81 percent of the U.S. population wants to write a book, but in the end, only two percent of that number end up accomplishing that goal. This speaks volumes concerning the fact that to be a writer there is much that is required of you.
I have come to understand that the majority of aspiring authors don’t have a desire strong enough to achieve this status, most people don’t even take the necessary action to manifest their dream. Also, they lack the motivation, organization, tenacity, mindset, or energy to write their books. Thus, they are left feeling they can’t become authors.
If, to date, you find it difficult to harness your skills as a writer, you likely fall into one of these two categories. Since you are reading this article, I’m going to assume you have a strong desire to be more productive as a writer. That means you are willing to take some action toward your goal.
These are some 10 simple points you can add to your tool box to be more productive as a writer.
Show up as a writer
Every day, show up as the person you want to be with the energy and attitude you want to have. No matter what happens, you have to show up and be effective.
Protect your confidence
Don’t put yourself in situations that might cause you to question your ability to write a book. Don’t tell your mother you are writing a book if she is critical and will say, “There’s no way you can write a book. You are crazy to try.” Don’t show your manuscript to your friend who aspires to be a nonfiction book editor (but isn’t one) and who will return it “bleeding” red ink just to prove she knows what she’s doing. These events will wreck your confidence and possibly cause you to give up on your goal of becoming an author before you are even halfway through your project.
Have clarity about your goal
Know why you write. Understand your motivation and ambition. Once you do, you’ll find it easier to sit at your desk each day and work on your manuscript. Choose your purpose, and know your Big Why. Have clarity about your goals. Ambition will move the needle on your productivity. That means you have to know what you desire and why.
Be on purpose
Determine if your activities align with your goals. For each activity or opportunity, ask yourself, “ Is this helping me achieve what I want as a writer or author?”
Do the most important things first
If writing is your priority, that gets accomplished before everything else. Don’t relegate it to the back. Do it first and when you have the most of your dreams
Create a restart button
This will helps you stop the processes in your mind or body that hold you back when external situations become challenging. Your restart could be a 30-minute jog, a meditation period, a bit of chi gong, a nap, or playing catch with the dog. Choose an activity that brings you back to centre and reminds you of your purpose and how you want to show up.
Bring energy to your day and writing periods
Wake up and create a heightened state of energy so you approach the day or the times when you write with joy and enthusiasm. Do this with mental exercises, body movements, music, or self-talk. Don’t ever sit down to write feeling tired, bored or low energy.
Realize that fears aren’t real
There are only two types of fear: The first involves physical safety and the second emotional safety and comfort. Few writers fear for their physical safety, but many make excuses that allow them to feel emotionally safe and comfortable. If you suffer from the latter type, fear becomes a mind-management issue. You have to become conscious of your thoughts and aware of how they control your behaviour. Then you have to change them into ones that support your writing rather than hinder it.
Combine your passion with your purpose
Passion will sustain your writing efforts. That’s why when you start a writing project it’s important to choose subjects about which you feel passionate. You also want to choose a book project that feels on purpose — that aligns with your Big Why. If you do those two things, you will feel inspired. That feeling will move you forward to the conclusion of your project more often than anything else.
Make yourself accountable
Set a deadline for the completion of your first draft and for the publication of your book (or for finding an agent or publisher). Then schedule time into your calendar for the necessary tasks, including writing, so you meet that deadline. Don’t create a deadline that is a year or two years from now. Push yourself to get your book written and published fast! You’ll get more done if you push yourself.
To write a book, to become an author, learn high-performance habits and mindsets. If you are struggling to become an author, or if you are finding it difficult to finish your book project, your current habits likely are not helping you achieve your goal. That means you need to adopt new ones. If you put even a few of tips above to work for you, you will find yourself more productive each day. That means your manuscript will start taking shape faster than you thought possible, and you’ll become a consistently more productive and successful writer.
Implement these strategies and watch how your journey as a writer will be more productive.