I am in week 1 of my book writing process and I had an amazing call with my book writing coach, Eric last night. It was about identifying and removing the obstacles to writing. I made some sketches and took some notes with the key takeaways from our discussion.
1. Get feedback while you write.
One of the secrets of successful writers is that they often work with someone, like a writing coach or editor, to get feedback as they write. This allows them to make course corrections to their writing style and structure without straying too far from the standards.
2. Know your triggers.
Triggers drive behavior. Knowing what triggers our actions can help us tweak our environment so that we can focus. Triggers could be internal (hunger, fatigue, etc.) or external (a mobile notification or in my case a 2 yr baby who needs a diaper change). By making a list of triggers, we can look for ways to work away from them or design workarounds.
3. Build accountability.
We, humans, are social animals. We are wired to honor the promises that we make to others more than the ones we make to ourselves. Find an accountability partner and make a pact about hitting your writing goals each week.
4. Block out time.
Goals are great but they don’t become “real” unless you block some time to make it happen. I have blocked out an hour in the morning to get some writing done every day. However, this will have a reverse domino effect all the way back to my nighttime routine.
I am making some small changes to my evening routine such as eating a lighter dinner, keeping my phone away after 8:30 PM, and making sure I go to sleep by 10 PM so that I can show up for my early morning time block. (P.S: All this will work out as long as my daughter doesn’t decide to wake up in the middle of the night)
5. Build a close sharing circle.
I think this is the most important one. One thing that used to prevent me from sharing my work online was the fear of judgment from strangers. We often spend too much energy trying to gain approval from strangers.
Instead, what we should actually do is create a close circle of friends who will read our work and provide honest feedback without judgment.
6. Seek the real cause of writer’s block.
Writer’s block might be a proxy for a lot of different internal states. It’s a worthwhile exercise to find out the real reason why we put off writing.
I realized that one of the main reasons that kept me away from writing was fatigue. By the time I am done with my office work, doing chores around the house, and putting my daughter to sleep, my battery is almost empty.
I hardly have any energy to think. Once I realized this, it was clear to me that the only way I can get any writing done was to block some time in the calendar during the early morning hours.
Building this traction plan was such a useful exercise. I think this will be a useful process to follow before starting any kind of big project, not just for writing a book. I would highly recommend you give it a try!
“A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” — Thomas Mann, Nobel Prize-winning author
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