-time employee or again a friend to help.
Solution: After using your skills at the highest level, learn to delegate faster and faster. Do the best job you can with your manuscript, and then don’t be afraid to pass it to a professional.
Myth #8 I don’t know anything about computers so pecking my book out would probably take forever.
Don’t run from technology. At least take the time to learn about the shortcuts in your current software. Welcome to the new millennium! Embrace technology make your software work efficiently for you.
Solution: Value your time. Learn how to do it easier and faster.
Myth #9 Computer crashes, loss of information would never happen to me.
If you have been computing long, you know computer crashes or loss of data can happen to anyone. Don’t take the chance of losing your hard work. Print out and back up daily.
Solution: Develop the habit now to save your work and print daily. Save your manuscript to an alternate space. Use a floppy diskette or burn a cd/dvd. Safeguard your time investment backup today and every day.
Writing a book is a journey. Most journeys go so much smoother with a map or in our case a writing plan. Taking the simple steps above will get you started fast and keep you going to completion. Start today then complete and release your significant message in a book to the world.
Earma Brown, 11 year author and business owner
helps small business owners and writers who want to write their best book now! Earma mentors other writers and business professionals through her ezine “iScribe” Send any email to iscribe.writetowin.org for free 7 lesson mini-course “Jumpstart Writing Your Book!”