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How to make your writing a priority; a procrastinators guide

There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.

Writing a book takes commitment. Without it, your writing will become ‘something to fit in when time permits’ – rather than something that has to be done. It’s all too easy to push the ‘write the next chapter’ to the bottom of the to do list, as writing doesn’t produce any instant results, (that comes once the entire book is finished and published) and it’s that type of sabotaging thinking that can see your book take years to finish.

Writing the next chapter is a silent task which sits mutely on your check list. It doesn’t email you, reminding you that it hasn’t been done. It doesn’t call you either, asking for an explanation of why it hasn’t happened. And when emails are demanding to be answered, and calls needing to be taken, you can see why the writing gets pushed further and further down the list.

But allowing that to happen is a big mistake. Like any activity that yields good results in the long term it still needs to happen in order for the dividends to be rewarded. And the longer you put it off, the longer those benefits will take.

“There’s no abiding success without commitment.” – Anthony Robbins

So I’ve put together some excuse busting strategies which you can attach to your writing to give it more importance and then accomplished.

  1. Get accountability by involving someone else
  2. Be absolutely clear in what this book is going to do for your business once it’s completed
  3. Get an end date in the calendar and attach a significant forfeit if it doesn’t happen (An amount of £ to a charity for example)
  4. Visualise the finished outcome; your name on a book jacket (Even go as far to mock up a quick design to really cement what it will look like)

1. Getting accountability is one of the smartest activities you can do. It shares the responsibility, and helps you stay focused and on track. You can use a member of your team (if you are in an office) or you can hire someone who is a specialist – like a book coach who will guide you through your writing process. This one single action could see your book being written and published within 12 weeks, so if you’re always struggling to hit your writing quota, this one could be the smartest.

2. Be absolutely clear in what this book is going to do for your business once it’s completed. People put off things when the outcome holds little importance, and if you haven’t given enough thought, or planning to how this book will help you in your business plan, then it will never be of a high enough priority to get finished. Remember, being a published author will do more for your credibility of perceived ‘expert-ness’ than any other single activity. So look at the big picture. Go back to your plan, see where the book fits in, and then attach this new found level of importance to your writing. You’ll be amazed just how quickly that will spur you on.

3. Getting an end date in the calendar is vital. Otherwise you are just writing with no specific target in mind, and by having no ‘cut-off date’ unconsciously giving little to no value to the job at hand. So take a look at what needs to be written, and work out how many pages you need to write to hit that target. If it seems too many, then move the end date back. Don’t try and run a marathon for your first race, this is something that needs to be stuck too.

I always think that breaking down a large task into bite size chunks is a really smart thing to do. It sets it up in your mind as manageable and easy to do, rather than some great mountain that needs to be climbed in one go.

4. Visualise the outcome of the finished product. This can be very powerful and really motivate you to keep going. Seeing a physical thing, like a book jacket, with your name on it can really incentivise you to make writing a priority and it turns something that is almost intangible into something of value, which then attaches a meaning of importance and priority. Just seeing a number of pages in a Microsoft Word document isn’t enough. Seeing a 3d image of a book jacket though is a real motivator. Spending some money on coming up with a working book cover could be a really smart investment, if it helps to get the project finished and published.

So there you are, four easy ways to make your writing a priority and hopefully will help your shift your mindset from one of apathy, to that of excitement and renewed energy. Attach enough importance onto the task, and watch what happens to your productivity.

Of course if you need help with any of the above, or want someone that is a specialist in keeping you accountable, then get in touch. I help busy business owners with their writing challenges, and help get that book written and published. Simply email me alexa@thebookrefinery.com or leave me a comment below.